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Our Team

Jane F. Hacking is Co-Director of L2TReC. She holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics from the University of Toronto and is an Associate Professor of Russian. Her research is concentrated in two areas: 1) the acquisition of novel sound contrasts by second language learners, and 2) the effect of learner characteristics and learning contexts on the development of second language proficiency. She serves on the Utah Dual Language Research Advisory Board and the Russian Dual Immersion Steering Committee at the Utah State Office of Education

(801) 581-6688

Fernando Rubio is Co-Director of L2TReC and Associate Professor of Spanish Linguistics. He works in the areas of Second Language Acquisition, Language Teaching Methodology and Technology-Assisted Language Learning. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) and is the Co-Chair of the AP Spanish Language and Culture Development Committee.

(801) 581-6729

Catherine Scott is the Associate Director of L2TReC.  She has a B.A. in International Relations from San Francisco State University and has held university administrative roles (UC Berkeley, University of Pittsburgh and the University of Utah) for twenty years.  She oversees L2TReC’s grant activities and manages the day-to-day operations of the Center.
(801) 585-9438


Lissie Ah Yen is the Administrative Program Coordinator of L2TReC.  Before joining the center Lissie served as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean and Chair of College of Human Development and School of Education at the Brigham Young University Hawaii for 7 years. 

Lissie holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Brigham Young University Hawaii.
(801) 581-7570

Jill Landes-Lee is state director for Utah’s advanced language Bridge Program, creating a partnership between K-12 and higher education through an early-college language pathway for high school students. She earned a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MA from the University of Utah in Educational Leadership and Policy. Currently a doctoral candidate at the U of U, her research interests focus on bilingualism and biculturality in adolescents, and on second language acquisition and maintenance of heritage languages. Her work with the Bridge Program seeks to 1. support policy and practice to promote bilingual, multicultural citizenship for all students, and 2. increase supports in K-12 pathways for native and heritage language students to access and succeed in higher education.
(801) 585-2682


Johanna Watzinger-Tharp is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Utah. She earned her MA and PhD L2 at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on L2 methodology and teacher education, variation in German, and dual immersion, and has been published in scholarly venues such as Foreign Language Annals, the Modern Language Journal and Unterrichtspraxis/Teaching German. Her publications also include co-edited volumes and German language textbooks. In 2010, the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) awarded her the Anthony Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education. She has served in leadership positions of national professional organizations and serves as the co-chair of Utah’s World Language Council, which produced the Utah Language Roadmap for the 21st Century that helped establish Utah’s Dual Language Immersion Program.
(801) 585-7148


Anne holds a Ph.D. in French culture and literature from the Ohio State University. She currently teaches French in the Department of Languages and Literature where she also directs the French Basic Language Program (lower level courses). In 2013, she started working with the Utah State Office of Education as the Elementary French Dual Language Immersion Program Coordinator, and then in 2014, became the Secondary French DLI State Coordinator, developing curricula and  assessment, and giving professional development support. She is currently the French Curriculum Director for the Bridge program.  Lair has received state and national teaching recognitions for her work on French Language and Culture
(IWLA, UFLA and the ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award in 2012), and has been recognized as Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques in May 2017. She has co-written textbooks in French (Invitation au monde francophone 2nd edition, 2005 Heinle, Encore, 1st edition, Cengage, 2017, and is ACTFL OPI certified in French. 

Her research focuses on the teaching of culture, and the symbolism of food in literature and film. 
She served for three years as the President of the Alliance Française in Utah (2014-2017), and since April 2017, has been accredited as the Honorary Consul to France in Utah.






Our Community 
Alphabetical list of research profiles at L2TReC. Please click on the alphabet links below and zip down to where you want to see. 

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K |L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Ingrid Braga

Ingrid Braga is currently a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant of Portuguese in the World Languages and Cultures department. She has an undergraduate degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeastern Brazil. She has experience teaching English and Portuguese as a foreign language. She is working to transcribe and tag Portuguese samples for the Multilingual Corpus of Second Language Speech.



