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Student Bios


Wen-Yu Chang

Wen-Yu Chang '18

Wen-Yu graduated from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan, where she majored in International Trade. After realizing that her passion was teaching languages, she changed her career and taught English in Taiwan for three years. Her desire to become a better language teacher led her to enroll in the MSLT program. Now she enjoys teaching Chinese at USU. When she is not teaching or studying, you might find her doing zumba, yoga, cycling, or lifting weights at the gym. She also enjoys exploring the outdoors, traveling with her husband, hanging out with friends,cooking, and relaxing at home.


Coral Ventura

Coral Ventura '18

Coral graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Italian Studies from the State University of New York at Farmingdale. It was her love of languages that spurred her on to pursue a Master of Second Language Teaching degree at Utah State University.  Before starting her bachelor degree program in Farmingdale, NY, Coral had spent a summer on the USU campus in an English immersion program, so she knew she really liked Logan. Being from the Dominican Republic, Coral plans to return to her country to teach English as a Foreign Language after she earns the MSLT degree.


Diannylin Nunez

Diannylin Nuñez (’18)

Diannylin is a foreign language teacher from the Dominican Republic who earned her bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from Northeastern Catholic University in the DR. After having taught at a public school for two years, she entered the MSLT program. Upon completing the master’s degree, she plans to return to her country and teach English and French at the university level. Diannylin enjoys traveling and sharing with people from different countries. 


Emily Mower

Emily Mower (’18)

Emily grew up in Portland, Oregon. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish Education from Brigham Young University - Idaho, she taught Spanish for three years in public schools in Nevada and North Carolina. Emily loves connecting with students by sharing stories from her experiences living in Chile and Honduras. Her passions include writing music, reading classic literature, hiking in the Great Northwest, eating dessert, and video chatting with family.


Farlin Paulino

Farlin Paulino (’18)

Farlin earned a Bachelor's degree in English and French from Northeastern Catholic University in the Dominican Republic, where he taught English as a foreign language for three years. After graduating from USU's  Master of Second Language Teaching program, he hopes to pursue a PhD in Instructional Technology and Learning Science. He enjoys traveling, reading, and sharing with people from all over the world.


Hyrum Hansen

Hyrum Hansen (’18)

Hyrum grew up in a home where it was mandatory to learn French as a second language.  Traveling to France and other parts of Europe several times, Hyrum developed a fondness for language learning and cultural exchange. After graduating from BYU-Idaho with a major in International Studies, he taught English as a second language at an elementary school in China for a year. He discovered how much he enjoyed teaching languages and, having been inspired by his sister who previously earned the MSLT degree at Utah State, Hyrum decided to enroll. He is a big tennis nerd and loves to travel and learn languages.


Kinberly Fallis

Kimberly Fallis (’18)

Kimberly graduated from Westminster College in Salt Lake City with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing.  Prior to beginning the MSLT program, Kimberly taught English as a Foreign Language in Thailand for one year.  She has also studied in France as a Rotary International exchange student, which helped her advance in the French language.  In addition to traveling, Kimberly also enjoys writing short stories, watching movies, and playing the piano in her free time. 


Hyrum Checketts

Hyrum Checketts (‘18)

While studying history and secondary education at Northwest College in Wyoming, Hyrum got a job peer tutoring and found the experience of working with college students very rewarding. He quickly shifted his sights from teaching at the secondary to the tertiary level. He transferred to Utah State University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Spanish. His fascination with languages and language teaching led him to enroll in the MSLT program. Hyrum plans to teach Spanish at the college level and potentially ESL in some type of community language program. He loves spending time with his wife and son, cooking, and playing basketball.  


Juanita Andrade

Juanita Andrade Batalla (’18)

Juanita is from México and earned her bachelor’s degree in Math Education and TESOL from Brigham Young University-Idaho. After a year of teaching high school mathematics, Juanita entered the MSLT program. She plans to use her master’s degree to help students for whom English is their second language, or to teach Spanish at the university level, or perhaps to teach math in a dual-language immersion program.


Lora Stead

Lora Stead ('18)

Lora is from Draper, Utah and received her bachelor’s degree from BYU in Humanities and Italian. After working as a public safety educator for UDOT, she became certified to teach elementary school. Lora enjoyed several years teaching fifth grade before choosing to stay home with her adorable baby. Now she loves teaching EFL online to Chinese children and completing the MSLT program part-time. After graduating, she hopes to teach ESL students of all ages. When she’s not changing diapers or studying, Lora can be found practicing yoga, writing, or playing strategy games with her tall, dark, and handsome husband.



Losa Shirley

Losa Shirley ('18)

Losa Shirley graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.  She also studied German for her undergraduate language requirements. She traveled to Germany for an intensive summer linguistics program and to experience immersion German learning. She enjoys the challenge of the MSLT course work and the intelligence of her fellow classmates. Upon completion of the MSLT program, she plans to teach English both locally and abroad. Losa loves hiking with her husband and two dogs, and enthusiastically grows a morning glory garden every summer.


Michael Spooner

Michael Spooner '17

Michael is a non-traditional student and is returning to the study of EFL/ESL after many years in the world of academic publishing. His interests are in second-language writing and in small-group or tutorial pedagogy.

Through no fault of his own, Michael was raised among kindly, poor, and church-going people in the backwoods near Fox, Alaska. He has written juvenile fiction and scholarly articles, enjoys storytelling, Latin American culture, bawdy humor, travel, and music of all kinds. You can read one of his rejected novels on his website at or see his occasional blog through


Marwan Ahmed

Marwan Ahmed '17

Marwan is from Iraq.  After earning his Bachelor's degree in French, he taught French as foreign language at a university in Baghdad.  He found teaching to be an amazing profession.  Therefore, he joined the Master of Second Language Teaching program at Utah State University with the aim of becoming a professional language teacher.  After completing the program, his goal is to pursue a career as a university-level instructor of French and English in Iraq.


Tairon Kimura

Tairon Kimura '17

Tairon was no stranger to Logan when he began the MSLT program.Having earned his undergraduate degree from USU in Philosophy and Political Science some years prior, he decided it was time to return for a Master's degree. With roots in Hokkaido (Japan) and Hong Kong, Tairon acquired proficiency in three languages growing up.  His love for languages now motivates him to become a foreign language teacher who can help others develop proficiency in their target language.