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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.

    Tariq Al-Soud Tariq Al-Soud,

    Tariq is a doctoral candidate in the English Department Literature and Criticism Program at IUP. He earned his MA from Bridgewater State University, Massachusetts, majoring in English literature. He has taught in the English department at Tafila Technical University in Jordan.

    Jocelyn AmevuvorJocelyn Amevuvor,

    Jocelyn Amevuvor obtained her master’s in TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She also has a bachelor’s in Spanish. Her interests include writing, student experiences, and pan-African studies. In addition to teaching at the ALI, she is also the SkillZone coordinator.

    Brandon BoudreauxBrandon Boudreaux,

    Brandon is a graduate of the Northeast Ohio MFA program with a concentration in writing fiction. He has taught college composition and creative writing. In addition to teaching at the ALI, Brandon teaches for area K-12 schools. 

    Liz GhateLiz Ghate,

    Liz has a BA in English from St. Joseph’s University and an MSED in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania. She has taught ESL at colleges in the Philadelphia region, as well as secondary English/ESL in Philadelphia and Scranton Public Schools.

    Dr. Robin KneeDr. Robin Knee,

    Robin earned a PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Pennsylvania. She taught a variety of French courses at Penn, Drexel, Ohio State, and Trinity University before embarking on an ESL vocation several years ago at La Roche College.

    Ozkan, HediyeHediye Ozkan,

    Hediye is a doctoral candidate in English Literature and Criticism program at IUP. She has taught English at universities in Turkey and the United States.

    Tony SchieraTony Schiera,

    For nearly 20 years, Tony Schiera has taught English writing, language, and literature to students in the U.S., Ecuador, Korea, and Oman. He is a PhD candidate (ABD) in English Composition and TESOL program at IUP. His research interests include Writing Center tutor training.

    Taylor SnyderTaylor Snyder,

    Taylor earned an MA in TESOL from IUP and a BA in English Literature with TEFL Certification from Kent State University. She has taught in the U.S., Germany, and Poland. Her research interests include teacher development, ESL writing, language assessment and classroom pedagogy. Taylor is the ACE Tutoring supervisor.

    Tewero TchekpassiTewero Tchekpassi,

    Tewero is a doctoral candidate in the English Composition and TESOL program at IUP. He has experience teaching English and advising students in secondary education in Togo (10 years). His interests include educational research, teacher education, ecological literacy, and second language literacy.

    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 10 years.

    Tong ZhangTong Zhang,

    Tong Zhange is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the English Department Composition and TESOL program at IUP. She has experience teaching college composition courses and working with multilingual students from diverse backgrounds.

    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

    ACE Tutors In the American Culture and English (ACE) Tutoring program, tutors work with ALI students to develop cultural understanding and English language proficiency. Undergraduate and graduate students with teaching or tutoring experience and an interest in working with diverse populations can apply to become tutors.



    SkillZone is a free drop-in center for all IUP international students and scholars (ALI, exchange, undergraduate, graduate, and visiting scholars) to access academic support. Tutors are hired from a variety of academic disciplines.

    Administration and Support Personnel

    Dr. Michele PetrucciMichele Petrucci, Executive 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 Office of International Education. She currently serves as associate vice president for International Education and Global Engagement.

    Emma ArcherEmma Archer, Assistant Director,

    Emma has an MA in TESOL from American University. She taught ESL courses at NVCC and language schools in D.C. She served as a Peace Corps EFL teacher trainer 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’s 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 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: Malik Alma’Aiteh, Justine Fang, Stephanie Hilliard, Farzaneh Janangiri, and Sua Moon.