January 31, 2014

Valparaiso University Staff

Becky-Shelton Rebecca Shelton, Director

Rebecca Shelton has over 20 years of experience working with international students, and has been serving as director of INTERLINK Language Center at Valparaiso University for the past fourteen years. Her alma mater is Wheaton College, where she majored in English and earned a teaching certification. Rebecca has been to the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan for both for professional and personal reasons. The professional development she has gained through TESOL, NAFSA, and English USA as well as the collaboration that she has had working with many other ESL professionals has been invaluable. What she likes most about INTERLINK is its mission to help students succeed and a curriculum that has students learning by doing. She finds that helping to train both teachers and students in authentic learning is richly rewarding. Rebecca believes that seeing students succeed and working with them personally brings a lot of satisfaction and meaning to the work done at INTERLINK.

2015-1-Donna-551x640-1 Donna Huchel, Administrative Assistant

Donna Huchel joined the INTERLINK staff in May of 2014. Her previous experience with health insurance companies and billing software programs has been helpful for her in handling INTERLINK finances and assisting students in understanding their health care benefits. She appreciates the attitudes the students have toward learning about American culture and the English language, and she enjoys the opportunity to be part of helping them to succeed.

Jennifer Shelton, Senior Academic Coordinator

Jennifer Shelton is the Academic Coordinator for the INTERLINK Language Center at Valparaiso University. She has been working with international students for over a decade. She has an M.A. in Intercultural Studies and TESOL from Wheaton College. Jennifer lived and taught in China for many years working with university students there. She has also volunteered in a community program that helps internationals learn English, and has spent the last few years supporting INTERLINK students through instruction, academic support, and cross-cultural orientation. She can’t imagine a better job. She is an ordinary person, but she gets to experience the world through her job. Jennifer loves the growth and experience, personal connection, and expanded horizons that teaching international students brings. She feels there is also a sense of humility that is continuously reinforced by working with students who are capable of such high achievement, and who constantly challenge her worldview with their own.

Will Abercrombie, Instructor

Will Abercrombie began teaching at INTERLINK in January of 2014, after finishing his MA in Intercultural Studies and TESOL from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. Will’s passion for teaching English began during his undergraduate years in Auburn, Alabama, where he worked as a volunteer Adult ESL teacher to immigrants and international students from Latin America and Asia. After graduating with a BA in Psychology from Auburn University, Will moved to China to teach college-level English for 1 year. Returning to Auburn in 2011, Will continued teaching English in a variety of other contexts including workforce ESL to Korean Engineers, online tutoring to students in Korea, as well as volunteer work in IEP and Adult ESL settings. In the summer of 2013, Will traveled back to China, but this time to conduct teacher training to Chinese junior, middle school English teachers. When he is not teaching, Will enjoys playing guitar, ping pong, and practicing his Mandarin Chinese.

Lisa Stodder, Instructor

Lisa Stodder has been an instructor at INTERLINK since 2007. A native of Chicago, she has an MA in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she was a writer and assistant editor for internal publications. Prior to that she taught English to adult ESL learners and TOEFL prep classes to college-bound students. Travel has taught her a lot. She was fortunate to be a frequent visitor to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as spend time in an intensive language program in the South of France. These experiences, among others, have shaped her outlook on life and influenced how she teaches in the classroom. At INTERLINK she appreciates the student diversity and the flexibility to experiment with a variety of approaches and methods. Outside of work Lisa’s interests are literature, film and tennis.

Brian Williams, Instructor

When Brian Williams was young he read the James Bond books, and believed that James Bond was cool because he could speak French and German and went to lots of exotic places around the world.  Maybe reading those books sparked Brian’s interest in learning about other people and places.  In school, Brian was lucky to be able to study in France, England and Germany.  His career teaching English as a Second Language began in Morocco, where he served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.  He later volunteered again and taught in Sri Lanka.  He has his undergraduate degree in English literature from Middlebury College and earned his masters in teaching ESL from the School for International Training. Brian has visited over 20 countries and has taught at INTERLINK at Valparaiso University twice – in the mid-1990s and again starting in 2011.  He has also been a newspaper reporter and a high school English teacher in his career.

Chris-Phillips VU Chris Phillips, Instructor

Chris Phillips has been an instructor at the INTERLINK Language Center at Valparaiso University since 2008. She has a BA in English and Psychology, an MA in English Studies and Communication with a TESOL certificate, both from VU, and is working on her MA in TESOL, also at VU. Having been raised in a town surrounded by people of her culture and similar cultures, she has always enjoyed learning more about other cultures. Chris was raised bilingual which also led her to being interested in other languages. When she is not teaching, Chris enjoys spending time with her friends, reading (anything from fantasy to science fiction to classic literature to poetry and to comic books), making jewelry, and writing. She has been writing poetry and short stories since elementary school and recently began to get some of her pieces published. She has also written five novels, all of which are at various stages of editing.

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