Skip to Content - Skip to Navigation

ALI Staff

The instructors, tutors, and administrative staff at the American Language Institute are qualified professionals with considerable training and experience in working with international students. Our staff is committed to providing a quality educational experience for all students.


Instructional staff at the ALI are selected for their expertise in English language teaching. All teachers have a minimum of a master’s degree in TESOL or a related area and experience working with English language learners.   


Mohamed AhmedMohamed Ahmed

Mohamed is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the English Composition and TESOL program at IUP. He has experience teaching English in different parts of the world, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S.


Maha AlawdatMaha Alawdat

Maha is a doctoral candidate in the English Composition and TESOL program at IUP. She has an English Language and Literature BA from Bethlehem University and a Foreign Literature MA from Ben Gurion University in Isreal. Her interests are online writing literacy, ePortfolios, online learning, and ESL/EFL writing. For more, visit her website .


Brandon BoudreauxBrandon Boudreaux

Brandon is a graduate of the Northeast Ohio MFA program with a concentration in writing fiction. He has taught composition and creative writing and now teaches writing at the ALI.


Brian BurkeDr. Brian Burke

Brian has taught for the American Language Institute since 2005. He has led several student activities and serves as a level leader for the ALI. He has also taught English courses for West Moreland County Community College. His research interests include narrative pedagogy and the use of film and comics in ESL instruction.


Soyoung BurkeDr. Soyoung Baek Burke

Soyoung teaches various levels of reading and writing courses at the American Language Institute. She also teaches English courses to American college students at both IUP and Penn State University. Her interest areas are ESL/EFL writing, literacy, identity, culture, and teacher education in teaching English.


Brian CopeDr. Brian Cope

Brian, who finished IUP’s doctoral program in Composition and TESOL program in the spring of 2013, has thirteen years of collegiate level teaching experience. His previous experience includes teaching at IUP, Slippery Rock, Westmoreland County Community College, as well as a previous stint at the ALI.


Ann Elise FrazierAnn Elise Frazier

Ann Elise is an M.A. TESOL graduate from IUP whose career in education began while working with ESL students in Arizona as an elementary and reading specialist teacher. In addition to being an instructor, she is also the ACE Tutoring Program supervisor.


John GrantJohn Grant

John is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the English Department Composition and TESOL program at IUP. He has taught English in Taiwan and has worked with international students as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of International Education.


John HeplerJohn Hepler

John is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the English Department Composition and TESOL program at IUP. He has taught adult and higher education at several colleges and institutions in the U.S. before coming to IUP. In addition to teaching technology-based courses at the ALI, he is also currently teaching for the IUP English Department.


Khawla KittanehKhawla Kittaneh

Khawla has experience teaching in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. Her academic interests include language learning strategies, ESL writing, and identity. Khawla enjoys reading, swimming, and learning about other cultures, religions, and languages. 


Nathan LindbergNathan Lindberg

Nathan is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the IUP Composition and TESOL program. He has a B.A. in comparative history from University of Washington and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics-TESOL from University of Surrey, England. He is interested in assisting faculty working with EAL students and hopes to someday to work as a TESOL specialist.  


Tomoko Oda NuskeTomoko Nuske Oda

Tomoko is a doctoral student in the English Department Composition and TESOL program at IUP. In addition to teaching at the ALI, she has also taught Japanese courses for American students at IUP.


Michael O'BryanMichael O’Bryan

Mike has been at the ALI since 1991. He currently teaches grammar and works as a testing co-coordinator (placement and exit) at the ALI.


Alex RomagnoliAlex Romagnoli

Alex earned his doctorate in the English Composition and TESOL program at IUP. He has taught English at both the high school and college levels. Alex has also co-authored a book with Dr. Gian Pagnucci (IUP) titled Enter the Superheroes: American Values, Culture, and the Canon of Superhero Literature.


Laura StrongLaura Strong

Laura recently completed her doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction. She has a background in English and creative writing. In addition to her current work at the American Language Institute, Laura also teaches in Professional Studies at IUP and the Community College of Allegheny. Her research interests include creativity in higher education, writing in the disciplines, and curriculum development.


Begona Vilouta-VazquezBegoña Vilouta-Vázquez

Begoña Vilouta-Vázquez is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the IUP English Department Literature and Criticism Program. She has been teaching foreign languages (English in Spain and Spanish in the United States) for more than ten years.


The ALI hires both native and non-native qualified instructors. This policy provides students with models of excellence; teachers who know the experience of bilingualism and language learning as a personal as well as a professional experience. All teachers are encouraged to engage in professional development.

ACE Tutors

In the ALI’s After Class English (ACE) program, ESL tutors are employed in the Language Lab to tutor students at all levels in all subjects. Students select the topics or skills they need or want to study which is organized by the tutors. The ALI has a large library of ESL and language learning materials which the tutors use with state-of-the-art equipment and computers in the lab.

Administration and Support Personnel

Dr. Michele PetrucciDr. Michele Petrucci, Director

Michele has been professionally active in the field of International Education for over 20 years. Since her arrival at IUP in 1997, Michele has worked in various capacities in both the ALI and the IUP Office of International Education. She is currently serving as assistant vice president for International Education and Global Engagement as well as the ALI director.


Emma ArcherEmma Archer, Assistant Director

Emma has an M.A. in TESOL from American University. She has taught ESL courses at Northern Virginia Community College and was a graduate assistant for the AU TESOL program. She served with the Peace Corps in Mongolia, worked with refugee families for the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, and taught Spanish in Louisville Public Schools.


Cindy SmeltzerCindy Smeltzer, Secretary

Cindy was born and raised in western Pennsylvania. She has an Associate Degree from Cambria Rowe Business College as a computer support specialist. She joined the ALI staff in 2011. In her spare time Cindy enjoys reading, walking, shopping, eating out, volunteering with her children's activities, and spending time with family and friends. Cindy lives in the Creekside area with her family.


Student Advisors

The ALI’s student advisors have extensive experience working with international students and experience abroad. They are dedicated to helping ALI students, and are happy to advise them about academic issues and about adjusting to life in the United States.

Student Advisors: Ali Alanazi, Ali Almohaimeed, Arene Al-Shara'h, Paul Bliss, Brydon DeWitt, Taylor Snyder, and Yunong Yu.

  • American Language Institute
  • 214 Eicher Hall
    860 Grant Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-2402
  • Fax: 724-357-5640
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.