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.
Joseph Harden, Student Services Coordinator
Mr. Harden joined MEI in 2018 after counseling for undergraduate admissions and financial aid at UMD. He is an alumnus of the University of Maryland, and originally from Richmond, Virginia. He earned his BA degrees in Arabic Studies and in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology from UMCP. He loves travelling and is passionate about learning new languages and experiencing different cultures. In his free time, you can often find him at the gym, boxing, or swimming.
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.
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.
Dee Broughton, Lecturer
Ms. Broughton earned an MA in TESL from University of Idaho and, as faculty in their Department of English, created their first graduate courses in Research Writing for International Students and Issues for Non-Native English Teachers. She helped to start a school in Mexico, trained teachers in pedagogy in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, and served as a Specialist in materials design in Uzbekistan, where she published her sixth English language learning textbook. She specializes in frequency-based vocabulary and teaching use of sources in research writing. She enjoys playing guitar, visiting art museums, and traveling in her rare 4×4 motor home.
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).
Lori Fredricks, Lecturer
Dr. Fredricks moved to Maryland from Atlanta, Georgia, where she earned a Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education and an MA in Applied Linguistics from Georgia State University. She has worked as an ESL teacher, teacher trainer, and researcher in the US, Tajikistan and Egypt. In addition to working with English language learners, Dr. Fredricks is also a Community Resource Advocate at the Treatment and Learning Centers where she assists adults with disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys hiking in state parks and oil painting.
Annelies Galletta, Lecturer
Ms. Galletta loves languages and students, and teaching English is a great way to enjoy both at the same time. She taught English as a foreign language in Moscow, Russia, after obtaining her Master’s degree from the University of Maryland in Baltimore County. She has also taught English for students at community colleges, for private companies, for new immigrants, and for undergraduate and graduate students at the Maryland English Institute since 2010. Besides teaching, she has also worked as a curriculum developer and program administrator in various learning environments. She is originally from the Netherlands.
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. She has a BA in English, an MA in Speech and Language Pathology and an MA in Linguistics with a TESOL emphasis. 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 word and card games, gardening, eating good food, watching television and having alone time.
Heather Mehrtens, Lecturer
Ms. Mehrtens pursued her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, holding a BA in Linguistics with Highest Distinction, a BA in Germanic Languages and Literatures, and an MA in TESL. Before coming to Maryland, she taught at Boston University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois. She also served as an English Language Fellow in New Delhi, India. In addition to teaching, she has presented and published on various aspects of teaching English such as using content- and task-based methods to teach language more effectively, vocabulary acquisition, and world Englishes. Currently, she lives in Baltimore City with her husband and two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, drinking a good cup of coffee, thrifting, and trying new cuisines.
Melanie J.B. Robbins, Lecturer
Mrs. Robbins first became interested in teaching English due to her love of languages and interest in learning about other cultures. After receiving her MA in TESOL from Seattle Pacific University, she taught in several Intensive English and ESL programs at the community college and university level before coming to MEI in 2012. In addition to teaching in the US, Mrs. Robbins has taught English in Slovakia and has served as an English Language Fellow in the Republic of Georgia. As a Fellow, Mrs. Robbins taught English and/ facilitated professional development workshops for English teachers in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine. When not busy teaching or working on her PhD in International Education Policy, you can find Mrs. Robbins spending time in nature or enjoying a good cup of coffee with family or friends.
Caroline Thompson, Lecturer
Ms. Thompson started her career in teaching upon completing her M.A. in TESOL at Teachers College (Columbia University) in New York City in 1995. She has taught in many organizations and institutions in the greater New York City area and Montgomery County, Maryland. Her positions have included teacher, coordinator for outreach programs, and program manager. Her international experience includes living and working in France, Japan, and Holland. In her free time, Ms. Thompson enjoys coaching swimming and attending her children’s school and athletic events.
Christopher Vizcarrondo, Lecturer
Mr. Vizcarrondo has a M.A in TESOL from the University of Southern California. He has taught English in academic programs in both the U.S. and Japan. His experience teaching began as a language assistant who helped international students acclimate to life in the U.S. This experience allowed him to help students practice English in authentic situations and guide them to succeed academically and socially. It has continued to influence his teaching style as he focuses on providing students a learning experience that strengthens their English skills, targets their personal goals, and informs them of their civic and social responsibility as global citizens. He has a passion for education, culture, and languages.
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.
Eda Aladagli Yoon, Lecturer
Ms. Aladagli Yoon was born and raised in Turkey and immigrated to the United States nearly five years ago. She has since been residing in the DMV area with her family. She earned a BA in Translation and Interpreting from Dokuz Eylul University and an MA degree in TESOL from American University. Previously, she taught Reading, Writing and Grammar, Reading and Vocabulary, Life and Culture in D.C., and English for Academic Purposes courses in the English Language and Training Academy at American University. Concurrently, she was an adjunct faculty member in the the Adult ESOL and Grant Program at Montgomery Community College, where she delivered ESL/Civics instruction to adult immigrants and helped develop the Curriculum Framework for the program. Along with teaching the nuts and bolts of the English language, Eda includes practicing critical thinking skills, increasing motivation and offering positive encouragement as integral components of her classroom. Outside of work, she spends most of her time raising a bilingual baby girl and acquiring new skills to lead her by example