Friends of the AAIE

Advisory Board

Karol Kumpfer

Karol Kumpfer was a student at the AAIE in Vienna in 1964/65 through the Colorado Women´s College Program. In 2011 she returned to the AAIE as a resident director for her University of Utah summer program.

Karol L. Kumpfer, Ph.D., is an American Indian psychologist (Pawnee) and a Professor of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Utah, who specializes in cross-cultural research and dissemination of evidence-based family strengthening interventions to prevent substance abuse, delinquency, child maltreatment, and improve child outcomes. She is the original developer of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP), which is a 7- to 14-session family skills training program proven in multiple RCTs with independent researchers to improve parenting skills, family relations, and improve children’s outcomes. From 1997 to 2000, she served as the Director of the DHHS/SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) in Washington, D.C. for which she was honored with a White House Distinguished Service Award. For 15 years, she also directed OJJDP’s Strengthening America’s Families Initiative to locate and disseminate evidence-based family interventions nationwide. Currently she is a United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) consultant and has conducted a global search on evidence-based parenting and family interventions for dissemination to developing countries on their website. She was awarded in June 2008 the prestigious Community and Cultural Research award by the Society for Prevention Research and was also the first woman president in 1998. In 2010, the University of Utah awarded her their Diversity Award. She has published and presented widely and internationally. She is a Board Member of the Indian Walk-in Center. She and her husband, Dr. Henry Whiteside, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, skiing, and traveling. They live in Emigration canyon in a home Karol design, being thwarted in her first academic goal to become an architect. She did serve as the UU Long-range Planner in the Park Building. Currently she serves as the Director of International Education for her department.


Hector Perez

Hector Perez was a student at the AAIE in Vienna in 1982 through the Beaver College (now Arcadia University). He is currently living in Munich and is working as Manager for Business Development (Europe, Middle East & Latin America) at a large Insurance Company.


Susan Walsh

I learned more in a single year abroad as a student of the Austro-American Institute of Education than I have in seven years of higher education.  The cultural, political and linguistic lessons learned and the communication skills honed as a guest in a foreign speaking country are simply incomparable to any other educational setting I have experience to date, including my legal education.   Although I was profoundly aware of how life altering the study abroad experience was for me at the time I was living in Vienna, now, well into my professional life, I am  often rewarded by the lessons learned then and their continued usefulness today.   As a practicing trial attorney in New York City, my ability to communicate, problem solve and view a matter through alternate lenses is a direct benefit of having lived and studied in a foreign country.  The relationships I developed in at AAIE continue to flourish today, both with my fellow American students, as well as with my precious, Austrian host-family.   I am fortunate to remain close at heart with both the Institute and my host family and look forward to remaining close at hand for many years to come.
Susan J. Walsh, Beaver College 1988 - 1989

Brittany Clark

My name is Brittany Clark. I am 23 years old, am from Essex, MA, and will soon be moving into the city with three other friends to Somerville, MA. I love to travel; I will have traveled to 17 different countries by the end of the year. I also lose to go skiing; I have a seasons pass for this upcoming winter to Sugarbush Mountain in VT (although I wish it was in Austria). I went to St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. While at St. Lawrence, I majored in Sociology and minored in German Studies. I also played on the varsity field hockey team for four years and studied abroad in Vienna for a semester.

 My Semester in Vienna:

I studied abroad in at the Austro-American Institute of Education in Vienna during the Spring semester of my junior year in 2011. I chose to study abroad in Vienna because I had been to Innsbruck and Salzburg in high school and fell in love with Austria, and knew that I had to go back. It was the BEST decision I ever made. The moment we arrived in Austria I knew I had made the right decision because we had a week long orientation in Dorfgastein, a little alpine village in the Austrian Alps. While in Dorfgastein we were able to learn German, ski in the alps, and get to know the Austrian culture better. After the week in Dorfgastein we went to Vienna, our new home for the next 4 months. While in Vienna, I lived in the 2nd district, Leopoldstadt, with a host family, the Schneider family. The Schneiders were made up of Elisabeth, a single mother, Valerie, an eleven year old girl, and Oliver, a nine year old boy. They were all great and had amazing English. While in Vienna I took four classes: Austrian Culture, German, Austrian Art and Architecture, Austrian Psychology, and Austrian History. I absolutely loved each and every one of these classes. They were all extremely hands on and very interactive; we were in the classroom one day, and the other day we were in museums, churches, cathedrals, castles, professor's houses, etc. We also went on multiple day trips to various parts of Austria, and then we even went on a 10 day trip to Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. Outside of the program, I did quite a bit of traveling myself; I went to multiple places within Austria, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Germany, France, and Spain. Everyone at the Institute was extremely helpful and kind to us and I thank them for making my study abroad experience so wonderful!

What I Am Doing Now:

After studying abroad in Vienna I worked at St. Lawrence's Center for International and Intercultural Studies for a year. I graduated St. Lawrence with a bachelor of arts degree in Sociology. After graduating from St. Lawrence I knew I wanted to continue working in the international education field. Eventually, I took a position at a study abroad organization called Interstudy as the Student Services Assistant. As the Student Services Assistant, I contacted and recruited prospective students, assisted students with finding a study abroad program, worked with admissions staff to prepare student application and visa materials, and managed Interstudy's social media content. Interstudy then got purchased by a larger study abroad organization called International Studies Abroad (ISA), and I am now the Ireland Site Specialist. As the Ireland Site Specialist, I help advise students on all program, course, and housing selections, maintain program specific website, catalog, and social media content, and communicate and collaborate with on-site staff in Ireland to coordinate program details. If it was not for my amazing study abroad experience in Vienna, I would not be where I am today!