Staff and Instructors
Paul Edmunds – Director
Dr. Edmunds works in both administrative and teaching capacities at the University of New Mexico. As the Director of UNM’s intensive English language program CELAC (Center for English Language and American Culture) he oversees regular semester-long academic English courses, online courses, TOEFL test preparation courses, and customized short-term programs for students, faculty and administrators from around the world. He also teaches classes in the Departments of Speech & Hearing Sciences and Linguistics where he holds the academic title of Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Edmunds travels widely to represent UNM at local, national and international events and conferences as well as at foreign embassies, consulates and education centers. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and English with a minor in Biology from the University of Minnesota. From the University of New Mexico, he received his Masters in Linguistics and Doctorate in Linguistics with a Concentration in Speech & Hearing Sciences.
Vanessa Vander Galien – Academic Manager
Vanessa started teaching at CELAC in 2009. She graduated with an MA in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies with a concentration in TESOL in 2011. She started working as the Academic Manager of CELAC in 2012.
Before joining CELAC, Vanessa had taught English and Spanish as foreign/second languages in Peru and in the United States. She has always been interested in studying languages and learning about other cultures; her dedication to learning about other cultures and languages is an ongoing journey. She also studied French and Portuguese as an undergraduate student.
Vanessa enjoys traveling and meeting people. After visiting New Mexico in the spring of 2007 and witnessing the cultural richness and the lively arts scene the state has to offer, Vanessa and her husband decided to make Albuquerque their home. In addition to teaching and learning so much from her students at CELAC, Vanessa enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and studying languages.
Jacqueline Paul – Manager of Student Services
Jacqueline started working at CELAC in the fall of 2014 as the Program Coordinator. In 2016 she transitioned to the Manager of Student Services. Jacqueline oversees the Student Services advisement, CELAC budget, communication, enrollment management, marketing, and recruitment of domestic and international students.
Jacqueline received her Bachelor of Arts from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. During her time as an undergraduate, Jacqueline studied at the University of Cape Town and taught health and English courses in one of the largest townships in South Africa. After graduating, Jacqueline worked for a large private organization in a marketing capacity. The call to live abroad came once again, and Jacqueline spent a year teaching at Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University in Thailand. Upon returning to the US, Jacqueline held a sales position at the world’s largest private educational company. When Jacqueline is not enjoying her time at CELAC, she’s either camping, teaching yoga, studying Ayurveda, or laughing with friends.
Bart Hill – Education Specialist
Bart started teaching at CELAC in Spring 2010. After graduating from UNM with an MA in Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies in Fall 2011, he decided to pursue his second Master’s in Teacher Education. While continuing to teach courses at CELAC, he began the role of Education Specialist in Fall 2014.
Bart’s involvement in teaching English language learners began in 2000. While an undergraduate student at NMSU, Bart was a volunteer ESL tutor and an active member of Assembly of International Ambassadors, an organization that helped foreign exchange students to adjust to life in the United States. After graduating from NMSU, Bart taught EFL in Seoul, South Korea for over 3 years, working as a full-time instructor. At this institute, he taught several courses including Honors sections of Writing, Speaking, Grammar, Listening, Reading and Comprehension.
Bart lists reading and writing as his favorite hobbies. He also enjoys the outdoors, especially hiking and bicycling. He spends his time being active in the community, volunteering and meeting new people whenever possible. He takes great pleasure in learning about diverse cultures and studying languages.
Denise Bucci – International Program Advisor
Denise started working at CELAC in the fall of 2016. She is responsible for international student advisement, processing nonimmigrant student records, and student orientation coordination. She also assists with administrative duties for the CELAC team and Dr. Edmunds.
Denise has always had a passion for working with international students and encouraging cross-cultural communication. While studying abroad at City University of Hong Kong during her undergraduate career, she had her first experiences with ESL tutoring and planning international travel. When she returned to the University of North Carolina at Asheville, she worked at the Study Abroad Office to support exchange students and market international programs. After receiving her BA in International Studies with a minor in Asian Studies, Denise spent a year and a half teaching English in northern China and learning Mandarin. She moved to Albuquerque in spring of 2014 and worked as Program Director at Global One to One, an international nonprofit organization before her current role at CELAC. She spends her free time hiking, enjoying live music, reading, volunteering, and planning future travel adventures.
