Robert L. Steiner, Chairman of the Board
Founder and Chairman, Robert Steiner
has had extensive experience in the field of cross-cultural training and international
education. He has held key posts in management and training in the U.S. and abroad;
was Director of Cross-Cultural Training and Research at the University of Hawaii;
served as Director of the Fulbright Commission in Iran; started and directed the
Peace Corps programs in Afghanistan and Iran, and was later promoted to Peace
Corps Regional Director for North Africa, Near East and South Asia; worked as
Executive Director of New Jersey Education Consortium; and has been a consultant
at the United Nations. As a chief executive officer of government agencies and
private institutions, Robert Steiner has managed and promoted world-wide educational
and training projects. He holds an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia
University and a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from the College of Wooster.
He is listed in Who's Who in America. Robert Steiner speaks Farsi and French.
Ahad Shahbaz, President & CEO
President of INTERLINK Language Centers, Ahad Shahbaz has designed and directed
several intensive English language programs in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to becoming
an ESL director in Alabama in 1975, he taught English at State University of New
York (SUNY) at Buffalo and coordinated the Teacher Corps/Peace Corps language
and cross-cultural projects at SUNY/College at Buffalo. In 1977, at the invitation
of Ohio University, Ahad Shahbaz established and directed the Ohio University
intensive English program in Saudi Arabia. An elected officer of several national
and international professional organizations, he has been active in: the American
Association of Intensive English Programs (the first elected Vice President for
Standards); Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (Affiliate President
for North and South Carolinas); Commission on Accreditation of Intensive English
Programs (Task Force Member); and NAFSA: Association of International Educators
(presenter on various topics related to leadership, management of IEPs, and cross-cultural
training). He holds an M.A. in ESL from SUNY/Buffalo and a B.A. in Liberal Arts/Linguistics
from SUNY/College at Buffalo, New York. He speaks English, Dari, Pashto, Spanish,
and is familiar with Arabic and German.
Mark Feder, Curriculum Director
Mark Feder has worked with INTERLINK in many different
capacities. Since his arrival at INTERLINK in 1988, he has been an instructor,
center director at Valparaiso University and Colorado School of Mines and Curriculum
Director. Having taught for the Peace Corps in Liberia and in universities in
Korea, and having studied and traveled in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, Mark
brings to INTERLINK a strong academic background in ESL/EFL, teacher training,
and linguistics. He holds an M.A. and completed course work and comprehensive
exams for a Ph.D. in Classics; received his M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers
of Other Languages from the School for International Training, and has a B.A.
in comparative linguistics. Mark has taught courses in Latin language and classical
literature and has studied over a dozen languages including German, Spanish, and
David Parsons, Executive Director
Parsons has had extensive experience in teaching, research, and administration.
Prior to joining INTERLINK, David Parsons directed a Kellogg Foundation-sponsored
program on agriculture in the liberal arts: "Food, Peace, & International
Development" at Wilmington College of Ohio. He has taught ESL and conducted
cross-cultural research in Algeria. Since 1986, he has worked with INTERLINK as
teacher, assistant director and director of two different campus programs. As
former president of Carolina TESOL, he has been active in the region promoting
standards in ESL programs. David Parsons holds a B.A. from Guilford College in
History and Math; an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Northwestern University;
and a MAT in English as a Second Language from the School for International Training.
He speaks fluent French and is familiar with Arabic and Russian. .
Marshall Brewer, Director of Training and Development
With over 34 years in intercultural education, Marshall Brewer brings multiple perspectives to INTERLINK as Director of Training and Development. He is a presenting member of 12 professional associations of language teachers, including Japan, Korea, and Spain. He has twice served as vice president of the International Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research. From SIT Graduate Institute he holds two degrees, the M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and the Master of Intercultural Administration. Previous to INTERLINK, he worked in many capacities for World Learning, the nonprofit international education organization and taught English language at Greenfield Community College. He has worked and traveled in Europe, Central America and the Caribbean, and East Asia. He speaks German and Swedish and has studied French, Spanish, Thai, and Turkish.
