The IEP has excellent staff and professional teachers. All of our faculty and staff members have lived in other countries around the world. Our faculty have at least a Masters degree, and many have experience teaching in other countries and speak more than one language.


IEP Executive Director

MA Linguistics, University of Florida
BA TESOL, Eckerd College

I have been working at the University of Miami Intensive English Program since 1988. I have been an IEP faculty member, Level Coordinator and Assistant Director for Academics at the IEP. It has been an extraordinary experience that has allowed me to meet many wonderful students from all over the world. I enjoy making sure that these students make the most of their learning opportunities at the IEP. We have a high quality academic English program that provides students with an education experience that will last a lifetime. I look forward to welcoming you to the IEP at UM!

Dawn Arrol


MA English Language/Linguistics-TESOL, University of Arizona
BA Sociology, University of Florida

I am proud to be a member of the University of Miami IEP' s faculty and I very much enjoy the broad range of cultures and people in this lush city of cities, Mi- ami. My younger years were spent in small town Michigan and Gainesville, Flor- ida. Since the last time I lived in Florida, the appeal of assisting others, delving into the richness of language, and exploring different cultures has led me to teach survival, academic and/or intensive English to speakers of other lan- guages in Arizona, California, Arkansas, The Czech Republic, Bahrain, and The United Arab Emirates. I am enjoying teaching a variety of learners from round the world here at UM's Intensive English Program. I endeavor to help my stu- dents discover and employ their strengths along with different methods of overcoming their weaknesses as they push themselves to be stronger students in both English and content courses.

Barbara Barrett


MS Multilingual Multicultural Education, Florida State University
BS Art Education, Florida State University

I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Maryland. My maternal grandmother’s grandmother was Cherokee (American Indian). My family moved to Florida in 2003, but my blonde-haired blue-eyed twin sister still lives in Maryland. I have a BS in Art Education and MS in Multilingual Multicultural Education from Florida State University. I taught English in Japan for three years before coming to IEP, and can speak Japanese. Helping students to have successful academic and professional careers is rewarding, but I think the best part of teaching at the IEP is the chance meet people from all over the world.

Karen Charris

Administrative Assistant

AS Paralegal, City College Miami

Associates in Science & Legal Assistance

I was born in Queens, New York and grew up in Miami. My parents are Colombian. I earned my AS in Paralegal and I am currently on my way back into school to receive my BS. Most of my adult life, I have worked in the education field. I enjoy speaking to students and getting to know where they come from and what their interests and likes are. I love to help people and see them succeed. I have lived in the USA all my life; for me, every day in Miami, I learn something new. In my spare time I enjoy trying new restaurants, riding bikes and enjoying life to the fullest. Feel free to stop by and let me know of any places you recommend I should try.

Clarissa 'Reese' Moorhead


MA Ed. TESOL, Boston University
BS Journalism, Boston University

I love teaching and interacting with international students because, although I was born in the USA, I grew up primarily in England and Belgium. Because of my international, multicultural childhood, "home" is difficult for me to define. The ESL world is where I feel most at home and I am so lucky that I get to spend my days learning about my students' cultures, as I teach them English and help them to adjust to life in a new country. I have lived and taught English in Peru, South Korea, Boston and Miami and I love to continue to see more of the world. Throughout my experiences learning Spanish, French, and Korean I have realized how challenging but also how rewarding it can be to learn a second, third or even fourth language. I am proud of all students for working hard to learn English and I am very honored to be teaching at the IEP.

De Varona


Ed.D Curriculum and Instruction for ESL and Modern Languages, Florida International University
MA Spanish, Florida International University
BA Spanish, Georgia Southern University

I was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. Even as a young child, my family traveled constantly and I loved to see new places. It was not until I began taking Spanish in high school that I discovered a love for languages as well. During my studies, I have had the opportunity to study and travel abroad in Costa Rica, Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. I love working with students from all over the world, and it is truly a pleasure to be a part of the IEP at UM.

Amy Dean

Student Services Manager

BA Recreation Management, Springfield College

I was born and raised in Westbrook, Connecticut. Even as a child, I loved making new friends and seeing new places. While in college in Massachusetts, I had the chance to study in Italy, and Hawaii and I fell in love with learning about new cultures and traveling to new places. I have lived in 5 different states, and visited 9 different countries, and I am still counting! I am extremely excited to be working with students from all over the world, and to learn something new each day. In my spare time I enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, golfing, and snorkeling. I look forward to working with all of the wonderful IEP students and helping them learn about Miami!


