Meet the Staff
Vinodini Murugesan is director of English Language Programs at Brandeis University and serves the department as its academic specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Education, with honors, in Teaching English as a Second Language from Exeter University in the U.K., a Master of Arts 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 at Brandeis.
Murugesan organizes and oversees the office of English Language Programs, including the Gateway Scholars Program. She designed the academic model for the Gateway program and created the accessory programs that support it. She also supervises the talented group of staff, instructors and academic tutors that work with English Language Programs.
Murugesan has extensive international experience in the field of education as academic theory, government policy and commercial enterprise. She worked for the Ministry of Education in Malaysia as a teacher educator to research, plan and conduct teacher education programs. She has designed various teacher education programs based on language acquisition theory as well as the practical reality of language-learner situations in various places. She has also worked with international publishers as an education specialist, writer/editor and marketing consultant, and has co-authored several ELT resource books.
Amy Rinaldo is associate director of English Language Programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in art history, with a minor in political science, from the University of California, San Diego, and a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Vermont.
Rinaldo has taught English to speakers of other languages in China, Thailand, Poland, California and Boston, with students from more than 30 countries. She has worked on program and curriculum development in a variety of contexts, including elementary education; literacy and adult education; job-readiness programs; standardized test preparation; and higher education. Additionally, she has trained future teachers in a TEFL certification program and has served as an internship supervisor for TESOL graduate students.
Rinaldo serves as lead instructor for the Academic Oral Communication component of the Gateway Scholars Summer Program and supervises ELP courses for Brandeis' Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She designs and conducts English language workshops focusing on speaking, listening, and writing for the Brandeis International Business School, and holds on-site office hours there in the fall and spring semesters
Rinaldo is passionate about experiential learning and empowering students through interactive explorations of language, culture and effective communication. She led a demonstration on creating a do-it-yourself corpus during SIT’s 2015 Sandanona Conference, reflecting her interest in corpus linguistics and how the authentic language found in language corpora can help unlock language patterns and be used to facilitate effective teaching and learning. She also presented on teaching nonverbal communication at the Grad Student Forum at TESOL International 2015, highlighting her interest in pragmatics and cross-cultural awareness. Rinaldo is a firm believer in creating instruction and programming that promotes not only academic success, but also the holistic development and well-being of all students.
Scott Moore is the analytical writing specialist for English Language Programs. He received both BA and MA degrees in English from California State University, Chico, before earning a PhD in English from Brandeis in August 2013.
From 2009 to 2018, Moore taught numerous sections of Composition and the University Writing Seminar for the writing program at Brandeis. During his graduate work, he taught several courses in literature and rhetoric in writing, served as a writing tutor and workshop leader, and worked as a technical writer for the CSU Research Foundation. He received training in writing pedagogy from both CSU and Brandeis and is TESOL-certified. He has taught Analytical Writing for the Gateway Scholars Program since 2014, and he also teaches the program’s fall ESL 1a: Critical Reading and Analytical Writing.
Moore enjoys working with students from varying cultural, economic and educational backgrounds, and appreciates the fresh perspective and insight that generates from diverse student thinking. He values contextual approaches to scholarship, and challenges his students to consider how past texts and ideas inform our understanding of the present. Often, this means turning analytical attention to contemporary television, film and digital media as well as other textual objects from American popular culture.
As a writing teacher, Moore also enjoys helping students to conceive of composition as a recursive process, one which begins in focused thought, and transforms through sustained drafting and revision. His dissertation examined the failure of meritocracy in 19th-century U.S. literature and culture, and current research interests include social mobility and inequality studies, writing pedagogy for TESOL instruction, and approaches to teaching grammar in context.
Moore is also interested in the American Western, and he has presented work on Andrew Dominic’s film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He is a repeat contributor to ESQ’s Year in Conferences project, and his written work has previously appeared in ATQ, as well as the volume, “Facing Melville, Facing Italy: Democracy, Cosmopolitanism, Translation.”
Angela Tribus Ramos is the academic oral communications specialist for English Language Programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Juniata College in Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Vermont.
Tribus Ramos is a returned Peace Corps volunteer, and she has taught English to speakers of other languages in Ecuador, China, Costa Rica and the U.S. She directed a nonprofit community learning center and served as a teacher educator for the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education. She has also worked on community-based initiatives within the U.S. to promote access to language acquisition support and financial literacy for English language learners.
Tribus Ramos’s research interests include Roman Jakobson’s communicative functions of language, sociocognitive theory, and music and language acquisition, and she has presented on these topics at the National Conference for Teachers of English, in Costa Rica, and SIT’s 2016 Sandanona Conference.
At Brandeis, Tribus Ramos teaches academic oral communications courses to undergraduate and graduate students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She also provides one-on-one oral communications tutorials for graduate students at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management as well as for visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows and other English language learners at Brandeis.
Sarah Wagner is program administrator of English Language Programs. She holds a bachelor's degree in international studies and Spanish from Denison University in Ohio and an MSEd in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.
Wagner first became interested in international education while studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. After college, she taught English to high school students in Spain for two years and has since taught English to refugees, immigrants and international students in Cleveland and Philadelphia. While earning her master’s degree, Wagner trained and mentored international graduate students in her department and coordinated Penn’s international student orientation.
She is interested in working with her colleagues at ELP and throughout Brandeis to create a supportive environment where international students thrive. Wagner’s departmental responsibilities include providing managerial support to the director of English Language Programs, managing the Gateway Buddy Program, supervising student staff throughout the academic year and assisting with the implementation of all ELP programs.