Mary D.  Burbank

Mary D. Burbank is a Career Line Professor and Director of the Urban Institute for Teacher Education in the College of Education. Her research, teaching, and service reflect her commitments to identifying pathways to higher education for traditionally underrepresented individuals.                                                                                                                              TOP 


Jamie  Leite

Jamie Leite is the Portuguese Director for the Utah Dual Language Immersion program. She is responsible for developing curriculum, providing professional development, and overseeing nine Portuguese immersion schools across the state. As a member of the Utah immersion team, she helps with the administration of Utah’s immersion model at the school, district, and state levels. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from Utah Valley University, and is currently in her third year of obtaining a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. Her master’s thesis was a history of Utah immersion titled, Mainstreaming Dual Language Immersion: The Utah Model for Replicable and Sustainable Language Education. In 2015, Jamie Leite and Raquel Cook published the chapter “Utah: Making Immersion Mainstream” in the book Building Bilingual Education Systems: Forces, Mechanisms and Counterweights, (Cambridge University Press).  Her research interests center on dual language immersion and English language learners.                                                                                             TOP


Brandee Mau

Brandee Mau currently serves language learners in Utah as the German and Russian Dual Language Immersion Director, and is housed in a large suburban school district in support of the recently launched immersion schools there. Throughout the year, she plans and delivers professional development for immersion teachers, focusing on student proficiency development, student engagement, and literacy development. She is pursuing a doctorate at the University of Utah with a research focus on effective dual immersion programs. Previously she taught all levels of German in Gillette, Wyoming, and served in various leadership capacities to further language learning in her home state. Nationally, she has held leadership positions in language organizations, served on executive boards, and spent six years working for College Board on the AP German committee as the test saw its first revision since 1965.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 TOP 


Bruce   Smith

Bruce Smith is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. “My general research interests pertain to first and second language speech production. My current research concerns speech production characteristics of native English-speaking adults and adult speakers learning English as a second language, to determine how various temporal, spectral, and kinematic properties contribute to non-native speakers’ accents.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TOP


Olga (Olya) Savenkova 

Olga Savenkova was born and raised in Russia. She holds two Bachelor degrees from Russian universities, BS in Economics (Moscow State University) and BA in Cultural Studies (Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University), and a Master degree in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Utah. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in the same program. Her research interests include Russian, American, Classical Greek, and Modernist literature and culture. In teaching she focuses on communication and cultural topics. Her personal interests include family, classical music, and creative writing. She is working to transcribe and tag Russian samples for the Multilingual Corpus of Second Language Speech.



Xiqiang Wang 

Xiqiang is from Qingdao,China. He is pursuing his master's degree in World Languages M.A. in the Department of World Languages & Cultures, College of Humanities. Xiqiang graduated from Jimei University of China in 2010. His major was Japanese. From 2010 to 2013, he taught Chinese as a second language in Thailand. From 2014 to June 2017, he worked as a Chinese Immersion teacher at Syracuse Elementary in Davis School District, Utah. So, he can speak Chinese, Japanese, English and Thai fluently. In his spare time, he likes reading, photographing, cooking, playing guitar, hiking and snowboarding. He is working to transcribe and tag Chinese samples for the Multilingual Corpus of Second Language Speech.




Language Training Center Instructors

 Jason Andrus

Jason Andrus was a visiting assistant professor of Middle East Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University in 2016 and currently adjunct professor there. He is a scholar of law and religion with a Juris Doctor degree from NYU School of Law and a MA in Comparative Religion from the University of Washington.  During the course of his graduate work his research in Arabic law and texts has given him the chance to continually teach courses in his first love in Middle East studies, Arabic language. He has taught first through fourth year Arabic courses at the University of Washington, NYU, BYU, in Amman, Jordan, and in Cairo, Egypt. His current research and writing focus is the intersection of law and religion in order to address incongruities between the legal/political system and conceptions of justice, in particular rationals for criminal punishment and majoritarianism in heterogeneous societies.



Shin Chi Fame Kao

Shin Chi Fame Kao is K-12 Chinese Outreach Coordinator in Confucius Institute at the University of Utah as well as Chinese Dual Language Immersion Program 7th-9th Grade Coordinator in Utah State Board of Education. She works in the areas of developing the curriculum and training teachers for the K-12 Chinese Dual Language Immersion program in Utah. She has 17 years of experiences in teaching Chinese language and culture to a diverse array of students of varying ages and abilities. Her research focuses on applied peer assisted learning strategies (PALS) to develop an effective Chinese reading program for Chinese language learners.
(801) 585-0988

Dori Huang

T. Dori Huang got her graduate degrees in political science from National Taiwan University, Columbia University, and Duke University, and worked as a piano teacher, policy analyst, and college lecturer before relocating to Utah. She earned a degree in world languages with a secondary teaching license from the University of Utah, specializing in Chinese linguistics, second language acquisition, and curriculum development. She has been teaching Chinese from elementary to college, from beginners to advanced learners offering a full gamut of 10 levels of Chinese courses (including AP and IB Chinese). Currently, Dori teaches at Weber State University and serves as the president of the Utah Association of Chinese Teachers. Her research interests are in curriculum design, literacy development, as well as second language and multilingual acquisition.



