Sabine von Mering
Sabine von Mering is Professor of German, Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Director for the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis University. 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.
David Tennant is in his third 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 English language learners 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 international 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.
Laura John is the lead Analytical Writing Instructor for the Gateway Scholars Program. She received her B.A. in archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. in anthropology from Brandeis. From 2004-2015, she taught six sections of Composition and fifteen sections of the University Writing Seminar for the Writing Program at Brandeis. She has also taught several courses in the Anthropology Department and in the Summer School in that time.
Laura appreciates interacting with students from various cultural backgrounds, because they consistently bring fresh perspective and insight to various subjects. She particularly enjoys discussing students’ ideas about everyday cultural matters like film, television, and informal speech. She also enjoys helping students begin the academic process of transforming initial thoughts to a first draft, and transforming that first draft through the process of revision into a polished final written product.
Her own current research interests center on discussions of the national past versus presentations of local identities in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and in two smaller museums on the Isle of Skye, where she did her dissertation fieldwork.
Scott Moore earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from California State University, Chico, where he taught courses in literature, composition, and rhetoric in writing. During his stay in Northern California, he also spent time as a writing tutor, and worked as a technical writer for the CSU Research Foundation. Scott received his Ph.D. in English from Brandeis in August 2013; his dissertation was about the failure of meritocracy in nineteenth-century U.S. literature.
Scott currently teaches Composition for the University Writing Program at Brandeis University. He is also TESOL certified, and has taught sections of the University Writing Seminar (UWS) built around topics such as the frontier in the American imaginary, and the manifestation of aristocracy in American literature and culture.
Amy Rinaldo is excited to be working with Brandeis University’s Gateway Scholars Summer Program as an Academic Oral Communication instructor. She earned a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Political Science from University of California, San Diego and is finishing her M.A. in TESOL from the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute, Vermont.
She has taught English as an additional language for a total of five years in China, Thailand, Poland, and the US, and has worked with students from over 25 countries. She is passionate about empowering students through interactive explorations of language, culture, and effective communication. Amy led a demonstration on creating a do-it-yourself corpus during SIT’s 2015 Sandanona Conference, reflecting her interest in corpus linguistics and how language corpora can be used to facilitate effective teaching and learning.
Steven Plunkett is eager to be working with the Gateway Scholars Summer Program at Brandeis University as an instructor for the Academic Oral Communication course. He earned a B.A. in literature with a minor in philosophy from Albion College in 2004 and an M.A. in English Literature from Brandeis University in 2006. Steven received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Brandeis University in July 2015. He has taught students from over a dozen countries in Composition and UWS courses within the Brandeis University Writing Program, where he has taught since 2007.
Steven has also taught courses in the English Department and the Summer School, and worked extensively with students on their academic work as a former director of the Brandeis University Writing Center and former editor of the annual Brandeis Writing Program student writing publication Write Now! for 2012, 2013, and 2014. Steven is passionate about finding connections between the disciplines and about helping his students discover points of similarity across their areas of interest.