Travelers' Bios

Sara Alongi
Sara's belief in the importance of education along with her desire to work with underserved immigrant populations naturally led her to the field of TESOL. After graduation, she hopes to positively impact the lives of recent immigrants through her role as an English teacher.
Monica Berini
Monica Berini has taught for many years in various fields from instructing belly dance classes to elementary school subbing. As an avid traveler and language lover, TESOL is a natural fit for Monica. She looks forward to teaching adult education in San Francisco and teaching internationally in Egypt and Mexico.
Sheila Botein
Sheila was asked by an outplacement counselor to think about what work she'd enjoyed most. It was in Europe and Tel Aviv (implementing new billing systems for telephone companies) which somehow led her to consider ESL and SFSU. In fact, she finds teaching immigrant undergraduates in California a real pleasure.
Katie Brundage
Katie fell in love with teaching when she was a student and ESL Tutor at De Anza College in 1997. After many adventures, she began teaching ESL at De Anza in 2002 and co-developed De Anza's Online Writing Center program in 2003. Outside of teaching, Katie is a graphic designer.
Allison Burns
Ali discovered her niche for TESOL while teaching in Austria. She currently teaches academic English at the ALI at SFSU. After graduation and her summer wedding, she looks forward to dedicating all her time and energy to teaching students in the Bay Area, and hopefully in Spain.
Yoony Choi
Born and raised in Korea, Yoony moved to the U.S. with her family in 1998. As a student, Yoony experienced how the adult ESL program affects adult immigrant students, their families, and their communities. This experience inspired Yoony to join the TESOL program; now she is ready to share the joy of learning with her future students.
E-Chiao Chu
E-Chiao was a high school English teacher and an interpreter in Taiwan from 2002 to 2005. She enjoys designing communicative and interactive classroom activities to promote students' communicative competence. Her goal is to apply what she has learned to teach either Mandarin Chinese or English in the U.S or China.
Stephen Dalton
A veteran teacher of mathematics, Spanish, Latin American history and investment strategies, Stephen is interested in combining various disciplines with ESL in content-based instruction. He is especially inspired by what his students teach him. In his free time, he enjoys bicycle touring and discussing movies.
Pat Davis
Pat has taught in Adult Schools, IEPs, private schools and on-site for companies. She has a particular interest in oral communication skills and work-related training. She finds workplace ESL exciting because it involves tailoring each program for the specific needs of the trainees, who can see an immediate on-the-job benefit.
Ching-Lan Huang
Ching-Lan has been excited about actualizing her teacher dream after graduation. She once experienced the lack of confidence in serving as a non-native English speaking teacher because of the native speaker fallacy; however, now she has got herself ready to start a Communicative language teaching program in her home country, Taiwan. Yes, she can do it.
Tracy Huang
Tracy says that on the journey of learning, she had special moments that helped her realize the most worthwhile learning could be derived from the interaction between teaching and personal experiences. That realization has determined the road to teaching for her and brought her to this wonderful program which has enriched all facets of her life.
Phyllis Johnson
Phyllis is a native San Franciscan whose career explorations led from banking to floristry before blending the practicality and creativity of both in teaching ESL. In addition to helping her students apply English in practical use, Phyllis hopes to encourage them to use English as an expressive medium as well.
Marie Kahn
Marie discovered her love of teaching while studying abroad in Argentina. A stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan and Romania solidified her interest in the field (and gained her a husband). After graduation she plans to teach elementary school, focusing on English language learners.
Youngju Lee
Youngju (Mindy) came from Korea to San Francisco in 2004. She wanted to have experience to share with her students, so she decided to study abroad and join the TESOL program. After a wonderful experience, Youngju is ready to return home and share her newfound expertise with her students.
Brooke Mackenzie
Teaching English in the Peace Corps was Brooke's first introduction to the TESOL profession. She currently teaches academic ESL at the American Language Institute. While her true passion is to work with adult immigrants in the U.S., Brooke plans to teach abroad for some time after graduation.
Pat MacKenzie
Pat studied dance and theatre, operated a business, and worked in electronics manufacturing before a rewarding business trip to Malaysia planted the seeds that would grow into her new career in English language teaching. She eagerly looks forward to graduation and teaching ESOL in the North Bay and in Asia.
Brian McManus
Wanderlust first started Brian in the TESOL profession in Barcelona, Spain in 2000. He caught the teaching bug there and has had no subsequent luck shaking it. His two diverse interests are working with refugee and asylum grantee populations and English as an International Language (EIL), of which he hopes to pursue both when he graduates
Blythe Musteric
Blythe taught her first students in Boulder, Colorado in 2001. From Colorado, her teaching career led her to Fukuoka, Japan, and then to Silicon Valley, where she co-founded Ovient International, a consulting and language services business, while a student at SFSU. Graduation means that Blythe can finally spend her all-nighters on the business.
