Thor Sawin

As a scholar, I am most passionate about the value of multilingualism, specifically equipping international organizations with policies to improve the language acquisition of their personnel, and which don't devalue local languages at the expense of English.

As an instructor, I am most passionate about equipping language professionals to understand the beauty and creativity of linguistic structure, and its relevance to language pedagogy.

Netta Avineri

I am passionate about civic engagement, in which students connect course curriculum with purposeful reflection and meaningful work in broader communities. I seek to facilitate students’ discovery of ways to use their knowledge and expertise in order to positively affect populations around them. I believe that civic engagement provides a forum for all voices to be heard, and I am committed to creating rich environments where this polyphony can take shape.

Jason Martel

I am passionate about working with language teachers to develop curricula and pedagogical practices that promote students’ language acquisition and critical thinking skills.  

As a teacher, I most enjoy classroom discussions that take on a life of their own; that is, ones that unfold in an organic, conversational fashion. In my experience, it is during discussions like these that the greatest amount of new ground is broken. 

JoDee Walters

After serving in the Peace Corps in the Seychelles, I began my EFL/ESL teaching career in Egypt, where I obtained my MATEFL at the American University in Cairo, and also taught in their English language pre-university preparatory program.  I then taught at the American Language Institute at San Diego State University, in the EAP program, as well as at the University of California, San Diego. I also taught at Palomar Community College, in an evening ESL program designed for recent immigrants.

Patricia Szasz

Patricia first became interested in the field of language education based on her own language learning experience. She found that learning French as a school requirement was not nearly as motivating as learning Italian in an effort to engage with the Italian people and culture. After working as a software trainer in Silicon Valley, Patricia taught English as foreign language in Milan and Rome, Italy. Her love of teaching eventually led her to pursue her master's degree in TESOL here at the Monterey Institute.

Peter I. De Costa

Before joining MIIS, I taught academic writing in the ESL program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison while working on my doctoral degree in second language acquisition (SLA). Prior to that, I was a high school English teacher and a teacher educator in Singapore. My teaching interests include making SLA theory accessible to teachers for classroom application, developing teacher reflexivity to improve pedagogy, and encouraging the development of immigrant learners in ESL classrooms.

Heekyeong Lee

What is it that you are most passionate about? 

I am passionate about understanding what language means and does to the individuals in a globalizing world. Conversing and exploring most effective ways of learning and teaching language are even more fascinating.

What do you enjoy most about teaching and/or what excites you about being a professor at MIIS?

Jean Turner

I taught English as a Second Language (ESL/EFL) for a variety of schools beginning in 1976 with my Peace Corps service in Morocco. Before coming to the Monterey Institute I was Assistant Director of ESL Services at UCLA and taught classes on assessment at California State University, Los Angeles. I joined the Monterey Institute faculty in 1990 and in 1997 was the recipient of the Institutes' Dean's Award of Teaching Excellence. In 2008, I was honored by receiving the Dr. Leslie Ellison Teacher of Excellence Award.

John Hedgcock

Professor Hedgcock teaches courses such as Language Analysis, Structure of English, Second Language Acquisition, Teaching Writing, Teaching Reading, Portfolio Preparation, and the Language Teaching Practicum. A two-time recipient of the Institute's Excellence in Teaching Award, he has held instructional positions in English for Academic Purposes (EAP), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Composition at the university and community college levels; he has also taught French, Spanish, and English as a Foreign Language.