Your Directors, Carrie, Sean, and Kellin and Assistant Director Hannah are all experienced teachers and trained Art Historians with a thorough knowledge of Italy’s cities, culture, language, history, and art. We have lead site visits, trips, and activities throughout Florence and much of Italy for more than ten years. We specialize in travel for women, mother-daughter trips, and sorority study abroad programs. Sharing these sites and this history with female travelers is our passion. Our mission is to cultivate a culture of love and friendship through personal and intimate travel experiences.
Carrie Ann Mugridge, M.A. Director of Operations
Carrie Ann Mugridge has lived in Italy on and off for more than 15 years. She earned her Masters in Renaissance Art History from Syracuse University and also studied Italian language at the Universita’ per Stranieri in Siena. Subsequently, she lectured on-site throughout Italy and France for Syracuse University in Florence. Carrie graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a degree in Italian Cultural Studies and Psychology with a minor in Art History.
- Michelangelo – Carrie has a strong background in the life and works of Michelangelo. She leads a special evening visit to the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s sculpture of David and discusses what makes it one of the world’s most highly regarded works of art.
- Siena – One of Carrie’s favorite Select Study Abroad trips is to Siena. She introduces students to this medieval hilltop town by telling its fascinating history beginning in the famous Piazza del Campo.
- Renaissance Sculpture – Florence is home to some of the most remarkable statues on the planet and Carrie is happy to lead the way to see them up close and personal.
Kellin Barlow-Wilcox, M.A. Programming Director
Kellin Barlow-Wilcox has resided in Italy on and off for more than 10 years. She earned her Masters in Renaissance Art History from Syracuse University as a Florence Fellow. Subsequently, she lectured on-site throughout Italy and France for Syracuse University in Florence. Kellin graduated from New York University with a degree in Art History, Italian, and Religious Studies.
- Fra Angelico – This quintessential 15th century artist and friar worked in Rome for the Pope as well as in Florence for the Medici. Some of his best preserved frescoes can be seen in the off-the-beaten path Museum of San Marco. Join Kellin on a tour of the Renaissance monastery and its famously decorated friars’ cells.
- Rome – Rome is full of art from every period in history and brimming with architectural wonders. Among these many artistic feats are the works of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. See some of this artist's most famous works in the flesh.
- Florentine Mannerism – The Renaissance boasted perfection of form and color. What came after would bend and nearly break all the rules to create some of the most fascinating and mysterious works ever made in Italy. Kellin leads a tour of the Capponi chapel to see one of Florence’s best-preserved examples in situ.
Hannah Fritschner, M.A. Assistant Director
After studying abroad in Florence, Hannah moved back again in 2013 to get her Master’s Degree in Italian Renaissance Art. She has worked for Syracuse University in Florence, lecturing on-site throughout Italy and Greece. Hannah graduated from Vassar College with a degree in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and a minor in Art History.
- Venetian Painting – There’s something special about Venice that plays out in its Renaissance paintings. The diffuse light reflecting off the water and the golden mosaics of local churches along with the city’s complicated relationship with its environment and its unique position as a gateway to the East can all be seen in Venice’s rich collection of paintings.
- Monuments Men – Much of the art and architecture we see in Italy today was under fire during WWII. It’s primarily through the efforts of a few men and women in the Allied armies - commonly called the Monuments Men - that this cultural heritage survives.
Sean Nelson, Ph.D. Academic Director
Sean Nelson has made Italy his home on and off for more than 10 years. He completed his Ph.D. in Art History at the University of Southern California. Sean’s research focuses on Crusade imagery in early modern Europe. As a professor at Syracuse University in Florence, he has taught courses on the artistic patronage of the famed Medici family in Florence, art of the 16th Century, and The Black Death.
- Art and Science – Sean’s interests include the scientific aspects of artistic production such as Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of anatomy and alchemical investigation in artists’ workshops.
- Venice – Sean leads a tour of Piazza San Marco on Venetian history up to the crusades with special attention to its unique role as a crossroads of the Mediterranean world.
- Renaissance Maps – Maps provide a window into Florence’s active role in the commercialization of Africa and the New World. Learn about men like Amerigo Vespucci and Christopher Columbus with Sean.