Innovative, professional teaching is the trademark of INTO UAB's English Language Programs. We are proud to work with some of the most talented English language instructors in this region.

Does teaching with the English Language Programs interest you? Read about our Teacher Qualifications and find out how to apply for a teaching assignment with ELP.


Amy M. Snow - Director of Academic Programs
Amy graduated from the University of Alabama with a Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She received her undergraduate degree from Samford University in Spanish Language and Literature. Amy has had experience teaching in Indonesia and China and studied in Spain. She also worked as an instructor of ESL at Gadsden State Community College before beginning her work with UAB. Amy feels like she learns as much from her students as they learn from her. She enjoys watching the cross-cultural dynamic of the ESL classroom and serving as a facilitator in the learning process.

Susan Blazer - Program Manager
Susan graduated from UAB with a Master of Arts in ESL and from Samford University with an undergraduate degree in English literature and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communication. Susan has been involved in either tutoring or teaching courses in English to international students for 24 years. Susan taught ESL in Jefferson County Schools and Birmingham City Schools for 4 years. She served as the Assistant Director and ESL Instructor at Samford University’s English Language Learner Institute for 5½ years before coming to UAB. In addition, Susan and her family lived in Belo Horizonte, Brazil for 6½ years. Because of adjusting to a new culture and language herself, Susan feels a strong connection with international students and their adjustments to life in the U.S.

Melissa W. Hawkins - Manager of Accreditation and Program Development
Melissa has an Educational Specialist degree in ESL from UAB and a Master's degree in TESOL from the University of Alabama. Her undergraduate degree is from Samford University in English and Speech Communications. Melissa has taught English at universities in the U.S., Belgium, and Japan, and she has lived or travelled in many other countries throughout the world. Melissa has worked in this program since its start in 2001. Her favorite things about her job are the privilege of getting to know students from all over the globe, helping to facilitate learning in such a positive environment, and how she gets to observe intercultural communication in action every day.

Meghan Gilliland - Learning Resource Center Coordinator
Meghan received a Master’s in Education in ESL from UAB and earned her undergraduate degree in English/Literature from Samford University. During her time at Samford, she studied Spanish in Costa Rica and was an intern at an academy in London, England. Meghan previously taught with the ELP, worked in UAB’s University Writing Center as the ESL Specialist, and tutored student-athletes in UAB’s Athletic Department. She values the opportunity to help students achieve their academic goals and strives to create a positive, supportive learning environment in the LRC that promotes mutual learning between students and tutors.

Kathy Martell - Curriculum Coordinator/Instructor
Kathy received her Master's degree in TESOL from the School for International Training in 1998. She has taught adults of all ages and from over 20 countries, working in the US, Vietnam, and China. She enjoys teaching all levels from beginner to advanced, and courses in general, business, and academic English. She has also conducted teacher-training courses through the University of Cambridge CELTA program. As the Curriculum Coordinator and as an instructor, she focuses on students' ability to actively use English language and skills in a very practical way in academic, professional, and everyday life.

Sherine Wahba - Academic Support Coordinator
Sherine graduated from UAB with a Master’s in Adult ESL Education. She taught in the ELP for 5 years before starting her position as Academic Support Coordinator. She taught different classes, but her favorite was grammar. She has also worked in the tourism industry in Alexandria, Egypt, and has worked in an administrative capacity in Chicago. Sherine loves to meet students from all over the world, and this is the main reason why she enjoys working at INTO UAB. She also believes that she can make a difference in her students’ lives by understanding the difficulties they face in learning a second language and in adjusting to a new culture.

Full-time Instructors

Monica Cantwell - Instructor
Monica has a Master’s degree in Adult ESL Education from UAB, a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from Northeastern University in Boston, and a Bachelor’s of Art in Communications from the University of Massachusetts, with a year of linguistics and film studies at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She enjoys working at the ELP because it allows her to help international students adjust to life in the U.S. and learn about their cultures and languages. Monica has taught in Japan, Boston, and Virginia, and has taught and advised students at UAB for more than ten years.

Dana Cox – Instructor
Dana has a Master of Arts degree in French with a certificate in TESOL and an undergraduate degree in Foreign Language Education from Mississippi State University. Her professional experience includes teaching French at both the secondary and university level and teaching ESL at both Mississippi State University and UAB. Her French studies included a summer in Québec and nine months in Dijon, France where she was an international student in an intensive language program. She feels that this experience has helped her understand what our international students may be experiencing while studying English at UAB. She enjoys teaching ESL because it gives her the opportunity to help international students improve their English, while also learning about different countries and cultures from her students.

