ELC Faculty & Staff

ELC Staff

Li Yang, Director, English Language Center


Jennifer Akins, Senior Lecturer, ELC (ESL, GB, & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA TESOL, Dept. of English, Washington State University
BA, English Literature, Westmont College
Languages studied: French, German

Jennifer Akins has been teaching English for over 20 years both in the U.S. and abroad. She enjoys teaching all skills at all levels. Recently she has really enjoyed helping students understand the language and culture that will help them integrate into and succeed at a university in the U.S.

What students say:
“She made us think in depth by asking us several questions about our opinions and thought rather than just accepting them.”
“I truly respected Jennifer’s ability to hold us accountable as students while acknowledging that we are coming to the class with different backgrounds and experiences.”
“Even when I am no longer her student, she asks me my opinion on certain topics and wants me to criticize it or support. I am humbled and amazed that my professor still finds my opinions to be valuable."

Fun Facts:
In her spare time Jennifer likes talking about teaching (or almost anything) over coffee, reading novels (or almost anything), going for walks and watching movies.


Beata Arciszewska-Russo, Senior Lecturer, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Gdansk University in Poland

Beata I. Arciszewska-Russo received her MA in TEFL from Gdansk University in Poland. She has extensive experience in teaching English as a foreign and second language, teacher training, and curriculum development. Her interests include grammar instruction, language learning and literacy development in a second language, and second language production and perception. She developed and piloted the Bureau of ABLE funded study circles, including, “Teaching Adult ESL Literacy” and “Lesson Planning”.


Heidi Doolittle, Senior Lecturer, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gonzaga University
BS, Biology, Gonzaga University
Languages studied: Japanese, French

Heidi Doolittle has been teaching English for more than 15 years in Japan and the U.S. She spent three years living abroad and enjoys traveling to other countries and learning about other cultures. Heidi really loves helping students to become better readers and to improve their vocabulary. In order to be an efficient and effective reader, she believes it’s important to develop and apply good reading skills and strategies. All of your English skills will develop faster if you have strong reading skills. Heidi also loves teaching listening and speaking. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, she feels it’s extremely important to learn how to communicate successfully with people from cultures and backgrounds other than your own.

What students say:
“She taught us skills to read fast and understand new words. It is helpful and I hope my friends take this class with Heidi.”
“Heidi always answered my questions when I didn't understand and helped me to improve my reading skills.”
“I like her activities. She has an academic way in how to make students be good listeners and speakers.”
“I like her class because all the time we exchanged ideas and every time we learned new things. It is a really interesting and dynamic class.”

Fun Facts:
Favorite quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Madela
Favorite books: The Art of Racing in the Rain, The Kite Runner, The Alchemist and The Giving Tree
Hobbies: Camping, hiking, playing sports (especially basketball) and baking (but not cooking!).


Bridget Green, Lecturer, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gonzaga University
MA (with Distinction), International Studies, The University of Sheffield, UK
Royal Society of Arts Certificate, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Godmer
House School of English, Oxford, UK
BA (Honors), French Literature, Gonzaga University
Languages studied: French, Spanish

Bridget Green has been teaching English for over 25 years in Japan, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the US. She has lived abroad for many years and believes that international cooperation begins with individuals. Bridget most enjoys helping students with improving their vocabulary and reading. Reading is the super skill since it also improves your writing skills and your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The fastest way to improve your English is to read a lot! And the best way to understand what you read is to improve your vocabulary. Right now, Bridget is very excited to have joined the English Language Specialist Program that sends teachers to other countries to train language teachers.

What students say:
“She encourages me every time to study more. She is a good teacher because she makes me work.”
“I like her way in teaching and she helped me a lot. I don't know how I can thank her for her amazing teaching.”
“I really like her manner and methods to teach us she has a perfect manner to make us understand all the information.”
“I like the methodology used for improve our listening and speech. It's wonderful.”


