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Meet the Admissions Staff

Saint Louis University works to ensure you receive the proper information and support during the application process. For more information about the admissions process, contact admissions-madrid@slu.edu

Heidi Buffington
Heidi Buffington

heidi.buffington@slu.edu  
Director of admissions
Ext. 206

Heidi Buffington grew up in Erie, Penn. She studied abroad in Spain when she was a junior at the College of Wooster. After graduating with a degree in biology and Spanish, she returned to Spain to pursue a Master's of Arts in International Studies. Buffington joined the SLU-Madrid staff in 2004 as U.S. visiting student coordinator. She later served as international admissions counselor and graduate admissions coordinator, recruiting first-year, transfer and graduate students from the U.S. and Western Europe. Buffington was appointed director of admissions in 2016.

Degrees

  • M.A., international studies, Escuela Diplomática de Madrid (Spain)
  • B.A., biology and Spanish, The College of Wooster

Monica Chiclana
Mónica Chiclana

monica.chiclana@slu.edu  
Admissions counselor
Ext. 210

Mónica Chiclana joined the SLU-Madrid admissions team in 2010. She is the alumni association coordinator, and works with students from international high schools in Spain.

Degrees

  • B.S., business administration/marketing, Saint Louis University
  • M.A., communication and protocol, GADE Business School (Spain)

Cat Gaa
Cat Gaa

catherine.gaa@slu.edu 
Admissions counselor
Ext. 271

Cat Gaa grew up all over the Midwest, eventually settling in Chicago. Studying a joint degree in journalism and international studies at the University of Iowa, she spent a summer in Valladolid and moved to Seville, Spain, upon graduation to work in the ESL field. She later furthered her studies in communication by earning a degree in public relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Gaa joined the SLU-Madrid team in 2016 as an admissions counselor, focusing her efforts on Western Europe and the UK, Sub-Saharan Africa and post graduate programs. 

Degrees

  • B.A., journalism and mass communication, international studies; University of Iowa
  • M.A., public relations, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)

Keira Maaked
Keira Maaked

keira.maaked@slu.edu 
Admissions counselor
Ext. 270

Keira Maaked is from Spain and has been a member of the SLU-Madrid staff since 2001. She is the key point of contact for students, high schools and universities from Middle East and North Africa. She speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, English and even a little Polish.

Degrees

  • Escuela superior de traducción e interpretación, Universidad de Granada (Spain)

Bianca Montenegro
Bianca Montenegro

bianca.montenegro@slu.edu 
Admissions counselor
Ext. 220

Bianca Montenegro hails from Manila, Philippines. She received a liberal arts education from Ateneo de Manila, the oldest Jesuit university in the country. In 2004, she relocated to Spain to pursue graduate studies and ended up making Madrid her home. Montenegro has been a member of the SLU-Madrid admissions team since 2010. She oversees recruitment in Asia-Pacific and Southern Europe.

Degrees

  • M.Sc., strategic human resources management, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain)
  • B.A., psychology, Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines)

Emily Pyle
Emily Pyle

Emily Pyle
emily.pyle@slu.edu 
Admissions assistant
Ext. 278

Emily Pyle is a San Diego, California, native. After completing her B.A. in History with a minor in English literature, Pyle moved to Cádiz in 2012 in order to gain international exposure and to teach English. Three Spanish cities later, and with more than five years of living and working in Spain under her belt, Pyle joined the admissions staff in 2018.

Degrees

  • B.A., history, University of California, San Diego

Diego Rodriguez
Diego Rodríguez-Vila

diego.rodriguezvila@slu.edu 
Admissions counselor
Ext. 275

Diego Rodríguez-Vila was born in Valladolid but moved to Madrid when he was 9. He has studied in six different universities (including SLU). He has worked in college recruiting for Spanish and American universities for 15 years.

Degrees

  • B.A., advertising, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Licenciado en comunicación audiovisual, Universidad Antonio de Nebrija (Spain)
  • Master in Business Administration, ESADE (Spain)

Katherine Smith
Katherine Smith

katherine.m.smith@slu.edu 
Admissions counselor
Ext. 258

Katherine Smith grew up in Ohio and has spent the past few years living in Spain. She has a B.A. in Spanish and international studies from Ohio State University and a M.A. in Spanish from SLU-Madrid. While completing her undergraduate degree, she studied abroad in Bolivia and Spain. In her role at SLU-Madrid, she coordinates visiting groups.

Degrees

  • B.A., Spanish and international studies, Ohio State University
  • M.A., Spanish, Saint Louis University

U.S.-based Admissions Staff

Kate Brooks
Kate Brooks

kate.brooks@slu.edu 
Madrid campus study abroad counselor
3694 West Pine Mall
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO 63108
+1 314-977-3445

Originally from St. Louis, Kate Brooks has had years of international experience, both living abroad and working in the field of education abroad. She lived outside of Seville, Spain, with family for nearly three years. While working on her master’s degree, Brooks spent a semester in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also taught English in Matsuyama, Japan. Brooks is excited to work as the St. Louis-based counselor for students wishing to study abroad in Madrid.

Degrees

  • B.A., English, Quincy University
  • B.A., Spanish, Webster University
  • M.A., international relations, Webster University