Current Graduate Assistants | LCIT | SIU

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Current Graduate Assistants

Constance Beitzel

Doctoral Student

Constance Beitzel

Hometown: Grayslake, Illinois

Undergraduate Institution: UIUC

Research Interests: 19th and 20th Century American; Women’s Studies; Theory of the Novel.

Future Career Plans: Teaching, Ranching, and Research

What Attracted Me to SIU: The academic community—including our dedicated professors and collectively cool undergrads.


Ellen Campbell

Doctoral Student

Ellen Campbell

Hometown: Freeport, IL

Undergraduate Institution: University of Illinois Springfield

Research Interests: Theory of the Novel, Victorian Fiction, Women's Studies, Trauma Theory, Social history, Transatlantic studies, and 19th Century American Fiction.

Future Career Plans: I hope to work as a professor of both British and American Literature.

What Attracted Me to SIU: I was attracted to SIU's English graduate program because of its strong 19th century British and American research focuses. I completed my M.A. here in 2013, and chose to pursue my PhD here also because my research interests align so well with many of the faculty's scholarly work.


Jean-Ronel Elveus

Master's Student

Jean-Ronel Elveus

Hometown: Cap-Haitian, Haiti

Undergrad Institution: Université de Sherbrooke Quebec through FERA Cap-Haitian, Haiti

Research Interests: Teacher leadership, professional development for novice teachers, and teacher retention.

Future career plans: My plan is to achieve a PhD in teacher leadership and work as a mentor or coach to pre-service and in-service teachers.

What Attracted me to SIU: I came to SIU through the Fulbright exchange program and decided to stay for my Master’s because of the structure of the C&I program, the expertise of the professors, and the quality of education being offered in the teacher leadership specialization.


Andrea Carolina Espinal Castañeda

Master's Student

Andrea Carolina Espinal Castañeda

Hometown: Colón, Honduras.

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Research Interests: Second language acquisition, translanguaging practices, motivation and multicultural education.

Future Career Plans: I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Education and open a language center.

What Attracted Me to SIU: The environment of the LCIT department and the diversity of faculty members as well as the opportunity to gain experience teaching at the college level.


Wen Hung Hsieh

Doctoral Student

Wen Hung Hsieh

Hometown: Tainan, Taiwan

Undergraduate Institution: I-Shou University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Research Interests: I am interested in anthropological studies on identities, emotions, sensory experiences, objects, embodiment of the body, social reality and linguistic discourse analysis. 

Future Career Plans: I have always wanted to become a professor in hopes to be able to do researches that I am interested in.

What Attracted Me to SIU: SIU is a great research-oriented school and is very resourceful. Many of the professors who I work with are not only very well recognized in the fields, but are also really understanding and helpful. I have learnt so much and enjoyed my program over the past two years in SIU. It is truly a fascinating school for those who are excited and passionate about their studies.


Saori Kusaka

Doctoral Student

Saori Kusaka

Hometown: Okayama, Japan

Undergraduate Institution: Kyushu University, Japan

Research Interests: American literature

Future Career Plans: I would like to teach American literature and culture in my home country.

What Attracted Me to SIU: I was initially attracted to the cultural diversity, a great natural environment, and teaching opportunities SIU provided. Now I also appreciate nice and supportive professors, stuffs, and residents around campus.


Audrey Lemonnier

Master's Student

Audrey Lemonnier

Hometown: Caen, Normandy, France

Undergraduate institution: Université de Caen, Normandie

Research interests: Anglophone literature, French as a Foreign Language

Future Career plans: I would like to teach both English and Anglophone literatures in my home country.

What attracted me to SIU: The University of Caen and SIU have had a great exchange program for many years. I was particularly interested in the teaching assistantship program. It gives me an amazing opportunity to gain some experience in teaching in a multilingual environment.


Laura Martinez Ortiz

Master's Student

Laura Martinez Ortiz

Hometown: Briviesca, Spain

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad de Salamanca

Research Interests: Second language acquisition, multicultural education, learning of history through literature

Future Career Plans: I would like to pursue a PhD in education and be able to teach Spanish to foreign students

What Attracted Me to SIU: mainly the fact that the masters in Spanish ticks all the boxes of what I am pursuing at the moment. Also, the chances of financial support and professional development offered by SIU.


Ekaterina Medinova (Екатерина Мединова)

You can call me Katya.

Ekaterina Medinova

Hometown: Komsomolsk-na-Amure, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Undergraduate Institution: Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Graduate Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz (Campus Germersheim)

Research interests: German studies, teaching German as the first foreign language, interpreting, translating.

Future career plans: My dream is to work as interpreter at UNESCO.

What attracted me to SIU: The exchange program between University of Mainz and SIU gave me an opportunity for a year abroad in Carbondale.


Maria José Talavera Palacios

Master's Student

Maria José Talavera Palacios

Hometown: Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán

Research Interests: Linguistic interferences in Honduran Spanish, influential elements of bilingual education in EFL contexts, specifically in Honduras, and outstanding teaching strategies for EFL students in Spanish speaking countries.

Future Career Plans: I want to continue with a PhD in curriculum and instruction or writing and composition. Ultimately, I want to teach at my alma mater in Honduras applying everything I am learning here. I would also like to do research and publish in my field.