James Hunter, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ELC & Director of TESOL Programs

Degrees: PhD, Applied Linguistics, University of Birmingham, UK
MA,Teaching English as a Second Language, Eastern Washington University
Royal Society of Arts Certificate, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Godmer
House School of English, Oxford, UK
BA (Honors), Japanese and Korean Studies and Politics, The Universities of Oxford
and Sheffield, UK
Languages studied: Japanese, French, Spanish, Catalan (and a little Arabic, Korean, and Salish)

I have taught ESL/EFL for over 25 years in the USA, Japan, Spain, and the UAE. I have lived in many countries (France, Spain, Malaysia, Japan, China, and the UAE) and studied several languages, so I know how challenging it is to communicate across languages and cultures. I think learning English should be fun, engaging, and motivating, and should give you the confidence and ability to reach your goals. Communication is much more important than trying to speak “perfect” English! I love learning about my students’ countries and cultures, and I try to make my classroom a place where all cultures are welcome and respected. I especially love teaching Listening & Speaking and Grammar.

What students say:
“I really appreciate this class and what James did to make me write in the correct way that advanced my writing a lot.”
“This class is interesting. I learned a lot from this class, and teacher answer question clearly.”
“James is a excellent professor. He always connect with the students.”
“The teacher is very clear in his pronunciation and his class, I love this class because is very interesting and all time the activities are creatives.”
“It was fun and helpful to compare grammar in languages. It maked the learning easier and easy to remember. This class was awesome and encourage our learning. The teacher show his interest to the learning of the students.”

Fun Facts:
Hobbies: In my free time I play traditional Irish music with Floating Crowbar. I play whistles, flute, uilleann pipes, and bodhran.
Quotes: “... ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world-class expert -- in anything. In study after study, of composers, basketball players, fiction writers, ice skaters, concert pianists, chess players, master criminals, and what have you, this number comes up again and again. Ten thousand hours is the equivalent to roughly three hours per day, or twenty hours per week, of practice over ten years. Of course, this doesn't address why some people don't seem to get anywhere when they practice, and why some people get more out of their practice sessions than others. But no one has yet found a case in which true world-class expertise was accomplished in less time. It seems that it takes the brain this long to assimilate all that it needs to know to achieve true mastery.” Levitin, D. J. (2011). This is your brain on music: Understanding a human obsession. Atlantic Books Ltd.
Favorite book: Carson, C. (1998). Last night's fun: a book about Irish traditional music. Macmillan.


Mary Jeannot, Ed.D, Associate Professor, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: EdD, Language, Literacy and Culture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
MA TESOL, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
BA, French, Education, Seattle University
Language study and play: French, Sango, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Bemba, Japanese

Mary Jeannot has been training and teaching ESL/EFL since 1983. She came to Gonzaga University in 1992 and founded the MA/TESL program and TESOL Summer Institute in 1998. She has traveled to many countries and enjoys learning new languages and cultures. She is a little crazy and enjoys teaching people from around the world. She likes to read and write, hike in the great outdoors, especially in the Pacific Northwest and tell her husband what to do.


Marilyn Jackson Runyan, Assistant Professor, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA,Teaching English as a Second Language, Eastern Washington University


Martha Savage, Ph.D., Associate Professor, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: PhD, Leadership Studies, Gonzaga University
MA, Speech Pathology with a Bilingual Emphasis, San Jose State University
BA, Communicative Disorders, California State University, Fresno
Related Education: State of Washington Certificate of Licensure: Speech-Language Pathologist
Supervision and Coordination Credential Certification Designated Subjects Education,
San Jose State Univeristy
Online Action Research Team participant, a project of the National Institute for Literacy
Clinical Rehabilitative Services Credential, San Jose State Univeristy (Life Credential)
Languages studied: Spanish

Martha Savage has been teaching English for over 35 years. Classes that she enjoys are writing courses where academic language is directly taught and students learn ways to express their critical thinking in clear and precise ways. She works with students to find the best ways to strengthen their writing by adding examples and strong vocabulary. Her passion is working helping students find their “voices” in writing. Recently, Martha was elected President of the State ESL Association where she works to offer coursework for teachers to continue developing their skills in classrooms.

What students say:
"She gave us a lot of important things for writing. I hope that she will teach us in 107/108! Martha is the best!!"
"I gain more knowledge and vocabulary more than 3 semesters."

Fun Facts:
My perspective on vocabulary development: “One understands a word much better if one has met it alive, in its native habitat” (Lewis, 1960, p. 2).
My perspective on teaching: “One of the hardest parts of my job is to get teachers to understand there is someone else in the classroom with them” (Senge et al., 2000, p. 20).
Martha enjoys the outdoors, and the Spokane area offers many opportunities for activities outside. The summers will often find her biking to work and riding along the Spokane River. She enjoys having students in her home to share a meal and participate in conversation. (ESL and MA-TESOL).