IT Project Specialist

AA Computer Science, Miami Dade College
HDI Certified

I was born in Bogota, Colombia. I moved to Miami at a young age and have lived here all my life. From an early age, I've had a constant passion for technology. I previously worked with UMIT (University of Miami's central IT department) in both the Medical and Gables campuses. At UMIT I was responsible for supporting and maintaining various enterprise level systems. The years of working in the IT industry have given me the opportunity to experience how properly implemented technology can improve a program. As an IT Project Specialist to the Intensive English Program, I have the pleasure of implementing and supporting the technology needs of the program.



MA TESL, Boston University
BA Retail Management, Simmons College

My love for teaching English to speakers of other languages began when I was living in Boston and helping those most in need learn to read and write in their second language. It was there that I worked to develop an ESL program to serve disenfranchised women in the community. Since then, I have taught in a variety of educational settings and have raised my own son to be bilingual. I have started my own business, studied and lived abroad, and struggled to perfect my own second language. It is my diverse background in business, combined with my studies and travel abroad, that enables me to bring a unique perspective of the world into my classroom each and every day.


Faculty and ITA Coordinator

M.S. Ed. in Enrollment Management, University of Miami, Florida
Graduate Certificates in Enrollment Management and Student Life and Development, University of Miami
MA TESOL, Monterey Institute of International Studies
BS Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

I have almost twenty years of experience teaching English as a second language, a lot of graduate credits in counseling, and certification as an Appreciative Advisor. Therefore, I have a real interest in cross-cultural issues. My teaching interests include utilizing active and accelerated learning strategies and using different techniques to help students enhance their memory. My travel experience includes nearly two years in Honduras and extensive travel and study experience throughout Central America, Mexico, and Japan. My hobby is music, and I composed the background music for a professionally produced CD which is used to help relax cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.



MA Modern Foreign Languages, University of Wisconsin
BA Spanish, University of Wisconsin

I have been working in the ESL world for many years in numerous places. I worked in Madrid, Spain, at the North American Cultural Center, ACHNA. Later I returned to the United States to teach English for Academic Purposes at Boston University, CELOP and Harvard University, IELP. Before coming to the University of Miami, I taught Academic English at the University of Sydney in Australia. This extensive teaching experience has given me greater insights to work successfully within an international community. I strive to instill a sense of internationalism in all the classes I teach.

Diane Mahin


MA in English as a Foreign Language, Southern Illinois University
BS in Elementary Education, Illinois State University

My first teaching position was as an elementary education teacher, but I changed to ESL when I began working overseas. Since that time, I have been teaching English as a Second Language and have taught in Brazil and Spain as well as the United States. I love teaching the wonderful international students who come to study in the University of Miami's Intensive English Program. With every new group of students, I learn something different about their countries and cultures. It's a two-way street: we all learn and teach! I am originally from Chicago, but I have been living in South Florida since 1994. Some of my interests include playing and watching tennis, going to the movies and taking care of my parakeets.



MS TESOL, Barry Univeristy
BS Psychology, Barry University
BA English Literature, Barry University

My career began with teaching English Literature, Intensive Reading, and English as a second language at an inner-city high school in North Miami. Since then, I have continued teaching English as a second language to students from diverse backgrounds as well as training pre-service teachers earning an ESOL endorsement for their teaching certificate. I love learning as much as teaching and am currently working on earning a PhD and improving my Farsi. Originally a Miami native, travelling to Europe and North Africa has deepened my appreciation for culture and helped me expand my Persian heritage. I am happy to be teaching at UM's IEP.

Helen Park-Cavallin

Faculty and Lower Level Coordinator

MA TESOL, Hunter College (CUNY)
MA Classical Art & Archaeology, University of Michigan
BA Classics & Fine Arts, New York University

I was born in Seoul, South Korea, but I grew up in New York City. I came to teaching after I had spent time studying and working on the archaeological field in places such as Tunisia and Cyprus. Now, after various international trav- els and teaching English as a second language in New York, I am living in Miami with my Argentinean husband and twin children and having a wonderful time teaching at the IEP. I look forward to continuing my work with the wide array of students that walk through my classroom door.

Patience Phillips


MA Education (TESL), University of Delaware
MA English, University of Delaware
BA English, Indiana University

I was completing work on a degree in English literature when I began working in ESL as a part time tutor. The experience of working with international students was so compelling to me that I changed course and decided to make ESL my career. I completed a second degree in education, specializing in teaching ESL. I then taught English at University of Delaware for ten years, finally leaving in order to teach in Korea, where, as it happened, the majority of my students at Delaware came from. Their stories had enticed me! I taught and eventually coordinated the English program at a large university in Seoul for five years. I love teaching and feel lucky to be able to experience the wider world vicariously through the fascinatingly diverse students I meet in my classroom every day.