What Attracted Me to SIU: I learned about SIU from former professors who had the chance to study here. I started doing research and found interesting programs in my area, conducted by talented and qualified professors. The openness of this university to international students, the wide range of opportunities and resources available for us, the acceptance of diversity, and the high quality master’s degree program suited my career interests and powerfully attracted me to SIU.


Raluca Elena Mita

Master's Student

Raluca Elena Mita

Hometown: Bacau, Romania

Undergraduate Institution: Virginia Tech

Research Interests: Language pedagogy

Future Career Plans: I would like to teach language and help more students learn about other languages and cultures.

What attracted me to SIU: I came to SIU as a Graduate Assistant for the tennis program but I always had a deep passion for foreign languages. I always wanted to study Spanish at the graduate level and SIU gives me the opportunity to do that. So far I am enjoying every aspect of this program and I am very excited to see what is next. 


Jancarlos Montoya

Master's Student

Jancarlos Montoya

Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán

Research Interests: Second language acquisition, bilingual education, the role of literature in second language learning

Future Career Plans: I plan to pursue a PhD in linguistics or second language acquisition

What Attracted Me to SIU: The Master’s program in Spanish offers a wide range of courses in both Spanish and Latin American literature, Hispanic linguistics, teaching methodology, and translation. The opportunity to work as a teaching assistant was also very appealing; it has allowed me to start gaining experience in the field of foreign language education.


Karsten Ohliger

Master's Student

Karsten Ohliger

Hometown: Leverkusen, Germany

Undergraduate Institution: Universität zu Köln, Sophia University Tokyo, Chinese Culture University Taipei

Research Interests: East Asian language & literature; Translation & Interpreting

Future Career Plans: I would like to work as translator for Chinese-German/English-German.

What attracted me to SIU: The exchange program between Universität Mainz and SIU made me come here as an exchange student, the intriguing academic level made me continue as a Master student.


Daniel Ferreiro Pérez de Castro

Master's Student

Daniel Ferreiro Perez de Castro

Hometown: Pioz, Guadalajara, Spain

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad de Alcalá de Henares

Research Interests: Second Language Acquisition, Bilingual Education, Linguistics, Literature and Music

Future Career Plans: I'd like to teach and spread my native language and see how my students improve day by day.

What attracted me to SIU: The Master Degree that SIU offers fits perfectly within my career plans and provides financial support so I can make a living. The exchange program between SIU and Instituto Franklin - UAH allowed me the opportunity to be here.


Cristina Sánchez Ferreiro

Master's Student

Cristina Sánchez Ferreiro

Hometown: Alcalá de Henares, Madrid (Spain)

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (Spain)

Research Interests: Second language acquisition, English and Spanish as a second language, childhood education.

Future Career Plans: I would love to teach Spanish or English as a second language in my home country or abroad.

What Attracted Me to SIU: Studying in a different educational system, the variety of subjects within the program, the cultural diversity and the opportunity of teaching a language at the college level.


Emilio Ernesto Sánchez Mendoza

Master's Student

Emilio Ernesto Sánchez Mendoza

Hometown: El Paraíso, Honduras

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán UPNFM; Shawnee State University

Research Interests: Second language acquisition, bilingualism, language contact, Spanish as a heritage language in the U.S, Latin American literature, especially Magical Realism, and Hispanic literature of the Romantic period.

Future Career Plans: I hope to teach Hispanic Literature, as well as Spanish and English as a foreign/second language at the university level. I would also like to broaden my career opportunities by pursuing doctoral studies in one of my areas of interest and becoming certified as a Spanish-English interpreter.

What Attracted Me to SIU: I was attracted to SIU for several reasons. The Spanish literature graduate program at SIU offers a wide range of courses and allows students not only to specialize in Hispanic literature but also combine literature with other important interdisciplinary fields of study such as linguistics, communication studies, or education. Moreover, I was attracted by the fact that there is a relatively low teacher-student ratio in the graduate courses which results in more interactive and personalized instruction. SIU also offers excellent options for financial support. I was also drawn by the town, Carbondale is a friendly small city full of diversity and nature.


Scarleth Subillaga

Master's Student

Scarleth Subillaga

Hometown: El Negrito, Yoro Honduras.

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad Pedagógica Nacional Francisco Morazán

Research Interests: Latin American literature and Second Language Acquisition, more specifically the different types of feedback and their effectiveness when teaching a foreign language.

Future Career Plans: Work as an English and Spanish teacher in my home country.

What Attracted Me to SIU: The cultural diversity that can be easily identified at SIU and the broad support given to international students. Also, the praise given by SIU alumni raised my interest in the Languages department.


Adriana Valcárcel De Sousa

Master's Student

Adriana Valcarcel De Sousa

Hometown: Algete, Madrid (Spain)

Undergraduate Institution: Universidad de Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain

Research Interests: I’m interested in language acquisition, Spanish/ English as a second language, linguistics, discourse analysis and cognitive linguistics.

Future Career Plans: I want to become a teacher of Spanish as a second language, or English as a second language.

What attracted me to SIU: While working on my practicum during my BA Degree, some teachers told me about the reputation and programs offered in SIU, so I did a little research about it and loved it so much that I decided to apply for a Master’s Degree.