Jennie Sevedge-Angel, Senior Lecturer, ELC & Global Bridge Coordinator

Degrees: MA, Applied Linguistics/TESOL, University of Alabama
BA, English Literature, Spanish Minor, University of Alabama
Languages studied: Spanish

Jennie has been teaching English for over fifteen years in Colombia and the U.S. She first became interested in languages and cultures through independent travel and study all over Latin America. Now, she is married to a Colombian and lives in a bilingual household. At the ELC, most of her research and work have focused on intermediate to advanced oral and written communication. Her classes focus on the cultural, social, and academic skills that help students succeed in their goals. She enjoys being part of a global learning community that encourages her and her students to see the world a little differently.

What students say:
"I learned how I read. This is the best class I have ever. Now I can read any topic faster."
"I liked the teacher’s passion and effort to communicate to students, I couldn’t help but be active."
"It is the most perfect reading class I have ever taken. It helps me to know how to read carefully and focus on what I am reading."
"I like everything in Jennie’s class. I love her always. She always teaches us sincerely and with a warm heart."

Fun Facts:
When she’s not teaching, Jennie enjoys gardening, photography, camping and outdoor sports with her family, and traveling near and far.

Adjunct Faculty

Christina Mitma, Adjunct Instructor, ELC (ESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gonzaga University

Christina graduated from Eastern Washington University, majoring in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, and with two minors, Psychology and Japanese. She also has a Master's in Teaching English as a Second Language from Gonzaga. Along with Christina’s love for teaching, she also works part time at Northwest Fair Housing Alliance, a non-profit organization, that works to ensure equal housing opportunity for all. She has lived in Japan, and traveled to Mexico, and Peru and can’t wait to go to other countries. Also, Christina loves reading, writing fiction and poetry, and being outdoors.


Ayuko Momono, Adjunct Instructor, ELC (ESL & MA|TESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gonzaga University
BA, Danish Languages and Linguistics, Osaka University
Languages studied: Danish, English, Japanese

Ayuko Momono has been teaching for 13 years in Japan and the US. Besides Japanese and English, Ayuko has studied Danish. She graduated from Osaka University, majoring in the Danish language and Linguistics. She has lived in the United States for about 13 years and has found the joys and intricacies of living abroad challenging but mostly rewarding. These experiences enhance her perspectives as she teaches in the classroom. She is known for teaching grammar but utilizes her knowledge of grammar as a base to assist her in her pedagogy as she teaches mastership in other skills including reading, listening/speaking, and writing. She has also presented on socio-cultural linguistics as it pertains to ESL pedagogy. She has great compassion and understanding in what it is like to learn English as another language and wishes to pass on the key to success to all those who wish to excel and master English.

What students say:
“She is great teacher and helps me as much as she can. She changed me because I wasn’t interested in studying but she made me come on time because her class is fun and so useful and also because I did not want to lose grades.”
“This class materials are very useful to learn complex grammar. She always answered our questions and we could ask anything in class. Her lecture is always meaningful."
“She tried to give us excellent classes and give us good memories. She knew our Asian students’ feeling and helped us to solve problems.”
“I liked that Ayuko use new materials often like news magazines etc. and she knows what students need from this class.”

Fun Facts:
Hobbies: music, vinyl-record collecting, piano playing


Katie Nollenberger, Adjunct Instructor, ELC (ESL)

Degrees: MA, Teaching English as a Second Language, Gonzaga University
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching Certificate, University of Oregon BA, French, University of Oregon
Languages studied: French, Spanish

Katie began teaching English in 2004 when she had her first teaching position at a high school in southwestern France. She has lived and worked abroad in beautiful countries such as Ireland and Colombia. Katie loves to get students out in the community to practice the language that they learn in the classroom. She is also passionate about making reading accessible and enjoyable for all students.

What students say:
“She is an amazing teacher because it is fun and we learn together.”
“I like to learn new words and phrases. I didn't speak English but now I speak little I'm thankful.”
“I like when we made a group and talked together. Also making a presentation, I needed to interview other people that can help me to practice English with him/her.”

Fun Facts:
Favorite quote: "Teaching is not filling up a pail, it is lighting a fire." -William Butler Yeats