Faculty & Staff

The faculty at CIES represents more than 75 years of combined teaching experience, both in the United States and in many countries around the world. All hold a Master's Degree or higher. We all love teaching and are dedicated to helping our students, not only to improve their English, but also to help them have a pleasant and enlightening experience in America.

For more information on our faculty evaluation and promotion procedures, please see the CIES Bylaws.

 

INTENSIVE ENGLISH PROGRAM (IEP)

Felicia Ciappetta

Felicia Ciappetta, MS 
Instructor, IEP Coordinator

Felicia holds a Masters degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Florida State University. In addition, she received a BA in Spanish with a minor in Education from Florida State in 2002. Felicia is also the IEP Coordinator at CIES.

"If you can dream it, you can achieve it." -Walt Disney

Victoria Davis

Victoria Davis, MS 
Instructor, Reading Skills Coordinator  
 

Victoria holds a Masters in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Florida State University as well as a BA in International Affairs from Florida State University. She also holds a Practical Theology Degree from CFNI in Dallas, Texas. Victoria taught English as a foreign language for one year in Seoul, South Korea at Seoul Women’s University. She also taught ESL courses with EF Internationl, and has hosted several students from various countries around the world. Victoria was recently in Valencia, Spain completing a teaching internship at a local high school. In addition to being an English teacher, Victoria enjoys learning other languages and has been studying Spanish for a number of years. She has taken numerous volunteer trips to Guatemala over the past five years.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln

Ryan Flemming

Ryan Flemming, MS
Instructor, Computer Lab Coordinator

Ryan holds a Masters degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Florida State University and has been teaching at CIES since 2007. Additionally, he has experience in ESL materials development and has coauthored textbooks at CIES in Grammar and Reading. Ryan enjoys studying and playing music of all kinds and loves to explore the similarities between how people learn languages and how they learn music.

"Withhold no sacrifice, begrudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe, [and] all will be well." -Sir Winston Churchill

Vicky Golen

Vicky Golen, MS 
Instructor

Vicky holds a Master of Science degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Florida State University and a BA in English from Valdosta State University. She taught ESL for East Central Technical College in rural Georgia and completed a study abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. Recently, she interned for the Programa de Formación de Maestros Bilingües de la Amazonía Peruana (FORMABIAP) in Iquitos, Peru where she focused on educating language teachers from the indigenous populations of the Peruvian Amazon in current teaching methodologies.

"Will that make me something? Am I something? Will I be something? And the answer comes, 'Already am, always was, and I still have time to be." -Anis Mojgani 

Sana McHarek

Sana McHarek, MS
Instructor

Sana holds a Master’s Degree in English Education from Florida State University and a BA in English from the University of Letters and Humanities in Tunisia, her country of origin.
She began her career as an EFL high school teacher. After finishing her graduate studies in the US, she went back to Tunisia where she taught EFL at the university level for 2 years.
Sana speaks Arabic and French. She enjoys swimming and the outdoors.

“It’s not what is poured into a student that counts, but what is planted.” -Linda Conway

Hunter Pelt.jpg

Hunter Pelt 
Graduate Assistant

Hunter holds a Bachelor's degree in French and Middle East Studies with a concentration in Arabic from Florida State University. He has been TEFL certified through CIES and taught as an EFL tutor at FSU's Student Athletic Academics Department in 2016.

"You must not come lightly to the blank page" --Stephen King

Angel Rios

Angel Rios, MS
Instructor, Testing Coordinator

Originally from the island of Puerto Rico, Angel moved to the United States to learn English in 1994. This process marked the start of a passion for languages, which led him to also study French and Italian.  Angel holds a Bachelors in French Education and a Masters in Multicultural/Multilingual Education with a TESOL concentration.  He is currently working on his PhD and focusing his research in the field of childhood bilingualism.  In 2008 Angel was nominated for the governor's Excellence in Education Award and in 2009 he received the Teacher of Promise Award for the state of Florida.  Later in 2010 he also received the Teacher of the Year Award.  Angel taught in the International Baccalaureate Program, working with international students for four years and joined the CIES family in 2013. 

Calyn Stringer

Calyn Stringer, MS
Instructor

Calyn earned her Master’s degree in Socio-cultural International Development Education Studies and her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Florida State University. She also earned her TESOL certificate at FSU. Calyn got her start teaching English as a second language in Kyiv, Ukraine, where she taught for four summers at a summer language camp. Calyn teaches full-time at CIES and also teaches a community ESL course for people in Tallahassee who want to learn conversational English. She loves running, playing ultimate Frisbee, and visiting new places.

