Presenter Bios

Sigrid Berka is Professor of German and Executive Director of the International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island. She is Co-Editor of the Journal of International Engineering Education and bi-annually the main organizer of the Annual Colloquium on International Engineering Education (ACIEE). She published scholarly articles on intercultural competence development / assessment during studying and interning abroad, bridging engineering with the humanities, and German & Austrian literature.

 Lars Erickson is Professor of French and Director of the French International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island.  He is the author of French for Engineering, an advanced-level textbook published by Routledge in 2018.  His publications include articles on engineering internships in France as well as numerous works on the literature of eighteenth-century France including the monograph Metafact: Essayistic Science in Eighteenth-Century France.  

Michelangelo La Luna is Professor of Italian in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at University of Rhode Island since 2003. He is also the Director of the URI Italian International Engineering, Business and Pharmaceutical Science Programs. His research activity focuses on Girolamo De Rada (1814-1903), the major Italian-Albanian poet of the Romantic period. He is also a passionate researcher of Dante's Divine Comedy, of Luigi Capuana's (1839-1915) fairy tales, and of the best Italian writer, Dacia Maraini (1936-).

Iñaki Pérez-Ibáñez (PhD in Spanish, University of Navarre; MS in Computer Science and MATCP - Education, University of Rhode Island) is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Teacher Education and Director of the Spanish International Engineering Program at the University of Rhode Island. His research focuses on Spanish Golden Age Literature, interculturality and teaching methodologies.


Niko Tracksdorf is editor and co-author of the intercultural, interdisciplinary, and inclusive textbook series Impuls Deutsch. His research focuses on effective ways that inclusive language teaching can lead to deeper engagement and better learning outcomes of students across the disciplines. Niko Tracksdorf has developed several content-based German language courses and chairs the German for Professional Purposes Committee for the American Association for Teachers of German (AATG).  As Co-Director of the German International Engineering Program, Niko Tracksdorf is preparing students for international study, research, and internship opportunities in German-speaking countries.