top of page

About AICS



The American Institute for Catalan Studies (AICS) was created on December 20, 1979 and duly incorporated in the state of Texas on January 14, 1980.  AICS has sponsored multiple visits of Catalan artists to the United States and has collaborated with institutions located in Catalonia to assist projects and facilitate information exchange.  

AICS mission is  make Catalonia known to the people of the United States of America and expose them to the historical, political, cultural, artistic, economic and other aspects that characterize Catalonia as a nation.  To promote scientific, literary, and educational studies of the social, economic, cultural and political institutions of Catalonia.


To support academic institutions or individuals dedicated to scientific, literary, cultural, linguistic and other studies of Catalonia and its institutions.

History of AICS up to the present - click here.


President: Hellena Cardús


Hellena Cardus, AICS President, completed her B.A. from Rice University, concentrating in International Studies (1976) and an M.B.A. (International Business and Management Information Systems) at the University of Houston (1986). She has been an Information Management Consultant for major companies in Houston, including, Texas Eastern, Community Health Computing, Duke Energy and Vastar, and at the UNAM in Mexico City, where she held the position of Programming Director for 7 years. Hellena was co-founder (2001) for Datergy LLP, an IT consulting firm. Since 1998 Hellena has volunteered at AICS as the editor of Catalonia Today Bulletin and Chairperson of the Youth Committee. As of July 2003, she has held the position of AICS President. She is also cofounder and North America regional Vice President for FIEC (International Federation of Catalan Entities.) Hellena is the publisher and editor of CATALONIA magazine since 2013.


Vice-President: Mayte Duarte


Mayte Duarte, AICS Vice-President and Co-editor/ Staff Writer for CATALONIA magazine since 2013 received her Bachelor in Humanities in 2012 at the open University of Catalonia (UOC), concentrating on International Research in Culture and History at GIRCHE-UB in Barcelona. She is specialized in the areas of: Anthropology of Religions, Symbolism, Homo Tecnològicus, Human Rights and Catalan Dragon Archetypes. Mayte is a Writer, Journalist, and Editor of Dracmaycat Editions.


Treasurer: Mike Siegel


Mike Siegel, AICS Treasurer for AICS is President of Nodus Solutions, and received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an Masters of Business Administration from the University of Houston. He is the founder and owner of Nodus Solutions and has been developing web sites and solving complex problems for clients for over twenty years. Nodus Solutions has developed several software products for content management, online ticket purchasing and member management.

AICS Board Member: Dr. George Delclos


Dr. George Delclos is an AICS Board Member. He received his Medical Degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona. He is a Pulmonologist at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center and Houston Methodist Hospital and has been practicing for more than 30 years in Houston.

Board Members At-large:









James Miranda – Board Member
Consulting at Houston, Texas
President AICS Penya Blaugrana at Houston, Texas


Montse Feu – Board Member
Associate Professor at Sam Houston State University at Huntsville Texas


Kilian Motis Rovira – Board Member 
Geologist at Woodlands, Texas


Paula Roma Redon – Board Member
Teacher at Houston Texas


Alex Pibernat – Board Member
Cultural Advisor


Dr. David Cardus i Pascual - Founder


Dr. David Cardús (1922-2003 ), Cardiologist and Professor of Physiology and Medical Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine (1960-2003) in Houston,Texas and Professor of  Bio-Mathematics at Rice University, led research programs for NASA focused on the physiology of exercise and the effects of 0 gravity in Space travel , collaborating in the preparation of NASA’s  first manned mission.  In 1979 he founded The American Institute for Catalan Studies (AICS)  and  was also Co-Founder/ Vice President of FIEC (Federation of International Catalan Entities) in 1988 . He published in  numerous scientific journals and received La Cruz de la Orden de Isabel la Catolica , the Narcis Monturiol Medal in 1984 and the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1992.

Reference: CATALONIA Magazine, Spring 2016 (ISSUU)  

Francesca Ribas de Cardus

(1924-2013) was born in 1924, in Barcelona, Catalonia. Her father, Francesc Ribas i Soberano, was a Representative in the Catalan Parliament during the 2nd Republic. During the Spanish Civil War, the family was forced to exile in France where she met David Cardus. Upon her return to Catalonia, she received her M.S. in Pharmacy at the University of Barcelona in 1956 and a PHD in Pharmacy at the same university in 1960. Francesca was a Research Associate at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Tx. from 1972 – 2000. In Nov 2004, she received the Josep Batista i Roca Award in Barcelona for her outstanding efforts in promoting the cultural aspects of her native Catalonia.

Donate to AICS

Give to AICS and help make Catalonia become more known to the world.  All financial contributions are greatly welcomed.  Regardless of the amount, your contribution is very important and deeply appreciated. Aics is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


Elena Olive – Board Member

Associate Professor at Austin College at Sherman, Texas

Dr. Elena Olivé is currently Associate Professor of Spanish at Austin College in Sherman, Texas (since 2001). She received a B.A. in Spanish and Political Science at Texas A&M University, M.A. in Spanish Literature at New York University in 1993, and a Ph.D in Spanish Literature at the University of Kansas in 2002.

© 2020 by AICS American Institute for Catalan Studies. All rights reserved.

bottom of page