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Our Academic Staff and Faculty

Our staff and instructors are experts in the fields of teaching English as a second language (TESOL), second language acquisition, intercultural communication and linguistics. We require that all of our instructors have a minimum M.A. in TESOL or a master’s in a related field with a TESOL certificate. In addition, many of our instructors have extensive research, teaching, training and publication backgrounds.

Tina Castillo is the academic/associate director and interim co-director of the International English and Professional Programs. She has an M.A. in Spanish linguistics with special course work in TESL and a B.A. in Spanish with a French minor from the University of California, Davis. She is also a trained ACTFL/ETS oral proficiency tester. She has taught both Spanish and English as a second language at UC Davis, and in Bogotá, Colombia, she taught English as a foreign language at the Centro Colombo-Americano and at the National University. She has given various presentations at national and international conventions and conferences for English teachers and international educators. In her free time, Tina enjoys singing with her family, dancing, cooking with friends, camping, watching movies, organizing Colombian cultural events and, most importantly, hanging out with her granddaughter, Sofia.

Suzanne Bardasz has a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) with an emphasis on K-12 ESL instruction from SIT Graduate Institute. She also graduated from John Carroll University with a B.S./B.A. in psychology and sociology with academic honors and a concentration in cultural diversity. Suzanne has a certificate in principles of online teaching from TESOL/University of Wisconsin-Eau Clare, completed coursework with the International Teacher Development Institute and studied Polish at the Jagiellonian University School of Polish Language Studies in Krakow, Poland. She also taught English communication, writing and science writing courses to undergraduate and graduate students at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea. While in Korea, Suzanne helped in creating and teaching a teacher training curriculum and proofread technical/scientific papers for students and scientists in the area. She has been teaching at UC Davis’ Division of Continuing and Professional Education since August 2013 and has been teaching ESL since 2005. Before coming to the Division of Continuing and Professional Education, she taught ESL/EFL to students of all ages, backgrounds and language levels in Poland and the United States. In her spare time, she likes to travel, read, attend concerts, go to movies, listen to music, play the piano, cook and study different languages and cultures.

Matthew Doyle has a B.A. in Spanish and psychology from the University of Minnesota, and completed a TEFL certificate course at Hamline University. He has a research master’s in linguistics from Leiden University in the Netherlands. After finishing his B.A., Matt spent all of 2006 in Guadalajara, Mexico, where he taught English at the Instituto de Comunicación Internacional, primarily teaching business English He has been a teacher at UC Davis Extension since the summer of 2011 and teaches in both the four-week Communication and Culture Program and the 10-week Intensive English Program.  He has taught grammar, composition, reading and vocabulary classes, and especially enjoys helping beginning students take their first steps in learning a new language.  When not teaching, he enjoys travelling to new countries and meeting people from other cultures.  In Davis, he enjoys playing basketball at the ARC and golfing.

Sonja Follett has master’s degrees in applied sociology and TESOL from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a B.A. in English Literature and Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining the International English and Professional Programs program, Sonja worked for a collaborative program between the U.S. State Department and PH International as an English language teacher trainer in Gori, Georgia. She also served as an English language fellow for the U.S. State Department at Khovd University, in Khovd, Mongolia, where she was a TESOL lecturer, secondary school teacher trainer and access instructor at Khovd’s American Corner. She also facilitated online teacher training courses through the State Department’s E-Teacher program for teachers and teacher trainers selected through their embassies. In her free time, Sonja loves to read, cook for friends and family, practice her Georgian language skills, and find local symphonies and museums to enjoy. Being native to Northern California and a third-generation teacher, Sonja was very happy to return to her favorite state and her family after an extended time overseas and on the East Coast!

Christina Gifford is originally from rainy Seattle, Washington. She moved to sunny California in 2009 for graduate school and is slowly adjusting to the weather. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Central Washington University and a master's degree in linguistics/TESOL from UC Davis. She is certified to teach adult ESL, as well as elementary school, and has five years of experience teaching English to both children and adults at all levels. Christina has been teaching ESL in the Intensive English Program at IEPP since 2011. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and biking. She also enjoys learning in her free time; her research interests are on historical linguistics, technology in the classroom, second language acquisition and language change.

Sasha Kingsley started teaching English when she was volunteering abroad in Thailand to help with the tsunami relief effort in 2004.  After several more years of traveling and teaching, she realized that teaching English to international students was the perfect career for her because it combined both of her passions – learning about new cultures and teaching. Sasha has a certificate in TESL from UC Berkeley Extension and a master’s in education from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching in the Intensive English Program at IEPP since fall 2012. In her spare time, Sasha enjoys camping with her family, making Halloween costumes and painting.  She also enjoys traveling and has been lucky enough to visit Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Thailand, Laos, Hong Kong, Australia, France, Spain, and Italy.

John Leyva is a senior ESL instructor and the listening & speaking curriculum coordinator for IEP. He has as a master's degree in applied linguistics from San Francisco State University and has been working in the TESOL field for 20 years. He has worked in several countries, including Korea, Russia and Saudi Arabia. He taught writing courses for UC Berkeley Extension and English for academic purposes at universities in Boston and Japan, where he gained much experience using technology in the classroom and teaching presentation, academic research and computer skills. John has been a teacher trainer for the Cambridge-run CELTA program in San Francisco, and he directed a university-affiliated English program in Spain. His professional interests always center on how to give students meaningful practice of language.