Lily Alavi

Lily Alavi is an Associate Instructor of Persian language at the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Utah. She has taught Persian Intermediate I &II and Persian Advanced I & II. She is also responsible for the Community Engaged Learning course of the department, which has a CEL designation (Community Engagement Learning) from the Bennion Center. This course entails lectures and readings, cross-cultural communications through simulation exercises, and community service in the Salt Lake City region.  Lily was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and lived there until 1993. She has a bachelor degree in French-Persian translation from Iran and a Master of Art in French Literature from the University of Maine, where she lived and worked for several years prior to moving to Utah in 2009.

Email:  Lily Alavi


Takashi Ebira

Takashi Ebira is currently Associate Professor of Japanese at Salt Lake Community College.  He received both a B.A. and an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Utah.  He also received a TESOL certificate when he completed his M.A. program in 2001.  Takashi was Assistant Professor of Japanese at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California.  While he was at DLI, he also served as an ILR OPI tester and conducted Japanese speaking tests for U.S. and Canadian military personnel.  Takashi's current academic interest is related to contrastive linguistics between English and Japanese, including pedagogical grammar and present-day usage of both languages.

Email: Takashi Ebira  

Hyesun Kim

Hyesun Kim is an Associate Instructor of Korean language at the Department of World Languages and Cultures at the University of Utah. She received her bachelor's in Arabic at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, Korea. During her undergraduate, she received teacher licensure in Japanese and Arabic. She received an M.Ed. in teaching Korean as a foreign language at the same institution. She completed her M.Ed. and TESOL certificate at the University of Utah. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Education, Culture and Society. Hyesun’s current academic interests include heritage language education among immigrant families in the U.S. and family language planning and policy related to their language ideologies and language identity.

eMail:  Hyesun Kim

Kona Eldredge

Koeun Park (Kona Eldredge) is a Korean language instructor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and L2TReC, a doctoral student in the Department of Education, Culture and Society, and a graduate assistant at the Urban Institute for Teacher Education within the University of Utah. She earned her M.Ed and bachelor's degrees in linguistics (with TESOL certificate) and international studies at the same institution. Since 2013, she has been teaching Korean courses both to university students and military linguists at the U. Previously, she directed a Korean community heritage language school where she also taught. She coordinated an ESOL program and taught English to refugee populations at Salt Lake County. Her specific areas of interest include bilingual education, heritage language education, multicultural education, and TESOL.

Email:  Kona Eldredge






Elena Grajinskaya

Elena Grajinskaya graduated from the Lomonosov Moscow State University with a degree in Journalism, Literary Editing, and professional certification in Teaching Russian as a Foreign Language. Her research interests include international collaborations in the history of Russian journalism with a paper published about the Polish publicist and writer Jozef Ingacy Kraszewski in the Moscow University Annals (Vestnik MGU, Journalism series). Elena is a supporter of contextualized language instruction. She also obtained her M.B.A. degree from the University of Utah and co-founded an educational non-profit organization.

Olga Savenkova

Olga Savenkova was born and raised in Russia. She holds two Bachelor degrees from Russian universities, BS in Economics (Moscow State University) and BA in Cultural Studies (Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistic University), and a Master degree in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies from the University of Utah. She is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in the same program. Her research interests include Russian, American, Classical Greek, and Modernist literature and culture. In teaching she focuses on communication and cultural topics. Her personal interests include family, classical music, and creative writing. 


Monica B. Orcutt

Mónica B. Orcutt holds a M.A. in Spanish Language, Culture and Latin American Literature from Brigham Young University-Provo and has also completed post graduate course work at the University of Texas at Austin.

She received an Endorsement in Teaching English as a Second Language and has completed mediation courses.  She also has training in Legal and Medical Translation and Interpretation.

She has been dedicated to presenting her research at scholarly conferences and publishing of her work. Monica’s literary research includes Latin American Jewish literature, women writers, culture, Latin American theatre and creative writing. She is the author of the book, Claves en el teatro de Nora Glickman.

She has extensive experience developing curriculum and facilitating intensive courses for the military.

Email: Monica Orcutt



Last Updated: 11/1/19