"We shall have all eternity to celebrate our victories, but we have only one swift hour before the sunset in which to win them." -Robert Moffat 

Rebecca Turk

Rebecca Turk, MS
Instructor
 

Rebecca is a current Doctoral Candidate within Foreign and Second Language Teaching at Florida State University. Additionally, she holds a Master of Science degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from FSU. She is currently working on the dissertation phase of her PhD which focuses on connections between music and language learning within a classroom setting. She was previously a high school ESOL teacher and Site Coordinator for an ESOL program as well as an instructor for an adult ESOL education program in the state of Florida, where she holds state certification in ESOL, English, Spanish, and Elementary Ed. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys being outdoors, playing guitar, and doing research! She is grateful to have the opportunity to work at CIES with such amazing staff and students!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us." -Marianne Williamson

Leslie Wagner

Leslie Wagner, MS
Instructor, Composition Skills Coordinator

Leslie holds a Master of Science degree in Foreign and Second Language Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Florida State University. After earning a certificate in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from CIES in 2011, she spent nine months teaching in southern Chile through the Chilean Ministry of Education's English Opens Doors Program. Leslie began teaching at CIES in the fall of 2013, left to complete an internship in the ESOL program at an elementary school, and returned to CIES in the summer of 2014.

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time that we fail." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Candace Warmka

Candace Warmka, MS
Instructor, Grammar Skills Coordinator

Candace holds a Master of Science degree in Foreign and Second Language Education from Florida State University as well as a BA in Japanese (with business concentration).  She is also certified as a K-12 ESOL teacher in the state of Florida. After receiving her BA, she spent one year in South Korea teaching English where she discovered her passion for teaching ESL. She returned to Florida State to complete her Master’s  degreeand has now been working at CIES for several years.  She enjoys having a job where she can share and exchange language and culture every day.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”-Benjamin Franklin

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson, M.Ed
Instructor, CIES Nole News Editor 

Andrew earned a Bachelor’s in Linguistic Anthropology from Emory University and a Master’s Degree in ESOL/Bilingual Education from the University of Florida. Andrew completed honor’s coursework in education and linguistics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Prior to coming to CIES in Summer 2014, Andrew taught for 3 years at the University of Florida English Language Institute as well as an additional year teaching in the UF Linguistics program. Andrew also worked for two years with the University of Florida’s Center for African Studies and served on the editorial board of African Studies Quarterly. Andrew’s other teaching experiences include two years teaching middle school social studies in a public school as well as a summer teaching English language learners in Brussels, Belgium.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” -Desmond Tutu 

ACADEMIC LIAISON

Olivia James

Olivia James, MS
Academic Liaison to FSU, ACES Program Coordinator

As Academic Liaison, Olivia guides CIES students through their transition from full-time intensive English study to full-time university coursework.  She consults with students about finding the right U.S. schools, and she coaches them in creating the best possible application documents. In particular, she is a go-between to the FSU graduate school. She introduces promising CIES students to key people in their chosen departments. 

Olivia holds an M.S. in Multilingual/Multicultural Education and a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish. For her doctorate, she is focusing on the globalization of universities. She has been a literacy program director, a private school principal, a policy analyst for the Florida Legislature, and a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) for which she was recognized as teacher of the year.

“A special kind of beauty exists which is born in language, of language, and for language.” -Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962) French philosopher and poet.

STUDENT LIFE COORDINATOR

Jennifer Dickinson

Jennifer Dickinson 
Student Life Coordinator, Recruiter

Jen has a BS in Biblical Studies from Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA. She has been teaching high school for 10 years and is now happy working in higher education at FSU. She has enjoyed experiencing different cultures while traveling in Central America and is now experiencing cultures from around the world here in Tallahassee.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” -Jim Elliot    

INTERNATIONAL TEACHING ASSISTANT (ITA) PROGRAM

Maria Beatriz Mendoza

Maria Beatriz Mendoza, PhD
English for International Teaching Assistants Instructor/Coordinator

Maria Beatriz completed her Doctorate in Multicultural/Multilingual Education at FSU in 2004 and has been the International Teaching Assistant Coordinator for Florida State University and CIES since 2005. A recipient of the FSU Fordyce Award for Outstanding Teaching, Maria Beatriz taught English as a Foreign Language in Venezuela for 3 years and then at CIES for 6 more years. Maria Beatriz is an expert in ESL writing and developed the CIES Composition book series. She is a native of Venezuela and speaks Spanish.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world” –Nelson Mandela

"One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen, can change the world."  --Malala Yousafzai

Jenny Grill

Jenny Grill, PhD 
English for International Teaching Assistants Instructor

Jenny earned her doctorate in Adult Education at Florida State University in 2003; she holds master’s degrees in Adult Education and in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from FSU as well.
She started her career in EFL in 1991 in Switzerland where she taught English and learned German. She has been able to combine her interests in adult education and language learning through teaching university courses on adult learning, teacher education in English language learning (ELL), applied linguistics, and writing.

