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Faculty/Staff

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  2. Administration
  3. Faculty
  4. Administrative Support

Director

Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

  • Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
  • Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-5711

Administration

Jackie Gianico

Jackie Gianico

  • Lecturer / Academic Coordinator
More about Jackie Gianico...

Jackie Gianico has been teaching since 2006 and joined the IECP faculty in 2012 after having previously worked for the program as a teaching assistant. She has been IECP Academic Coordinator since 2013. Originally from New York, Jackie earned an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught at the intensive English programs of New York University and Columbia University prior to moving to State College, Jackie has also worked as a product developer and editor for Kaplan’s English Programs in New York City. She is interested in exploring and improving teacher practices with her involvement in the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) here in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Jackie’s main interests in language learning and teaching include hypothetical discourse in the classroom, teacher practices, and program team-building and professional development.  Outside of the IECP, Jackie enjoys acting, singing, and painting, and she often brings her experience with theatre and art into the classroom.

Recent research activity:

  • Gianico, J.M. (2016, April). Pushing the boundaries of oral placement exams: assessing interactional competence. Presentation at the annual meeting of TESOL, Baltimore, MD.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2015, November). In vivo and online activities: aural explorations not oral presentations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of NYS TESOL, White Plains, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2014, March). Real and hypothetical voicing as displays of interactional competence in a lesson on informal register in a post-secondary ESL class. American Association of Applied Linguistics American Association of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Portland, OR.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2012, March). Instructors’ hypothetical discourse and gesture as models of potential thought and talk. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Boston, MA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, October). Complaining and coming clean: Voicing and interactional positioning in a staff meeting of a university mental health clinic. Language and Social Interaction, First Annual Conference; Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, March). Hypothetical quotation and gesture in the demonstration of teacher talk and thought by an ITA. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Chicago, IL.
Jessica Snyder

Jessica Snyder

  • Student Services / Operations Manager
Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer

  • Lecturer / Student Advisor
More about Tom Spencer...

Tom Spencer joined the IECP in 2013 having begun his career in TEFL/TESL overseas in 2001, teaching young adults, members of parliament, and starting the EFL program for Johnson & Johnson Prague, Czech Republic. He graduated from Penn State’s M.A. TESL program in 2010 earning the “Student of the Year” award. Tom’s doctoral dissertation in Adult Education is a multi-site quantitative analysis of the possible relationships between studying at an on-campus Intensive English Program, and subsequent adjustment to American universities. His research and professional interests include program evaluation and improvement, campus-climate research for international students, teacher development, international student adjustment to universities, and more broadly, research methodologies in EFL contexts. 

Recent research activity:

  • Prins, E., Carrera, M., Drayton, B., Gungor, R., Miller, F., & Spencer, T. (2011). Women’s involvement in adult education and family literacy: Consequences for social networks, social support, and mental health. In S. Carpenter, S. Dossa, & B.J. Osborne (Eds.), Proceedings of the 52nd National Conference of the Adult Education Research Conference (AERX) and the 30th National Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) (pp. 543-549). Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

Faculty

Julie George

Julie George

  • Lecturer
More about Julie George...

Julie George has been teaching since 1999 and joined the Intensive English Communication Program in the fall of 2014.  Originally from Denver, CO, following the awarding of her M.A. in TESOL from Bowling Green State University, Julie worked and resided in Bowling Green, OH, just south of Toledo for sixteen years.  She was the Acting Director and Assistant Director of BGSU’s ESOL Program and also taught ITA and graduate/undergraduate writing and oral communication classes in its program. In addition, Julie co-founded a local non-profit community organization committed to providing various services to the International community in BG, which includes international students, faculty, migrant farm workers, business people, and immigrants.  She was the Executive Director of this non-profit for ten years while overseeing and teaching in its Community English Class and occasionally teaching adjunct for BGSU’s IEP and ESOL Program.  Her research interests have included helping students communicate openness to classroom diversity, spelling, pronunciation, the socio-cultural adjustment of new international students to a community, the cultural concepts of friendship, the motivation behind community volunteering, the assessment of ITAs, curriculum development for ITA training, and collaborating with faculty to create beneficial training for their ITAs.  In her free time, Julie enjoys reading, writing, running and working out, exploring new places, and watching college basketball, particularly women’s.

Recent research activity

  • George, J. (November 2015). Beyond traditional fluency: helping students communicate openness to diversity. Published proceedings of MexTESOL, Cancun, Mexico.
  • George, J. (November 2015). Beyond traditional fluency: helping students communicate openness to diversity. Conference presentation at MexTESOL, Cancun, Mexico.
  • George, J. & M. Naber-Fisher (March 2014).  Communidad: building relationships with migrant workers.  Conference presentation at Ohio State of the State at Bowling Green State University.
  • George, J. (March 2011). Effect of a local non-profit on the socio-cultural adjustment of new international students. Talking about learning: the language center bulletin, 29-30. South East European University.
Jackie Gianico

Jackie Gianico

  • Lecturer / Academic Coordinator
More about Jackie Gianico...

Jackie Gianico has been teaching since 2006 and joined the IECP faculty in 2012 after having previously worked for the program as a teaching assistant. She has been IECP Academic Coordinator since 2013. Originally from New York, Jackie earned an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught at the intensive English programs of New York University and Columbia University prior to moving to State College, Jackie has also worked as a product developer and editor for Kaplan’s English Programs in New York City. She is interested in exploring and improving teacher practices with her involvement in the Center for Research on English Language Learning and Teaching (CRELLT) here in the Department of Applied Linguistics. Jackie’s main interests in language learning and teaching include hypothetical discourse in the classroom, teacher practices, and program team-building and professional development.  Outside of the IECP, Jackie enjoys acting, singing, and painting, and she often brings her experience with theatre and art into the classroom.

