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Featured Alumni



Here is a sample of the important contributions our alumni are making to the field of second language acquisition research and teaching.


Meena Singhal, Ph.D. (1999)
Long Beach City College


Meena Singhal is currently the Associate Vice President of the Pacific Coast Campus, Long Beach City College where she has oversight of PCC Operations, Academic Services, and Library. She is also the founding editor of The Reading Matrix: An International Online Journal which focuses on second language reading and literacy.  

Sumru Akcan, Ph.D. (2002)
Boğaziçi University

Sumru Akcan is currently a faculty member in the Department of Foreign Language Education at Boğaziçi University. She completed her M.A. in Literacy: English as a Second Language at the University of Cincinnati and her doctorate degree in the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Program of the University of Arizona. She works as a referee for the Modern Language Journal.

Julian Heather, Ph.D. (2003)
California State University, Sacramento


Julian Heather is Coordinator of the MA in TESOL Program at  California State University, Sacramento. He has developed an  extensive set of online materials for teaching phonetics to future  high school and ESL teachers. His research interests include the  development of corpus literacy in pre-service teachers.

Gail Shuck, Ph.D. (2001)
Boise State University

Gail Shuck is Associate Professor of English and Coordinator of English Language Support Programs at Boise State University. Her work on language ideologies and multilingual speakers/writers has been published in Language in Society and the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education. Her recent article in WPA:Writing Program Administration won the award for Best Article of 2005-2006. During the summer of 2008, she co-facilitated with Vivian Zamel a workshop on integrating second-language writers into college writing programs, which took place at the annual conference of the Council of Writing Program Administrators.

Otis Phillip Elliott, Jr. Ph.D. (1995)
Southern University

Otis Elliott has taught for more than 20 years and currently teaches at Southern University and A & M in Texas. He has taught Chinese, ESL and Spanish. Dr. Elliott has lived abroad extensively in Asia and Latin America. Most recently, in Xi’an, China, he trained 31 China central government civil servants in ESL and American culture: these government officials will attend Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy in the fall of 2010. Dr. Elliott was a Fulbright Scholar in 2008-2009 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where he was Program Advisor for a new English co-teaching program in the city’s public elementary schools. Dr. Elliott was also a Faculty Mentor for two Alliance International Research for Minority Scholars programs in Africa: 2000 in Namibia and 2001 in Ghana. Among his interests, Dr. Elliott enjoys tutoring English rhetoric to ESL/EFL students and is currently assisting to develop an ESL program for Southern University.

Nariyo Kono, Ph.D. (2001)
Portland State University

Nariyo Kono's recent work focuses on Native American community learners as well as Japanese heritage language learners. Her recent community-based research focuses on Kiksht, one of the most endangered Native American languages in the Northwest. She is in the process of developing both graduate and undergraduate certificate programs for endangered language revitalization at Portland State University to serve students' and communities' needs.

Ning Yu, Ph.D. (1996)
University of Oklahoma

Ning Yu is currently an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. He is a Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics and the School of International and Area Studies, the University of Oklahoma. His recent research, focused on the relationship between language, culture, and cognition, attempts to reveal, via systematic study of language, how bodily experiences contribute to human meaning, understanding, and reasoning in cultural contexts. He is editor, with Farzad Sharifian (Monash University, Australia), of a scholarly book series "Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts" published by John Benjamins (Amsterdam and Philadelphia). He also serves as the review editor of International Journal of Cognitive Linguistics (Nova Publishers, New York).

Shanthi Nadarajan, Ph.D. (2008)
University Malaysia Sarawak


Shanthi Nadarajan is attached to University Malaysia Sarawak as a Senior Lecturer with the Center for Language Studies. She is also a consultant for the Malaysian Smart School project.  She works in the field of English for Specific Purposes and language studies in Borneo.

Xin Wang, Ph.D. (2008)
National University of Singapore


Xin Wang holds the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore.

Kyoko Masuda, Ph.D. (2002)
Georgia Institute of Technology

Kyoko joined Georgia Tech in 2004 and has been promoted to Associate Professor of Japanese and Linguistics in 2010. A specialist in Discourse, Second Language Acquisition, and Cognitive Linguistics, she has published several articles in the journals such as Modern Language Journal, New Directions in Applied Linguistics of Japanese, Japanese Language and LiteratureNihongo Kyooiku, Southwest Journal of Linguistics, CLS, and Japanese/Korean Linguistics. Currently, she is the Linguistics Certificate Program advisor and is interested in expanding this program at Georgia Tech as well as developing new upper level courses for the Japanese major. 