Brian Lockhart, a lifelong EFL/ESL professional, has specialized in teaching all aspects of language and culture to international students for more than 25 years. After graduating with a double master’s degree in linguistics & Spanish from Southern Illinois University, he taught English as a foreign language in Madrid, Spain, before settling in Davis, California. He has taught at UC Davis’ Division of Continuing and Professional Education since 1990. His recent teaching focus includes courses in TOEFL preparation, grammar, composition, and American idioms and expressions. Brian also serves as textbook coordinator and is involved with Sakai, an online community creating technology that enhances teaching, learning and research.  He was at the forefront of the implementation and use of SmartSite, an online collaboration and learning website adopted at the IEPP as an academic resource for staff and instructors. In his spare time, he enjoys family activities including traveling, camping, and team sports.

Elizabeth Morrison has a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from Penn State University, an M.A. in TESOL from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a B.A. in international relations from UC Davis. She is passionate about teaching and has taught English for academic purposes, English for specific purposes, survival English and conversational English in Finland, South Korea and the U.S. She has mentored teachers in training, scored the test of Written English for ETS, presented at regional and national conferences, and edited technical papers for publication in professional journals. She strives to create a classroom environment in which all students have an equal opportunity to learn and every voice is heard and respected. With a lifelong love of foreign languages, she speaks French and Greek and is studying graphic information technology in the School of Engineering at Arizona State University.  Her daughter, Katri-Alexandra, is her greatest joy. 

Teresa Pargeter, M.A., TESOL, has been an ESL instructor since 1992 and started teaching at UC Davis Extension in 2006. She has taught in Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam, California, Washington and Oregon. In Japan, she worked for the Ministry of Education, teaching high school students, organizing and teaching English seminars for advanced students, and conducting and participating in teacher development workshops. In China she taught business English to employees of a circuit board factory and for the People’s Liberation Army as a special foreign consultant doing professional development. She taught at the Vietnam-USA Society’s language in Hanoi and at the Hanoi School of Business. In Oregon, Teresa taught university-level ESL with a focus on composition and advanced speaking and listening, and in Washington she provided language-support classes for Taiwanese students enrolled in the master’s of education degree. Teresa created and implemented an English for Professional Development course to Chinese Language instructors at the Defense Language Institute, worked with numerous practicum students helping them prepare for a career in teaching and has administered the TOEFL exam both domestically and overseas. 

Sara Proctor earned her B.A in English from California State University, Chico, and earned her M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 2003. After finishing her M.A., she received an English Language Fellowship through the United States Department of State to teach English at Josip Strossmayer University in Osijek, Croatia, where she was also responsible for conducting teacher training and development workshops. Sara returned home to teach ESL at various schools in Boston, New York and California.  In addition to teaching, her professional experience includes academic directorships at schools in New York and San Francisco, participating in accreditation reviews, and attending and presenting at conferences. When she is not teaching, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband riding their bikes, skiing in the winter or planning their next travel destination.

Christina Schiesari has been teaching at UC Davis Division of Continuing and Professional Education's Intensive English Program since 2008. Christina is TESOL-certified, has a B.A. in theatre arts from San Francisco State University, an MBA from Sacramento State University, an M.A. in comparative literature from UC Davis, and is in the completion phase of her Ph.D. in comparative literature from UC Davis. She has been teaching in a variety of programs since 2004, including drama, humanities, literature, foreign language and ESL. Her research interests include early modern English, French and Italian literature and drama, especially Shakespeare. She speaks several languages, including Italian and French, and she loves to travel. In her free time, Christina enjoys acting and directing, riding horses and raising her daughter. Her biggest passion is teaching, and she loves being a part of IEP.

Renée Spruce Veatch has an M.A. and B.A. in English from Stanford University. She taught for fifteen years at Stanford University, including teaching workplace literacy and ESL courses for staff development, and has been a tutor for freshman composition and American literature courses.  She also trained and supervised student teachers in TOEFL and advanced ESL for volunteers in Asia and Student for Eastern European Democracy programs at Stanford University.  Renée has developed and taught TOEFL curriculum, college preparation English, critical thinking and American culture classes at IEPP since 1992. Her other teaching experiences include an eight-week nutrition course, women’s self-defense, English garden design, herbal medicines and beekeeping courses.  She also has a flower farm, sells flowers and perennials at a farmers’ market, and is active in the farming community.

Stacey Williams has an M.A. in TESOL from California State University, Sacramento, and a B.A. in international relations from California State University, Chico. She has been teaching English since 1990 and has been teaching in the IEPP at UC Davis’ Division of Continuing and Professional Education since 1997 and has taught course levels ranging from beginning to advanced in all subject areas, including grammar, reading, writing, communication, media studies, pronunciation, U.S. culture and society, public speaking and TOEFL Prep. She has taught for the U.S. State Department in both Fulbright Scholar and Hubert Humphrey Fellow programs. Stacey is currently interested in EFL teacher training and development. Stacey has taught TEFL courses for the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Colombian Ministry of Education, the Colombia Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Embassy in Colombia and Guangzhou University in China. Together with colleagues from the IEPP, Stacey has been co-presenter at the International TESOL Conference, CATESOL Conferences and CSU Sacramento Reading Conferences, presenting ways to use reading to integrate multi-skill language development. Before coming to the IEPP, Stacey lived for three years in South Korea, where she taught at ELS Seocho, Sisa-Yong-O-Sa, in Seoul.