Mari Ota
After working in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, Mari decided to go back to school, and came to San Francisco to study TESOL in 2005. She did not enjoy English classes at secondary schools at all, but now, she is eager to become a good learner model, who having once failed in learning English, now enjoys and uses it for her occupation, in Japan.
Christine Park
Prior to her studies at SFSU, Christine worked as a headhunter in Korea. Since 2002, she has lived in the Bay area and once asked herself what she would enjoy most for her future job. Now she is ready to be a good "role-model" for Korean learners as an English teacher.
Carol Pragides
Carol is a Korean-American from Chicago who loves San Francisco for its un-Chicago-like weather. She currently teaches listening/speaking and pronunciation at the American Language Institute. After graduating, she hopes to continue teaching and adding to her "bag of tricks." Whenever possible, she loves goofing around with her two young boys.
Lisa Remmer
Lisa's fluency in Russian opened the door to her first job, Pan Am purser. 70 countries later she became a flight instructor, then reinvested her savings into a bilingual Mandarin-English education for her (then 4-year-old) daughter. Currently she's teaching Citizenship, while exploring jobs that integrate her unique commercial pilot background and MATESOL.
Ah Hyang Rim
After traveling through 16 countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa, in her 20s, Ah Hyang Rim (Marlene) turned in her career as a globetrotter to become a high school English teacher in Korea. Her study at SFSU, she hopes, will contribute to a new age of English education in Korea.
Glenda Robinson
Glenda Robinson retired from practicing law to pursue avocations of travel and language study. She wanted to continue working, doing something that involved languages and was also a useful service. Voila, she found her way to ESL, which she has been teaching for five years, and SFSU's MATESOL program.
Alison Ross
Alison Ross has taught English in France, New York City and at the ALI here at SFSU. She has also worked as a translator for the United Nations in Geneva.
Yoko Sakurai
Yoko Sakurai loves traveling, teaching English, and studying different languages and cultures. She treasures her experiences at SFSU and feels grateful to wonderful friends and professors who have encouraged her. She is excited about returning to a private secondary school in Tokyo, where she will implement what she has learned.
Jill Schutz
Jill came to the Bay Area in the year 2000. She likes teaching English because it allows her to meet people from all over the world and learn new things every day. She has taught abroad, but she prefers to stay in the Bay Area and teach international and immigrant students. Her website link is:
Tomoaki Sugimoto
Since beginning teaching in a senior high school in Osaka, Japan, seven years ago, Tom has been intensely interested in improving his students' English so that they can explore global issues. After graduation he will embark on a new chapter of his journey through the TESOL profession.
Kelly Udomsri
Since she was young, Kelly has always wanted to help others. After receiving her MBA and working in the technology industry, she has found her true calling in TESOL and is committed to empowering the adult ESL communities of the Bay Area.
Carl Utleg
After graduation, Carl is looking forward to traveling all over the world and teaching in as many different countries as possible. He is very excited about entering this next phase of his life and expects his career as an English teacher to be a lifelong journey filled with adventure.
Jessica Villat
Jessica began teaching English amidst the rice paddies of Japan. The Franco-American followed her passion for languages at San Francisco State University while working full time in international animation production. Jessica's next destination is her native Europe where she plans to combine her language and management skills with a PhD.
I-Mei Wang
I-Mei had cultivated valuable experiences and a strong interest in teaching English to young learners at the elementary and secondary levels in Taiwan. After graduating from the MA TESOL program at SFSU, she hopes that her study can establish a good foundation for her future contributions to English education in Taiwan.
Erika Weisbrich
Erika's TESOL career spans work in Japan, Turkey, and San Francisco, where she recently specialized in Business English program management. Her favorite teaching job, however, occurred many years earlier, when as a child she helped her grandma, Trini, with her ESL adult school homework. Helping others through teaching is Erika's delight.
Becky Winters
Becky has taught English in Santa Cruz, Davis, and Brazil. She looks forward to graduating and taking her love of travel and teaching overseas. In the future, she plans to live on the California coast and work with adult immigrants.
Kara Zwier Yu
Kara Zwier Yu is an aspiring middle school ELD teacher. She looks forward to getting into the classroom and sharing her enthusiasm for learning with her students. When she's not reading adolescent literature or searching for level-appropriate books for her students, Yu enjoys dancing and sewing.