Recent research activity:

  • Gianico, J.M. (2016, April). Pushing the boundaries of oral placement exams: assessing interactional competence. Presentation at the annual meeting of TESOL, Baltimore, MD.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2015, November). In vivo and online activities: aural explorations not oral presentations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of NYS TESOL, White Plains, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2014, March). Real and hypothetical voicing as displays of interactional competence in a lesson on informal register in a post-secondary ESL class. American Association of Applied Linguistics American Association of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Portland, OR.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2012, March). Instructors’ hypothetical discourse and gesture as models of potential thought and talk. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Boston, MA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, October). Complaining and coming clean: Voicing and interactional positioning in a staff meeting of a university mental health clinic. Language and Social Interaction, First Annual Conference; Teachers College, Columbia Univeristy, New York, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, March). Hypothetical quotation and gesture in the demonstration of teacher talk and thought by an ITA. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Chicago, IL.
Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

  • Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
  • Senior Lecturer in Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-5711
Megan Lynch

Megan Lynch

  • Lecturer
More about Megan Lynch...

Megan Lynch started teaching in 2009 and joined the full-time faculty at the IECP in 2015 after having worked two years as an adjunct lecturer. She earned her B.A. in Elementary Education at the University of North Florida. She then spent time teaching abroad in South Korea. After returning to the U.S., Megan worked for several years in an IEP in Arkansas and earned a Graduate Degree from Penn State’s World Campus in TESOL in 2012. In 2014, she earned her M.Ed from Penn State’s College of Education in Curriculum and Instruction (emphasis in Curriculum & Supervision). Megan’s primary research interest is in teacher development: mentoring, coaching, and supporting new teachers. She also has research interests involving the implications of a teacher’s (real and perceived) pedagogy, as well as teachers’ development of inquiry as stance. She is currently a PhD student at Penn State in Curriculum and Instruction. Megan has presented at regional TESOL conferences in the U.S. and internationally. In her ongoing contribution to the field, she is also a trained CEA site reviewer. In her free time, Megan loves to read, answer pop culture trivia questions, play board games, and spend time exploring the Pennsylvanian outdoors.

Recent research activity:

  • Lynch, M. (2016, March) Writing Across the Curriculum: When and How. Presentation at the TESOL Arabia Conference, Dubai, UAE.
  • Lynch, M.E, & Mattson, N.L. (2015, November) Voicethread: A Tool for Collaborative, Authentic, and Reflective Learning. Presentation at the Three River TESOL Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.
Nikki Mattson

Nikki Mattson

  • Senior Lecturer
More about Nikki Mattson...

Nikki Mattson began teaching in 2007 and joined the IECP in 2009 after teaching English in France for a year. She earned her M.A. in Linguistics and a Certificate of Graduate Study in TESOL from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a DELF (diplôme d'études en langue française) from Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France. Stemming from her interest in promoting student engagement, she has developed partnerships and projects to actively involve students in academic interactions in the classroom, on campus, and beyond. As Chair of the Curriculum Committee, she is highly committed to professional development as well as the continuous advancement of the IECP. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, outdoor activities, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

Recent research activity:

  • Kimura, D., Mattson, N. & Amory, M. (2016, April) Improving Oral Proficiency Tests: A Conversation Analysis Approach. Presentation at TESOL 2016 International Convention, Baltimore, MD.
  • Lynch, M., Mattson, N. (2015, November) Voice Thread: A Tool for Collaborative, Authentic, and Reflective Learning. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Mattson, N., Sauder, R. (2013, October) Blogger.com: An Effective Tool for Classroom Management and Student Collaboration. Presentation at Three Rivers TESOL, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Lowell, R., Mattson, N. & Morris, R. (2009, April) Effects of Lexical Processing on Eye Movements of Native Arab Speakers Reading English. Poster at the CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Davis, CA.

 

Tom Spencer

Tom Spencer

  • Lecturer / Student Advisor
More about Tom Spencer...

Tom Spencer joined the IECP in 2013 having begun his career in TEFL/TESL overseas in 2001, teaching young adults, members of parliament, and starting the EFL program for Johnson & Johnson Prague, Czech Republic. He graduated from Penn State’s M.A. TESL program in 2010 earning the “Student of the Year” award. Tom’s doctoral dissertation in Adult Education is a multi-site quantitative analysis of the possible relationships between studying at an on-campus Intensive English Program, and subsequent adjustment to American universities. His research and professional interests include program evaluation and improvement, campus-climate research for international students, teacher development, international student adjustment to universities, and more broadly, research methodologies in EFL contexts. 

Recent research activity:

  • Prins, E., Carrera, M., Drayton, B., Gungor, R., Miller, F., & Spencer, T. (2011). Women’s involvement in adult education and family literacy: Consequences for social networks, social support, and mental health. In S. Carpenter, S. Dossa, & B.J. Osborne (Eds.), Proceedings of the 52nd National Conference of the Adult Education Research Conference (AERX) and the 30th National Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE) (pp. 543-549). Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
Christina Taheri

Christina Taheri

  • Adjunct Lecturer

Administrative Support

Stacey Lyons

Stacey Lyons

  • Administrative Support Assistant