MA TESOL, Stony Brook University
BS, St. John's University

A native of New York City with over ten years of teaching experience, I relocat- ed to Miami several years ago. While living in New York, I worked in multiple school settings with students of various ages and backgrounds. During that time, I also had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe and South America. There, I deepened my appreciation for teaching English as well as learning about different languages and cultures. Now, as a faculty member here in the IEP, I truly enjoy all that I get to learn from my students each day.

Nicki Post

Program Coordinator

BA Spanish Literature & Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado

I was born in California, but raised in Colorado and consider it to be my home. Before moving to Miami, I taught English in Argentina, Brazil, and South Korea, and went to film school in the Philippines. I have traveled to nearly 60 countries, across all continents (except Antarctica!), and love finding funky art galleries, hidden coffee shops, and stumbling through an unfamiliar language to make a new friend. I play beach volleyball every weekend, but also enjoy sewing, painting, writing, studying languages, photography and videography. I love living in Miami and being surrounded by different cultures on a daily basis.

Ana Aguilar

Administrative Assistant

BA English, Florida International University

I was born in Nicaragua and moved to Miami as a baby. At a very young age, I became an avid reader and I learned to appreciate words and language. I earned my Bachelor's degree in English from Florida International University and I'm hoping to build on my education in the future with a master's degree. My experiences growing up in Miami, along with my travels to various places in Latin America, have taught me to embrace the many cultural differences represented in South Florida. In my spare time I enjoy going to the beach, sporting events, spending time outdoors, and of course, reading. I am looking forward to welcoming students not only to the IEP program, but also to our richly diverse and beautiful city!

Mariah Schuemann


MA TESOL, Monterey Institute of International Studies
BA Studio Art, Smith College

I first developed my awareness of the beauty and complexities of the globalizing world growing up in Miami— a tropical microcosm that accommodates the merging of cultures, identities, and languages while also preserving their distinctions. This is where my love of English language teaching originates. Traveling outside my hometown, before joining UM IEP, I worked extensively in China as an English language teacher and program director. I first taught at St. Louis-Changsha Foreign Language School in Hunan province. From 2006-2008, I served as a Peace Corps Master’s International volunteer in Guizhou teaching ethnically diverse Chinese college students and also wrote the textbook Something to Talk About (2010). This publication resulted in my Chinese co-writer receiving a State Department funded grant to tour in the U.S. Thereafter, in Xi’an, China, I worked with Partnership Degree Programs and supported the inaugural year of the American-China Exchange Center. I have also studied and traveled in Central and South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. At home, I speak Mandarin with my husband and young son. I am passionate about international education and am very proud to be a part of the UM IEP team!

Ethan Talmadge

Faculty and Upper Level Coordinator

MA TESL, St. Michael's College
BA, University of Denver

Born in New Hampshire and raised in Vermont, I have been involved in ESL / EFL since 1993. I studied English Literature at the University of Denver in CO, and later received an MA TESL degree from St. Michael's college in Colchester, VT. I have lived and taught in Italy, Japan, Spain, Thailand, and Brazil, while gaining a degree of understanding of each culture and their people. In 2006, I returned to the US after nearly 13 years abroad and worked as the Academic Director of an intensive ESL school in Boston, MA for two years before moving to the pleasant climes of Miami, FL. I have always enjoyed teaching, and it is a great pleasure to be a part of UM's IEP.


Associate Director

MA International Administration, University of Miami
BA Social Thought and Political Economy, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
BA Anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

As the Associate Director of the Intensive English Program, I have the pleasure of assisting students with questions about immigration, payments, cultural adjustment, other UM offices and services around Miami. I enjoy working with students from around the world and learning about their countries and cultures. Before coming to Miami, I lived in Mexico for four years, where I taught and coordinated English programs for children and adults. In my freetime, I enjoy swimming, hiking and traveling.


Director of Curriculum and Faculty

M.S.Ed. in Higher Education Administration - Student Life and Development, University of Miami
MA TESOL, Eastern Michigan University
BA Political Science/Social Relations, Michigan State University

I have been involved in the field of English as a Second Language since 1998. Before my arrival at the University of Miami in 2006, I taught in Chile and Ecuador and was a teacher / curriculum coordinator at an intensive English program in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Traveling throughout South America and Europe has shown me the importance of learning other languages to succeed, and it is my hope that assisting IEP students with their academic progress will contribute to students' future opportunities.