“...every journey, honestly undertaken, stands a chance of taking us toward the place where our deep gladness meets the world's deep need.” --Parker J. Palmer

TEACHING ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE (TEFL) PROGRAM

Ramin Yazdanpanah

Ramin Yazdanpanah, MS
CIES-TEFL Program Coordinator

Ramin holds a Masters in Multilingual/Multicultural Education and a BA in International Affairs. He began teaching ESL at CIES in 2002. In 2003, Ramin taught one year in Madrid, Spain at the International Academy of Languages before returning to CIES. Ramin has also taught ESL courses in Educational Technology and Cross Cultural Communications at Flagler College, Tallahassee branch. In addition to being an instructor, Ramin is an expert in ESL materials development. An example is his “American Interviews”. He is a recipient of the FSU Fordyce Award for Outstanding Teaching and speaks Farsi and Spanish.

"Your mind is like a parachute. It only works if it is open." - Anthony J. D΄Angelo, The College Blue Book 

Ah-Young Kim

Ah-Young Kim, MS 
CIES-TEFL Program Instructor

Ah-Young holds a Master’s degree in Multilingual/Multicultural Education from Florida State University as well as a BA in French Language and Literature from Korea. She has written CIES grammar textbooks at FSU,  and she has also published a series of grammar books in South Korea.

"Vouloir, c’est pouvoir!" ("Where there’s a will, there’s a way.")

ADMINISTRATION

Patrick Kennell

Patrick C. Kennell, PhD
Director 

Dr. Kennell keeps CIES running on a daily basis and is a very student-centered director. His door is always open, and he encourages students to come by to express their needs and desires. Dr. Kennell is constantly looking for ways to ensure that all students have the chance to make the most of their opportunities at CIES.

In addition to holding a PhD. in Multicultural/ Multilingual Education from FSU, Dr. Kennell has over 20 years of experience teaching English, not only at CIES, but also in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Denmark. His experience, as both a teacher of English and student of Danish, has taught him the value of using classroom knowledge in the real world.

"A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for," Patrick says. "Get out and experience everything that you can while here in Tallahassee. Your best classroom is out there!"

Peggy Gary

Peggy Gary 
Program Assistant

Peggy is a native of Florida. She grew up in Crawfordville, Florida which is just south of Tallahassee. Peggy has worked at Florida State University for over 15 years. For the last 12 years, she has worked with international students. Peggy says that "this is my passion!" She goes on to say, "At the end of each day, I feel as if I have travelled all over the world after talking with my friends here at CIES!" Peggy's philosophy on life can be summed up in the following quote:
 
"The unexamined life is not worth living...Wisdom begins in wonder."

Lisa McClellan

Lisa McClellan 
University Business Administrator 

Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Florida State University, and was employed as a bookkeeper in the private sector for twenty years. She has served as accountant and Human Resources representative for CIES since 2009.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller

Lacey Moret

Lacey Moret
Program Assistant

Lacey holds a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Social Ministry from Palm Beach Atlantic University. Growing up in South Dakota, she always knew she wanted to travel and see the world. So far, she has visited 21 countries. Her favorite country is Romania because of the volunteer work she has done with several orphanages. Lacey hopes to eventually go back to school and earn her Master’s degree in Social Work, but for now she is very excited to part of the CIES family.

“There are many in the world dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.” -Mother Teresa  

Michelle Claycomb

Michelle Claycomb
Office Assistant

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Sciences from Florida State University. Michelle loves what she does at CIES. Working with international students has been an incredible experience. Every day she feels as if she has learned something new.

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford

Claire Sipple

Claire Sipple
Student Services & Media Support

Claire earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs from Florida State in 2011. Since then she has been working as an administrator at FSU on behalf of the University’s international student population. Claire is passionate about meeting people from all over the world who are very different from herself and introducing them to the wonderful city of Tallahassee. Claire lived and taught English in Recife, Brazil in 2010 and loves having the opportunity to work with Brazilian students at CIES.

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." -C.S. Lewis

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