Brad Teague, Center Director, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Brad Teague joined INTERLINK during the summer of 2010 as the assistant director
of the center at UNC-Greensboro. Before coming to INTERLINK, he taught ESL to
international students as well as content courses in the undergraduate and graduate
programs in ESL education at Vanderbilt University. His primary research interests
include second language acquisition and ESL teacher preparation, and he has worked
with current and future ESL educators in both K-12 and adult settings. Brad is
a member of and frequent presenter at international TESOL, Carolina TESOL, the
American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL), the National Reading Conference
(NRC), and the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He has also presented
throughout Mexico, where he lived, studied, and worked for four years. Brad earned
his B.A. in Spanish and linguistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill and then pursued graduate study in a bilingual (Spanish/English) program
at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico, earning an M.A. in
applied linguistics. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. in education from Vanderbilt
University. Brad is highly proficient in Spanish and has studied Portuguese and
Rebecca Shelton, Center Director, Valparaiso University
Prior to becoming director, Rebecca Shelton served as associate director, administrative assistant and homestay coordinator at INTERLINK/VU. She became part of the ILC/VU staff soon after its inception in 1992. Responsibilities since that time have included the publication of alumni newsletters, development of the conversation partner program and homestay program, and oversight of the ILC/VU website. Rebecca's experience prior to joining ILC/VU includes administrative and management responsibilities with a marketing/communications firm and research/analysis in a corporate marketing research department. A graduate of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, she holds a B.A. degree in English literature with a concentration in secondary education. She is currently working on her M.A.L.S. at Valparaiso University.
Mariana Syrotiak, Center Director, West
Integrating her professional passion for languages, cultures, and the arts, Mariana Syrotiak earned two masterís degrees from SIT Graduate Institute, in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and in Intercultural Management. Her bachelorís degree is in Performing Arts. Her intercultural career spans nearly twenty years which includes contributions in theatre, training, language teaching, and academic administration. For part of her eleven years at SIT, she served as adjunct professor, teaching English for Academic Purposes and graduate courses in Organizational Behavior and Intercultural Communication. As the manager of SITís graduate certificate programs in peace-building and conflict transformation, she has worked with professionals and graduate students from over eighty countries. Her travels have been extensive and have taken her to Europe, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Mariana speaks English, Romanian, French, and Spanish, and has studied Russian and Thai.
Patrick Lilja, Center Director, Indiana State University
Patrick Lilja has a decade of experience in the field of international education. He has been a teacher, a teacher trainer, and an administrator. He has traveled to over 50 countries and has spent several years living in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Patrick has presented at TESOL and his current research interest is in the use of teaching manipulatives to engage students with lesson material. He holds a BS in Biology from Cornell University and a M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the SIT Graduate Institute. Curious about places and ideas, he studied for a semester on board the SS Universe Explorer and taught English aboard Japan’s Peace Boat. He has studied Spanish and Japanese.
Dr. Nebila Dhieb-Henia, General Director, Saudi INTERLINK Language Center (SILC)
General Director of Saudi INTERLINK Language Center (SILC), and prior to that Director of Instruction, Dr. Nebila Dhieb-Henia oversees the INTERLINK Women's and Men's Divisions as well as all outreach programs, including the Namouthajiah High School Teacher Training program. With MA and PhD degrees in Applied Linguistics from the University of Manouba, Tunis, she has been involved in facilitating different pre-service and in-service teacher training programs during most of her tenure. Nebila has taught English as a Foreign Language and English for Specific Purposes at the secondary and tertiary educational institutions. An active participant in international conferences in TESOL, TESOLARABIA, and the Maghreb Conference, she enjoys training and writing. Her articles have appeared in English for Specific Purposes, ITL Review of Applied Linguistics, CALL-EJ and English Teaching Forum. Nebila speaks Arabic and French fluently.
Dr. Larry Davies, Country Director,TVTC Saudi Arabia
Dr. Larry Davies has been a teacher, trainer, administrator, instructional technologist and futurist over the past 25 years. He holds a B.A. in English from UCLA, an M.A, in TESOL from the School for International Training, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from St. Thomas University. As a scholar and practitioner, he has dedicated his life to guiding institutions to embrace the paradigm shift in education to meet the exponentially unknowable needs of the 21st century. His interests deal with the use of technology in language learning and the challenges of teaching in the 21st Century. Prior to joining INTERLINK, he worked with multiple colleges and universities developing courses and training teachers. A student of languages, he is adept in Japanese, Swahili, French, and Spanish. He has lived and worked for almost 18 years in places like France, Japan, Kenya, Korea, and Mexico.