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.

 
Alvarez

MICHELLE ALVAREZ
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!

 
Ana Aguilar

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!

 
Alvarez

IDALIS ÁLVAREZ-PERKINS
Faculty and Level 4 Coordinator

MA TESOL, Florida International University
BA Elementary Education, Rowan University

I was born and raised in southern New Jersey. From an early age, I knew I wanted to be an educator. I have a BA in Elementary Education from Rowan University and an MA in TESOL from Florida International University. I have over ten years of teaching experience with English Language Learners, ages three to sixty three! I have had the opportunity to travel and volunteer in many countries, including those in Europe, Asia, and Australia. I feel lucky to be able to blend my passions for learning about new cultures with teaching English.

 
Dawn Arrol

DAWN ARROL
Faculty

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

Relatively new to the University of Miami and the Miami area, I'm thrilled to discover for myself the broad range of cultures and people in this lush city of cities. My younger years were spent in small town Michigan and Gainesville, Florida. 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 languages 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 students 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

BARBARA BARRETT
Faculty

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.

 
Nina Castro

NINA CASTRO
Administrative Assistant

BA International Relations, Florida International University
BS Family, Youth and Community Science, University of Florida

I was born in Nicaragua and was raised in various different countries around Central America and the Caribbean. I came to Miami when I was a little girl and have enjoyed living in such a culturally diverse city. I can't wait to meet each and every one of our new students and please come say hello whenever you're in the office. I love traveling and I have visited 19 countries so far. I also enjoy trying out new restaurants and watching movies on Netflix so let me know if you have any movie or restaurant recommendations.

 
De Varona

AMANDA DE VARONA
Faculty

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.

 
Jessica Driemeier

JESSICA DRIEMEIER
Student Services Manager

BA International Affairs and History, Florida State University

I grew up in southwestern Illinois in a very small town with no stoplights near St. Louis, Missouri. I moved to Florida to attend Florida State University, where I met many new and interesting people from all over the world. Through FSU, I was able to study abroad in Valencia, Spain and London, England which gave me an appreciation for services provided by international offices. Some of my hobbies are playing sports, hand games, and knitting, but I love trying new activities and learning new things, so feel free to drop by my office and tell me something about your home culture or teach me a new game!

 
Gudheim

CALLA GUDHEIM
Faculty

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.

 
Kaeiser

MATT KAEISER
Faculty

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.

 
Kramer

DAVID KRAMER
Faculty

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

DIANE MAHIN
Faculty

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.

 
Trisha Tatum Morillo

TRISHA TATUM MORILLO
Faculty

MA Ed TESL, University of Kansas
BFA Fine Arts, University of Kansas

Since childhood I have had a natural curiosity about other cultures and languages, which led me to Spain to teach English. It was during my time living abroad that I developed my appreciation for the language learning process. My favorite part of teaching English is helping my students reach their goals and watching them succeed. Another aspect of teaching English I love is learning about my students' countries and cultures, as well as, having the opportunity to facilitate cross-cultural learning in my classroom. It is a pleasure to be a part of the IEP at UM to have the opportunity to work with international students to help them on their path to reaching their goals.

 
Naghib

SAGHAR LESLIE NAGHIB
Faculty and Level 5 Coordinator

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

HELEN PARK-CAVALLIN
Faculty and Levels 1 and 2 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 travels and teaching English as a second language in New York, I am living in Miami with my Argentinean husband 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.

 
Samantha Parkes

SAMANTHA PARKES
Faculty

MA TESOL, American University
MA English: Language, Literature and Composition, University of Kansas
BA English: Literature and Writing, Graceland University
BA Music: Vocal Performance, Graceland University

A true Midwesterner, I was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Iowa and Kansas. I loved reading and writing from an early age and have tried to learn about other languages and cultures throughout my life. I have been teaching English in one way or another since I graduated from Graceland University and began a graduate program at the University of Kansas. While teaching in Moldova as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I had the opportunity to learn Romanian and live in a new culture which was a life changing experience. Ever since then, I've enjoyed teaching international students in places like Chicago, the DC Metro area, Nicaragua, and Kansas. I'm fortunate to be a teacher because I believe my students end up teaching me more than I could ever teach them.

 
Patience Phillips

PATIENCE PHILLIPS
Faculty

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.

 
Marissa

MARISSA PIPINO
Faculty


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

A native of New York City with over ten years of teaching experience, I recently relocated to Miami. 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.

 
Natalie Yaonan Song

NATALIE YAONAN SONG
Marketing Coordinator

BS Communication, University of Miami

I was born and raised in China, and moved to the United States in 2007. I started my college education here at the University of Miami Intensive English Program. After one semester at the IEP, I went on to the U for my bachelor's degree. During my college life, I was very involved with the international student body on campus as a student organization leader. In May 2012, after graduating with my bachelor's degree, I have continued my journey at the University of Miami as an employee. I love to learn about different cultures and different languages, and I will be more than happy to share my experience with you and help you with your life at IEP. Last but not least, welcome to the U, and enjoy your time here.

 
Ethan Talmadge

ETHAN TALMADGE
Faculty and Level 3 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.

 
Zwanziger

JENNY VARGAS
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.

 
Wenig-Mori

CARA D. WENIG MORI
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 for over a decade. 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 a pleasure to know that teaching English as a Second Language will contribute to students' future opportunities.