Kimberly L. Geeslin, Ph.D. (1999)
Indiana University

Kimberly L. Geeslin joined the faculty of Indiana University in the fall of 1999, after receiving an M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) from the University of Arizona. In addition to her work with the department of Second Language Studies, she currently serves as the Director of the Hispanic Linguistics Program in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

Alan Brown, Ph.D. (2006)
University of Kentucky

Alan Brown is an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Kentucky and was recently published in the Modern Language Journal (Volume 93, Issue 1). The title of his article is "Students' and Teachers' Perceptions of Effective Foreign Language Teaching: A Comparison of Ideals". Another article is scheduled to be published in Hispania and will be titled "How Spanish Teachers and their Beginning-level University Students Perceive FL Teaching Practices—Ideally and Concretely."

Bryan Meadows, Ph.D. (2009) Fairleigh Dickinson University

Bryan Meadows is currently an assistant professor of second language acquisition at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.  His research is focused on the relationship between nationalism and language teaching. 
Autumn Witt, Ph.D. (2010) Northwest University

Autumn Witt is an assistant professor for English, ESOL, and is the Director of the Center for English Language Education at Northwest University.

Jeremy Leland Palmer, Ph.D. (2009) American University of SharjahJeremy Palmer is currently an assistant professor at the American University of Sharjah located in the Persian Gulf. He has taught courses in Arabic language and linguistics at institutions such as Cornell University, Brigham Young University, Middlebury College and the University of Arizona. His areas of research are sociolinguistics, professional development, technology in language learning, and study abroad and intercultural communication. He has been involved in teacher-training activities in Egypt, Oman, Syria and the USA. Prior to his academic career he worked as consular assistant/Russian linguist at the American Embassy in Moscow, Russia.

Boon Joo Park, Ph.D. (2007) Kyungpook Natl. University, South Korea

Boon Joo Park is an assistant professor at Kyungpook National University located in South Korea.
Clay Williams, Ph.D. (2010) Akita International University, JapanClay Williams is an assistant professor for English for Academic Purposes at the Akita International University located in northern Japan.
Kamolthip Kamolthip Phonlabutra, Ph.D. (2007) Phetchaburi Rajabhat University, ThailandKamolthip Kamolthip Phonlabutra is a faculty member of Humanities and Social sciences at Phetchaburi Rajabhat University, Thailand. Recently, Kamolthip published a study for The International Academic Forum titled Directions for developing educational management for immigrant children with community participation: A Case Study of Banlaem, Phetchaburi, Thailand.
Kelly Lowther Pereira, Ph.D. (2010) University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Kelly Lowther Pereira is an assistant professor for the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She teaches many advanced spanish courses and is interested in issues with bilingualism.

Lance R. Askildson, Ph.D. (2008) University of Notre Dame

Lance R. Askildson wears many hats at the University of Notre Dame.  He is assistant provost for internationalization, director of the Center for the Study of Languages & Cultures, associate professor of second language acquisition, a faculty fellow for the Kellogg Institute of International Studies, and a faculty fellow for the Nanovic Institute for European Studies.

Nadia Hamrouni, Ph.D. (2010) University of Manouba, Tunisia

Nadia Hamrouni is a faculty member of Arts and Human Sciences of Sousse, University of Manouba, Tunisia for the Department of English. She is presently researching Arabic syntax, Arabic morphology, cognitive linguistics, and gesture.

Paul Lyddon, Ph.D. (2007) Miami UniversityPaul Lyddon teaches courses in Foreign Language Education and TESOL at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio as an assistant professor. He is also Co-Director of ESOL MIAMI, a USDE grant-funded project aimed at developing and implementing a framework to enhance the preparation of pre-service teachers and other personnel who work with K-12 English language learners in mainstream school and social service settings.
Neil Johnson, Ph.D. (2011) University of Aizu, Japan

Neil Johnson is an assistant professor and member of the Center for Language Research at the University of Aizu, Japan.

Theresa Catalano, Ph.D. (2011) University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Theresa Catalano is an Assistant Professor of Second Language Education/Applied Linguistics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is researching media portrayal of immigrants in the United States and Italy, political discourse analysis, multilingualism/third language learners, literacy in less commonly taught languages and technology, and language discrimination.

Yoshiko Okuyama, Ph.D. (2000) University of Hawaii at Hilo

Yoshiko “Yoyo” Okuyama is an associate professor in the Department of Languages at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. She has taught both linguistics and Japanese studies courses, including several distance education courses. Her most recent publication, Japanese Mythology in Film: A Semiotic Approach to Reading Japanese Film and Anime (2015, Lexington Books) was released in April 2015. Her research articles have appeared in academic journals in the fields of disability studies (predominantly of deaf populations in Japan and the United States), technology-assisted language learning, semiotics, media studies, and religion. In 2014, she received a fellowship to teach at Nanzan University in Japan. During the spring 2015 semester, she visited the U of A as a SLAT alumna. 

Last updated 3 May 2015