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MSLT Graduate Bios



Juanita Andrade Batalla (’18)

Following her completion of the MSLT degree, Juanita moved back to Idaho, where she began teaching in a new Spanish program at a junior high school. This program was designed and implemented at the junior high to give students an early start toward success in their advanced Spanish classes in high school.


Kimberly Fallis

Kimberly Fallis ('18)

Kimberly arrived to the MSLT program with a Westminster College bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing and English teaching experience in Thailand.  The MSLT degree helped her gain admission to the graduate program in Applied Linguistics at Columbia Teachers College in New York.


Emily Mower

Emily Mower (’18)

Emily taught middle and high school Spanish in various parts of the United States prior to beginning the MSLT program. While attending USU she was privileged to teach beginning undergraduate Spanish courses. Upon completing her degree, Emily happily accepted an offer to teach at a small liberal arts high school in Provo, Utah. She would eventually like to pursue a PhD in Teacher Education.     


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 at Utah State. Upon completing the MSLT degree, she has returned to her country and teaches English and French at the university level. Diannylin enjoys traveling and sharing with people from different countries. 


Falin 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.


Yasmine Kataw

Lora Stead ('18)

After graduating from USU with her MSLT degree, Lora began teaching English language arts to 8th graders at Utah Virtual Academy.


Alex Gatica 17

Alex Gatica (’17)

Alex is currently teaching Spanish and Geography at DaVinci Academy in Ogden, Utah. He has also taught Spanish and Portuguese at Utah State University, Mandarin Chinese at USU Eastern, and English at the Berhan Language Institute in Taiwan and the Mercan English School in China. He is able to incorporate the principles that he researched while in the MSLT program into the languages that he teaches and also his personal language study.


I-Chiao Hung

I-Chiao Hung ’17

As an undergraduate student in Taiwan, I-Chiao attended Utah State University as an exchange student. After earning her bachelor degree from National Taipei University of Education, I-Chiao came back to Logan for the MSLT program.  She taught Chinese classes at Utah State while she was a graduate student.  Following completion of the MSLT program, she taught for one year as a Chinese Dual-Language Immersion teacher at an elementary school in Utah. In 2018, I-Chiao embarked on a new adventure as instructor of Chinese at Flame University in Pune, India.


Marina Krutikova

Marina Krutikova ('17)

Marina first attended Utah State University as an exchange student from Russia. After completing her bachelor’s degree in translation theory and cross-linguistic communication, she came back to Logan for the MSLT program. Marina taught Russian as a foreign language to USU students for three years. In 2018, she took the position as an elementary teacher in Utah’s Russian Dual Language Immersion program in Tooele. Marina is convinced that her MSLT degree has boosted her confidence as a foreign language educator and prepared her well for new professional challenges.


andrew mikesell 17

Andrew Mikesell '17

Originally from Logan, UT, Andrew did his undergraduate degree at USU.  He then spent 4 years teaching English in elementary and secondary schools with the JET program in Japan.  Seeking to further develop his teaching skills, Andrew returned to Logan to enroll in the MSLT program.  Upon completing the degree, he was hired as a Global Teaching Fellow to teach English at Tokyo International University.


Aaron Salgado

Aaron Salgado ‘17

Aaron is currently teaching courses on Christian texts in both English and Spanish as a Seminary Instructor for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mesa, Arizona. In the next year or two, he hopes to start a PhD program related to bilingual educational settings. At home, he observes his children's experience in Dual Language Immersion programs to spur future research ideas.


Elizabeth Abell

Elizabeth Abell '16

A native of Ohio who had also lived in Oklahoma, France (twice!), and then in Utah for the MSLT program, Elizabeth embarked on her next cross-cultural adventure when she earned her Master's degree: teaching English in Japan through the JET program. Learning an entirely new language was part of the attraction, according to Elizabeth.


Jenifer burke 16

Jenifer Burk '16

Jen has been teaching English as a second language since 2013. For many years, she taught at various private schools for adults, but now she teaches EAP (English for Academic Purposes). She currently teaches at The University of Utah's English Language Institute during the day and two nights a week at LDS Business College in Salt Lake City.


Nadiya Gifford '16

Nadiya Gifford  '16

Nadiya earned a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Organizational Management in Kyiv, Ukraine. After she moved to the US, she enrolled in the MSLT program. Nadiya has taught Russian grammar, culture, and business classes to USU students since spring 2013.


Tarin Griswold

Tarin Griswold ’16

With his MSLT degree in hand, Tarin was hired by the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, where he teaches Japanese.


Tempe Mabe '16

Yasmine Kataw '16

Since graduating from the MSLT program, Yasmine has been teaching Arabic as a foreign language through two online platforms: VerbalPlanet and TalkAbroad. Additionally, she does freelance translation for individuals and organizations, as well as editing and proofreading online English language curriculum for Arabic learners for Transparent Language


Katie Reynolds

Katie Reynolds '16

Katie is from Orangeville, Utah. She graduated from Utah State with a Bachelor's degree in Human Resource Management and a minor in International Studies. She has worked as a volunteer at the English Language Center of Cache Valley for the past year, which is what inspired her to join this program. After graduating from the MSLT program she hopes to teach English as a second language to immigrants to the United States. She enjoys reading, hiking, sewing, and softball and hopes to travel the world someday.


