FYI in Prague – About the Program Directors

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We invite you to contact the Faculty Directors and Coordinator for more information!

Art Rice has been a Professor of Landscape Architecture in the College of Design for more than twenty-five years. He is a past President of, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture and past chair of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Academy of Fellows.

Upon completion of his graduate studies at Harvard he was awarded the Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship and was selected as an International Research and Exchange Board Traveling Fellow. He was one of fifty American scholars to teach and conduct research in the Soviet Union in 1979/80. He has led study abroad programs in Russia, Uzbekistan, Spain, Venezuela and the Czech Republic. He championed the effort to establish the NCState Prague Institute and served as its first director.

In 2015 he received the Jackson Rigney International Service lifetime achievement award for his efforts in leading numerous study abroad and internationalization efforts at NC State University.


Dr. Debbie Acker currently serves as the Associate Director for Operations and Academic Programs for the General Hugh Shelton Leadership Center at North Carolina State University. She joined the Shelton Leadership Center in May 2003, following her work at NC State within the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences on a Sustainability Project and College of Education with the National Initiative for Leadership & Institutional Effectiveness as Assistant Director of Research.

Dr. Debbie Acker has worked with a multigenerational clientele to deliver professional development on experiential and collaborative learning modules on topics such as effective leadership practices, ethical decision-making, vision into action, integrity as a leader, leadership styles & situations, leading with diversity in mind, group empowerment, and finding your strengths as a leader. She also teaches an undergraduate interdisciplinary course on critical and creative decision-making and oversees the cross-disciplinary perspectives leadership minor for the Center.

Dr. Acker’s dissertation explored the process of civic engagement and how to enhance the likelihood for meaningful experiences within group decision-making. She is passionate about her work with the Shelton Leadership team continuing to enhance the development of the program model incorporating a research-based critical reflection model that is integrated into the leadership training delivered through the Shelton Leadership Center. This model is a foundational component for all our values-based leadership training development.

Debbie holds a Masters in Counseling from Syracuse University, and her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from North Carolina State University. Exciting places she has had the opportunity to travel are: Honduras; Guinea, West Africa; India; Dominican Republic; and Alaska.


Sean Addley, Assistant Director – NC State Prague, joined the Study Abroad
Office in June 2013. He is responsible for coordinating the FYI Abroad and NC State Prague programs.

Sean has a Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education/Geography, both from Michigan State University. During his undergraduate career, Sean participated in three study abroad programs, traveling to Greece, Dominican Republic, and Dubai, UAE. After completing his year of student teaching at an international school in Dubai, Sean continued to live and work in Dubai for another two years as an elementary school teacher. His experiences living and working abroad solidified his passion for and commitment to international education.