Melisa N. Garcia – Instructor
Melisa graduated with her B.A. degree from the University of California, Riverside. Her master’s degree in Creative Writing is from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She is currently working on her PhD degree with an interest in bilingualism, rhetoric of oppression meanwhile paying close attention to how storytelling and testimonio are defined. She is also working on editing her poetry manuscript for publication. She enjoys Satellite cowgirl cookies, missing the ocean, reading poetry books, and hanging out with her chihuahua-pug-dachshund mix pup named Zoe.
Aubrey Healey – Instructor
Aubrey is a returning CELAC instructor who started teaching ESL in 2014 but had recently taken a year off teaching at CELAC to complete her doctorate in Linguistics, which she received in May 2017. Her dissertation was funded by the Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Foundation Fellowship. Aubrey has received numerous awards for teaching, including the prestigious University of New Mexico College of Arts & Sciences Teaching Excellence Award. Besides teaching at CELAC, Aubrey also teaches test preparation courses for the ACT, SAT, and GRE through Educational Testing Consultants. Upon completion of her PhD, Aubrey completed an intensive 200-hour yoga teacher training, and she is now a certified instructor in both hot yoga and yin yoga. Join the CELAC Yoga Club and see what it’s all about!
Izabella Kovarzina – Instructor
Before moving to the United States in 1999, Izabella studied psychology and nursing in Latvia. She began teaching at CELAC while working on her doctoral degree in 2006. She received her Ph.D. in 2011. Teaching culturally-diverse students quickly became her passion, and she extended her teaching to Central New Mexico Community College. In addition to teaching, she also tutors graduate and undergraduate students in English. Izabella's primary areas of research include second-language acquisition, imagination and creativity in education, cultural studies, and academic advisement. In her free time, Izabella enjoys traveling, exercising, gardening, and meeting new people.
Natalie Kubasek – Instructor
Natalie received her PhD in English from the University of New Mexico. She specializes in American Literary Studies with an emphasis on Chicanx cultural production. She currently teaches English courses at UNM-Valencia and ESL courses at CELAC. She is the recipient of the UNM Andrew Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the UNM Center for Regional Studies’ Hector Torres Fellowship, and the UNM El Centro de la Raza and Title V Graduate Resource Center Latino/a Professional and Graduate Student Fellowship. Her scholarship appears in the peer-reviewed academic journals of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy, Modern Literary Studies, Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature, and NeoAmericanist: An Interdisciplinary Online Journal for the Study of America. Her research interests include Chicana feminist theory and Chicana literature, Chicanx/Latinx performance studies, and 20th and 21st century ethnic-American cultural production. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys watching lots and lots of television, especially Jane the Virgin, Insecure, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Ana Carla Passos-Morgan – Instructor
Carla is an Educational Linguistics Ph.D. student in the department of Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies. Originally from Brazil, she received a double major B.A in Portuguese and English Language and Literature-Secondary Education from the Federal University of Sergipe in Brazil. Before moving to the U.S permanently in 2011, she worked as an English and Portuguese teacher in Brazil and has been involved in language education since 2005. Her research interests include bilingual education, language curriculum development, English as a global language and its effects to foreign language education, Portuguese as a foreign and/or heritage language. She’s also part of the UNM Graduate Resource Center (GRC) where she works as the Graduate Workshop coordinator and ESOL writing consultant offering writing support to Grad students who have English as a second language.
Molly Perara-Lunde – Instructor
Molly is from Seattle, Washington, and has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the past three years while working on her doctorate. She likes to eat ice cream, hike, and paint watercolor. Her research interests include minority language maintenance in the U.S., bilingual language development, and culturally responsive pedagogy.
Jet Saengngoen – Instructor
Jet received his B.A. degree in English from Bangkok University in Thailand. His master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) is from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA. He is currently working on a Ph.D. degree in Educational Linguistics at the University of New Mexico. His research interests include adult second language acquisition, contrastive rhetoric, and corrective feedback. Jet loves to travel, cook, garden, and hike in his free time.
Monique Stone – Instructor
Monique began teaching ESL by accident in 1999 and she has not stopped. Her experience as an educator is varied. Monique has taught basic computer course in West Virginia where she served as a VISTA volunteer. Monique taught High School English in Brooklyn and in Albuquerque’s Southeast Heights. Monique enjoys reading, walks by the river and swimming laps.
Tanya Wright – Instructor
Tanya has almost 20 years of experience teaching English as a Second Language at universities and community colleges in Ukraine and the United States. She went on a study abroad program to IAU College in Avignon, France and has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States. Tanya enjoys teaching multicultural classes because they give her the chance to learn about other countries. She finds it very rewarding to help students learn English and to see them succeed in their lives.