Gateway Faculty 2013
Below were the faculty for our 2013 season. The members of the 2014 faculty will be posted here soon.
- Cheryl Brintnall is the Program Director for the English Language Program at Brandeis University. She teaches graduate writing and oral communications courses for GSAS and IBS students and oversees the English Language Tutoring Program for international students. In addition, she teaches Academic Oral Communication for the Gateway Scholars Program.
Cheryl enjoys learning about her students’ cultures as much as teaching them about American culture and communication skills. She has studied several languages, including French, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, and German and especially loves to read in French and Spanish. She also likes to travel and practice using these languages as well. Cheryl holds a TESL/TEFL certificate, a bachelor’s degree in Business Law and Entrepreneurship (summa cum laude) from Babson College, and a master’s degree in English Literature (summa cum laude) from SSU. In addition to teaching at Brandeis, Cheryl has taught ESL and Freshman Composition at several universities throughout Massachusetts. Prior to teaching in academia, Cheryl founded her own business where she worked with multinational corporations and universities to develop communications programs for international executives and graduate students.
Janaina Dalben is a Ph.D. candidate in the Humanities at Salve Regina University. This is her first summer of teaching with Brandeis University. For the past two years, Jana has been a college-level instructor, teaching Psychology, Sociology, Algebra, and ESL at several Boston-area colleges. Jana used to be a public school foreign languages instructor and tutor, providing bi-lingual tutoring in Math, Social Studies, Reading, and Writing to low-income, non-English speaking students and teaching foreign languages to English speakers. She also worked as a freelance interpreter and translator for a few years. Jana has studied several foreign languages, including English (as a former ESL student), Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, and French. She also spent two summers studying and volunteering in China and the Philippines and one summer taking graduate-level courses and researching British literature and philosophy in Oxford, UK. Jana holds a B.A. in Psychology with minors in English and Biblical Studies from Hannibal-LaGrange University and an M.A. in International Relations with a concentration in Asian Studies and Culture from Salve Regina University. Jana is a firm believer in education and in providing people with the opportunity and the necessary tools to seek and obtain knowledge. She loves teaching and being around her students.
- Alex Lough teaches Analytical Writing for the Gateway Scholars Program at Brandeis University. She is a PhD Candidate in American History at Brandeis and recently defended her dissertation. She will receive her degree in August 2013. Alex previously served as a writing tutor in the English Language Program and has taught the University Writing Seminar. While completing her PhD, Alex worked as a teaching fellow in the Brandeis History department and published two articles in peer-reviewed journals. She holds a bachelor’s of arts in Political Science from the University of Pacific in Stockton, California where she graduated with honors and was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior of the Political Science department. Alex enjoys traveling and learning about other cultures.
- Vinodini Murugesan serves as Academic Specialist for the English Language Program and Gateway Scholars Program at Brandeis University. She holds a B.Ed. (Hons.) TESL degree from Exeter University (UK), an MA in English Literature from the University of Malaya, and a joint MA in English Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University. She is currently completing a PhD dissertation in English and American Literature, also at Brandeis. She has served as University Writing Seminar instructor and as Teaching Fellow for various courses as part of her doctorate degree. She has also served as a tutor for the English Language Program for several years.
Vino has had extensive international experience in the field of education, whether as commercial enterprise, government policy or cutting-edge academic theory. She has worked with an independent international publisher as an ELT editor and marketing consultant, having previously served for some years as a lecturer at a teacher education center under the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. As a teacher educator, she researched, planned and taught both in-service and pre-service teacher education programs. She designed these programs based not only on education theory but the practical reality of ESL situations in various places. She has presented several papers at international conferences and has had several ELT articles published. She co-authored an EFL resource book published in 2007 in tandem with an accompanying teacher-training program. Vino is a firm believer in the value of continuous professional development, and she endeavors to keep abreast of current developments in both education and literary criticism.
- Beth Semel recently completed her MA in Anthropology at Brandeis, and is excited to be teaching in the Gateway Program once again before she begins her doctoral studies in History, Anthropology, Science Technology and Society (HASTS) at MIT in the fall.
While finishing up her BA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing at Emerson College, Beth decided to enroll in a TEFL certificate program at the Boston Language Institute. She has been teaching and tutoring ESL students in various capacities and learning more about cultural differences in learning styles ever since. Beth's scholarly interests in cultural and linguistic anthropology, and her research on how clinical psychology and psychiatry students are trained to practice therapy with non-American patients, drive her commitment to teaching ESL. Beth loves hearing about her students’ backgrounds and their perspectives on American life and helping students get a handle on the culture of the American university classroom. She brings to the Gateway Program her fist-hand experience of what it means to be a Brandeis student. As a language-learner herself (she has studied Spanish, Italian, and will be studying Haitian Creole for the first time this summer) she also brings a firm understanding of how challenging—and exciting—learning and thinking in another language can be.
- David Tennant is in his first year with the Gateway Scholars Program. He holds a BA (Honors, Highest Distinction) in Literatures in English from UC San Diego where he also minored in Linguistics and completed coursework in Spanish-language Literature up to the Masters level. He also holds an MA in English from Boston College where his research concentrations were Renaissance poetics, drama, and pedagogy. At Boston College, Tennant taught classes in first-year Composition and Literature as well as an upper-division Shakespeare course for English majors. For five years, he was an instructor in English and the Humanities at Mount Ida College where he taught a range of courses from developmental writing to an inter-disciplinary Junior Seminar. He has also served as chair advisor for both Honors and Senior Capstone projects. Tennant currently teaches in the College Writing Program at UMass Lowell and the Accelerated Learning Program at Middlesex Community College.
Tennant’s work with ESL students began as a peer tutor in the Writing Center at Los Angeles Valley College in 1997. More recently, he continued that work as a professional tutor in the Writing Center at Mount Ida College, and he has now worked with ESL students from China, Japan, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, Haiti, Nigeria, Egypt, and Cameroon. In 2011, he advised an International student on her Senior Capstone thesis on Japanese-American Food and Culture. Tennant enjoys working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, and he is especially committed to education as a transformational experience.
- Sabine von Mering is an associate professor of German and director for the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis. As a German national who has lived in the United States for 17 years (and is now a naturalized U.S. citizen) with U.S.-born children, von Mering understands very well what it means to be an international student and to navigate the challenges of a multicultural existence.
Von Mering began her exploration with five years of training as a teacher of English as a second language at the Universities of Köln and Göttingen in Germany. (She also studied Latin, French and Dutch). After her state exam in Göttingen, she worked as a translator and interpreter at Business Language Consultancy in London. In 1992 she became the German language scholar at Reed College in Portland, Ore., where she studied Spanish and organized German cultural events. At the University of California-Davis, she earned a doctorate in German literature and women's studies.
Von Mering's pedagogical training includes courses in second-language acquisition and pedagogical psychology. In 1998, she joined the faculty at Brandeis, where she currently teaches courses in German language, European cultural studies and film studies, as well as Jewish-German cultural history. She has also taught cross-cultural introductory humanities courses to first-year students and directed a six-week Berlin summer program for three years. As director of the Center for German and European Studies, she produces a rich co-curricular program on the Brandeis campus, with lectures, conferences, author readings and film screenings throughout the academic year.