Tempe Maybe Willey

Tempe Mabe Willey '16

The MSLT degree gave Tempe several career opportunities. She began with a year of adjunct instructor appointments in Spanish at Utah Valley University and in Linguistics at Utah State University. In 2017, she landed a position with Western Governors’ University as Mentor to undergraduate students in the Elementary Education program.


Haitao Zhao

Haitao (Brenda) Zhao '16

Before she even graduated, Haitao already had a teaching position lined up. She was hired as a middle-school Chinese teacher in one of Utah's Dual-language Immersion programs..


Dora Brunson

Dora Brunson '15

Dora is from Taiwan. She graduated from National Cheng Kung University and Utah State University with three Bachelor’s degrees in Foreign Language and Literature, Business Information System, and Accounting. While working at Utah State University as a Business Manager, she entered the MSLT program as a non-traditional student where she learned the pedagogy of language teaching and enjoyed the program tremendously. Dora volunteers at the citizenship class at the English Language Center of Cache Valley and occasionally teaches at Utah State University. She loves to travel, watch movies, and experience different cultures.


Mohammed Hussein

Mohammed Hussein '15

When Mohammed came to USU to teach Arabic as a foreign language as a part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Program, he audited courses in the MSLT program. Following this time as a Fulbrighter, he enrolled in the MSLT program to expand his expertise as a teacher of Arabic. Upon completing his Master's degree, Mohammed took an Arabic teaching position at the University of Minnesota. Mohammed is convinced that he obtained this job because of the professors in the MSLT program and everything he learned here.


Aliza Kroek

Aliza Atkin Kroek '15

Upon completing her Master's degree, Aliza entered the PhD program in German at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Her career goal is to become a professor of Comparative Cultural Studies, specializing in Germany and the USA.


Fred Poole

Fredrick J Poole '15

Fred entered the MSLT program after having taught EFL in China for six years. Through the MSLT program Fred not only developed and expanded his understanding of theoretical and practical language teaching pedagogy, but also gained valuable research and teaching experience.  Upon earning his MSLT degree, Fred was accepted into the Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences PhD program at Utah State University, where he received a Presidential Fellowship for his first year.  In the PhD program he will continue his research on language teaching and technology in the classroom.


Yasmine Kataw

Chad Saunders  '15

Chad graduated from the MSLT program in 2015 and is currently teaching Spanish and leadership at Wahlquist Jr. High in Weber School District in Utah. He loves helping students have immersion experiences and leads groups to Central and South America.


Jessica Lee

Jessica Pryor  '14

Upon finishing the MSLT degree in 2014, Jessica took a position as high school Spanish teacher in Tennessee.  While she had been a high school teacher before joining the MSLT program, Jessica knew that the courses she took in the program and the opportunity she had to teach college-level Spanish as a Graduate Instructor significantly boosted her professional development, both in terms of using the target language close to 100% to the time and in terms of effective methods and techniques.  In 2017, Jessica began a doctoral program at Murray State University in the P20 Community Education & Leadership.


Kyle Hatch

Kyle Hatch '14

Kyle is from Columbia Falls, Montana. He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelors in Spanish with an emphasis in teaching and minors in History and Latin American Studies. He is currently teaching Spanish at North Davis Junior High in Clearfield, UT. He is interested in researching the use of multimedia, specifically commercials in an L2 classroom.

Kyle's hobbies include photography, traveling, sports, hiking, and camping. His favorite place is Glacier National Park in Montana.


Martin Briggs

Martin Briggs '14

Martin Briggs graduated from the MSLT program in Spring 2014. Since entering the program, he has enjoyed teaching Spanish and ESL in elementary, university and adult education settings in the United States and Colombia. He loves his job as an elementary teacher in Utah’s Spanish Dual Immersion program in Park City.


Zina Tsai

Zina Tsai '13

Before she was enrolled in the MSLT program, Zina was a special education teacher and part time English teacher in Taiwan. She earned her degree in 2013. Since then, she has been working at an elementary school in Sandy, Utah as a first grade dual immersion Chinese teacher.


marie lund

Marie Lund '13

Marie received her undergraduate degree from Utah State University in Spanish Teaching with an ESL minor and a teaching license. After several years of part-time work in public education as an ESL teacher in grades K-9, Marie returned to USU to pursue the MSLT degree. Following graduation from the MSLT program in 2013, Marie resumed teaching ESL in the public schools and also began teaching as an Adjunct at USU in Spanish and in Education. This broad teaching experience led Marie to a position as Lecturer in USU's Teacher Education and Leadership department in 2018. 



