Biographies

Administrators

Elizabeth Driver, Director

Dr. Driver became the MEI director in August 2009. She has a PhD in English and Master’s degrees in both English and Applied Linguistics/TESOL. In her career, she has taught many courses in English as a Second Language, English literature and drama, English grammar and language history, as well as academic and professional writing.

Her international experience includes three years as a visiting faculty member at the University of Szeged, Hungary. She has also led short-term study abroad courses in London and Paris and been part of volunteer work teams in Ukraine and Guatemala. Along with her husband and two daughters, she has hosted high school exchange students from France, Indonesia and Chile.

Jon Malone, Associate Director

Mr. Malone joined the MEI staff in 2012 after over five years of experience teaching at the University of Oklahoma. He is passionate about the connections between research in the TESOL field and applications in the classroom. He especially enjoys the interpersonal element of language acquisition. At MEI, Jon oversees the Intensive English Program (IEP), manages the MEI Multimedia Center, coordinates testing procedures, and teaches in the Intensive English Program. He lives in the College Park area with his wife and children.

Amparo M. Acevedo, Academic Program Specialist & Office Manager

Originally from Colombia, Ms. Acevedo is a motivated and creative individual who especially enjoys the environment of MEI and the daily interactions between faculty and students from around the world.

Jennifer Moore, Program Management Specialist

Ms. Moore joined the University of Maryland in 1994 in the student affairs division and moved to MEI in 2006. She earned her BA degree in Communications from UMCP. She enjoys working in an internationally diverse setting and is inspired by both faculty and students who take on the challenge of teaching and mastering the English language. In her free time, she enjoys the performing arts, writing and sports.

Raymond Smith, Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator

Mr. Smith has been the Curriculum and Instruction Coordinator of the Maryland English Institute since 2009. He started his career in the field of ELT upon completion of the M.A. TESOL program at the City University of New York (Hunter College) in 1993. Since then, he has taught English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in South Korea and the Czech Republic and has held a variety of positions, including teacher, teacher trainer, academic coordinator and director of studies. In addition to his M.A. TESOL, Mr. Smith has also completed the Cambridge CELTA and DELTA courses.

Faculty

Melanie Baker, Lecturer

While an undergraduate student at the University of South Carolina, Ms. Baker began volunteering as an English conversation partner for international students at the university and traveled to the Slovak Republic, where she taught English at a summer camp for high school students. These two experiences led her to earn her M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Seattle Pacific University. Since then, she has taught English in a variety of contexts, including schools in Seattle, Ohio, and Slovakia, before joining MEI in the Fall of 2012. She is fascinated by languages and cultures, and enjoys the cultural and linguistic exchange that takes place in the English language classroom. When not teaching, you can find her hiking, kayaking, or enjoying a great cup of coffee with friends.

Cornell Brellenthin, Lecturer

Dr. Brellenthin hails from the Midwest where she earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. She also holds an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, the thesis of which was the development of an online writing course that was immediately implemented by the Wisconsin Technical College System. She has been a lecturer of literature, academic writing, creative writing, and English as a Second Language at the University of Wisconsin—Whitewater and Harvard University and continues to teach in the English Language Program for the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences during the summer. Recreationally, she enjoys reading and writing fiction, running or strolling in scenic settings, meandering through art galleries, attending baseball games and classical music events, and traveling.

Caralyn Bushey, Lecturer

Ms. Bushey holds an M.A. degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from American University in Washington, DC. She has lived and worked in the U.S. as well as France, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and most recently Russia, where she was an English Language Fellow serving in Moscow.

Marilena Draganescu, Lecturer

Ms. Draganescu is a native of Romania, where she received her B.A. from the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Philology. In 2001 she graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with an M.A. in Comparative Literature and a second M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). As a graduate teaching assistant at UIUC, she taught introductory courses in World Literature and World Religions. After graduation, she decided to return to her home country temporarily and took up employment with the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest for four years, where she taught a variety of Business English classes. In 2006, she started her Ph.D. in the Language, Literacy and Culture Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Before joining MEI in 2010, she worked for four years as an English instructor at the English Language Center at UMBC where she taught advanced reading and writing classes.

Charles Duquette, Lecturer/Marketing Coordinator

Mr. Duquette began his working career in the sciences, earning a B.S. degree in Biology from Georgetown University and an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Johns Hopkins University. He spent roughly 20 years in the computer industry, first as a Software Developer, later as a Director of Software Research & Development, and finally as a consultant and business owner. Always having done extensive tutoring in Math and English, he decided to pursue an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and was awarded his M.A. in TESOL by American University in 2006. He joined MEI in 2008, where he has taught several levels of Listening & Speaking and Reading, Writing, and Grammar, as well as Advanced English Pronunciation (006) Advanced English as a Foreign Language (005) and Advanced Writing for International Students (007).

Annelies Galletta, Lecturer

Ms. Galletta came to the United States via the Netherlands and Belgium, where she spent most of her growing up years. She became interested in teaching English after she volunteered as a literacy and English tutor. She earned her Master’s degree in in Instructional Design & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. Right afterwards, she moved to Russia, where she taught for three years before coming back to the Washington DC area. She has been working at MEI since 2010 and loves it. Her favorite thing to do in the classroom is having group discussions and cultivating in students a love of reading.

Louise Godley, Lecturer

Before joining MEI, Ms. Godley was an instructor in the English Language and Training Academy at American University. She has also taught English to adults at Washington English Center, and EC Washington, DC. She has an MA in TESOL from American University and a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Winchester in the UK. Ms. Godley is British and also a naturalized Australian, having lived in Sydney, Australia from 2000-2012. During her time in Sydney, she enjoyed working in a multilingual office, which led to her career switch to TESOL. She also learned to play the ukulele, and the cajón, to dance salsa, and to ride a motorbike, all vital skills for a language teacher. Ms. Godley has studied French and Spanish and speaks several dialects of English.

Susan Gould, Lecturer

Ms. Gould has lived and worked as an ESL/EFL teacher in California, Massachusetts, Japan, Mexico and Morocco. Prior to working for MEI, Susan spent five and a half years teaching English for OPELT, a collaborative program between Ohio University and its sister school, Chubu University, in Kasugai, Japan. She enjoys traveling, playing piano, playing online crossword and card games, gardening, eating good food, watching television and having alone time.

Eric Walker, Lecturer

Mr. Walker was educated at The American University in Washington, D.C., The University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and The University of Utah. Since 1980, he has taught Writing, Creative Writing, English as a Foreign Language and as a Second Language in universities in Mexico and the U.S. His research interests include heteroglossic writing curricula, critical discourse analysis, and world Englishes.