Wenrui Chen

Wenrui Chen '13

Wenrui earned his MSLT degree in 2013 and immediately found a position with Davis County School District in Utah, where he has been teaching Chinese as a Dual Language Immersion teacher at elementary, middle, and high schools.


Curtis Smith

Curtis Smith '10

Before entering the MSLT program, Curtis had learned Korean and spent several years in South Korea. The MSLT degree enabled him to land a position at Woosong University in Daejong, where he has been teaching English for several years. He enjoys the challenges of living outside the USA and loves interacting with his students in the Culinary Arts program at Woosong.


Katie Hansen

Katie Hansen '09

Following her completion of the MSLT program in Dec. 2009, Katie moved to Korea to help establish an intensive English program at Far East University. She returned to USU to teach in the IELI department for a year before moving to Washington, D.C.. Katie has been working at Georgetown University since January 2012. She teaches a variety of courses including High-Intermediate and advanced reading/writing/research courses, as well as low-Intermediate and Intermediate listening/speaking, and grammar courses.


Bob Weber

Bob Weber '08

After completing the MSLT Program in 2008. I took a job teaching Spanish in Goshen County Wyoming for 2 years. After the 2010-2011 school year, I took a job in my home town of Lovell, Wyoming where I am currently teaching Spanish, the acting ESL instructor for grades 6-12, and coaching football and track. The MSLT Program has helped me tremendously in my efforts to teach a foreign language and in teaching English to non-proficient speakers.


Liji Waite

Liji Waite

The MSLT prepared Liji to obtain a teaching position in the Blaine County School District in Hailey, Idaho. He is having a blast teaching Social Studies classes in Spanish in the district's Dual Immersion Program. He teaches World History, Global Perspectives, Hispanic Culture and AP Spanish Literature and Culture. Only one other school in the entire state of Idaho offers AP Spanish Literature and Culture and his class was the biggest (17 students compared to four in the other class). All of his students that sat for the AP exam passed it.


Michael Olsen '07

Michael Olsen '07

After completing his MSLT degree in 2007, Michael began a doctoral program in Hispanic linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh. The MSLT degree prepared Michael to teach all levels of Spanish language and linguistics courses at the University of Pittsburgh while pursuing his PhD. Michael is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Montana and teaches courses in Spanish applied linguistics, Spanish phonetics, Hispanic linguistics, and foreign language teaching methods. He also conducts research in the second language acquisition of Spanish phonology and morpho-syntax.


Aubrey Olsen Bronson

Aubrey Olsen Bronson '06

The contrast between the climates and natural surroundings of Utah and Hawai’i could not be greater. This is what Aubrey found when she began teaching English courses and training ESOL teachers at BYU-Hawai’i upon completing her MSLT degree in 2006. Her favorite assignment has been to develop and teach a course called Teaching English to Young Learners. Aubrey says "I am amazed at the way the MSLT can lead to so many different adventures. This one has been the perfect career path for me!"


Clay Williams

Clay Williams '05

Having long been interested in all things East Asian, Clay was delighted to be selected for a one-year U.S. State Department English Language Fellow position in Taiwan after finishing the MSLT program in 2005. Following the Taiwan adventure, Clay enrolled in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) PhD program at the University of Arizona. Upon earning his doctorate in 2010, he took up his present position as assistant professor at Akita International University, a small, liberal arts, English-medium university in northern Japan. He currently teaches a variety of graduate and undergraduate linguistics, psycholinguistics, and SLA courses, and he is actively engaged in research and publication on issues of cross-orthographic effects on L2 literacy learning.


Harunori Miyagi

Harunori Miyagi '05

After completing the MSLT degree at Utah State University, Harunori got a full time job, got married and started his PhD in Education. The MSLT program not only prepared him to study hard and gain skills in academic research, but also taught him to think eclectically beyond one area of expertise. At present, he works at Soka University in the Faculty of International Liberal Arts.


JC Vazquez

JC Vazquez '04

Since graduating from the MSLT Program, JC Vazquez has been teaching at Utah State University. For the first four years, he taught intermediate Spanish classes as well as Latin American Culture and History classes. Currently, he works at the College of Education and Human Services in its Teacher, Education, and Leadership (TEAL) Program, where he teaches Multicultural Education and Foundations in Education. Another part of his responsibilities is to supervise student teachers in local high schools.  In addition, JC has conducted cultural and linguistic competence training at various workshops and conferences throughout the country.


James Flamer

James Flammer '04

Exchanging Northern Utah for Southeast Asia, James used his MSLT degree to serve as a Teacher Collaboration and Community Outreach Volunteer for the United States Peace Corps in Thailand.  He returned to pursue an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California.  With his doctorate in hand, he took a position as a Senior English Language Fellow with the United States Department of State.  He moved with his family to Erzurum, Turkey, where he taught EFL, American History, American Culture, Applied Linguistics, and English Language Teaching courses at Atatürk University.  He currently directs the International Student Retention Programs at the University of Arkansas.