Monte Erwin – Instructor
Monte Erwin holds a Master of Arts degree in English as a Second Language from UAB, a Masters of Arts in Religious Education, and has taught ESL/EFL for eight years. He speaks Latvian as a second language after spending six years in the former Soviet Republic of Latvia. He has also lived in the Caribbean islands for nine years. Monte has worked in both publishing and higher education. He has taught English in Riga, Latvia and at Gadsden State Community College, Samford University, and now UAB. Although Monte loves teaching English, his passion and call in life is to work cross-culturally and internationally.

Oscar Garcia - Instructor
Originally from Mexico, Oscar graduated from UAB with a Master’s degree in Adult ESL Education. He has worked for the Applied Linguistics Program at State University of Nayarit in Mexico, and has taught adults from diverse ages and backgrounds in Mexico and in the United States. Oscar has conducted teacher-training courses through the University of Cambridge TKT certificate programs as well as presented many training workshops in state and regional TESOL conventions in the U.S. and Mexico. As a bilingual speaker, Oscar believes that he can make a difference in his students’ lives because he understands the challenges faced in learning a second language in a foreign country. He is a strong advocate for free voluntary reading, and he believes this is the most powerful tool that students can use to learn a second language.

Darlene Key - Instructor
Darlene graduated from UAB with a Master of Arts in Adult ESL Education. Her undergraduate degree is also from UAB in Physical Education and Health. Darlene has taught English to adults and children in the U.S., Hungary, and Mexico, and she taught in the English language program at Samford University before coming to UAB. She believes that the world is a classroom and wants to instill a love of learning in her students, and she enjoys encouraging them to share their country and culture with one another.  Her classes are interactive, engaging, and fun.

Bryan Lowry - Instructor
Bryan graduated from UAB with a Master's in Adult ESL Education. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama in American Studies, with a concentration in Telecommunications and Film. His professional experience includes working with ESL teachers in the Shelby County school system, work as an Instructor at Aeon Language Schools in Japan, and teaching a variety of courses for the ELP. Bryan tries to make learning fun, and his classes often feature games and other active ways to practice English. He is a "people person" and enjoys getting to know each of his students individually.

Rachel Scott Wood - Instructor
Rachel received her Master`s degree in TESOL at Wheaton College in Chicago, where she also got her undergraduate degree. She speaks Russian and has lived overseas for 18 years: 3 years in Bolivia, 11 in Kyrgyzstan, 3 in Thailand, and 1 in Greece. She has also traveled widely to places like Russia, China, Ukraine, Spain, Germany, and Pakistan. She loves teaching adult ESL and being a part of students’ cultural transition to the United States, whether it is temporary or permanent. Because she has been a foreigner in other countries, she understands the joys and challenges of traveling and learning a second language. Rachel enjoys creating student-centered classrooms that are interactive and supportive, offering students a welcoming place to learn.

Anna Skees - Instructor
Anna has a Master’s in Education in ESL from UAB. Her undergraduate degree is in English from Bob Jones University. Anna taught English for a year in Tver, Russia, at Vista English School. She has coordinated many children's camps throughout Russia for the organization Russian Summer Camps. Most recently, she taught a summer camp in China in Summer 2015. Anna loves the classroom dynamic as students engage each other and interact using English. It's wonderful to see students grow in confidence and ability! She also enjoys experiencing other cultures by getting to know her students.

Natalie A. Twelkemeier - Instructor
Natalie received her Master's of Arts degree in TESOL and Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College in Chicago, Illinois. She also has an undergraduate degree in graphic design and information technology from the University of South Alabama. She has taught English at universities in Thailand, Kazakhstan, multiple cities in China, most recently at Tianjin Peiyang University for 5 years. She has also presented at various regional ESL Conventions. She enjoys thinking of creative ways to teach, creating games, activities and visual aids to help students learn, and getting to know students from around the world. She also likes exploring how technology can best utilized in the classroom.

Part-time ESL Instructors

Josephine Cox completed a M.A., Ed ESL with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a M.M. Viola Performance at Memphis University, and a Diploma TESOL with Trinity College, London. She has been teaching English since 2007, a journey that has taken her to Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and, most recently her home country, the United States. Prior to this, she was a violin/ viola teacher. Besides teaching, her adventures tend to take her to the great outdoors where she finds inspiration to maintain a photography website and photo-journal blog.

Sandra Spillner-Martin has her Masters of Arts degree in English and Italian Studies, as well as in Media Communications, from Martin-Luther-University in Halle/Wittenberg, Germany. She also has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Education Sciences from the same school. Sandra has done research in the field of psycholinguistics and is particularly interested in the relationship between thinking and speaking. She has experience teaching both English and German language skills and has also worked in Great Britain, Italy and Germany. She loves the interaction with students from various cultural backgrounds.

Rebekah Trinh received her Master’s degree in TESOL from The University of Alabama and her Bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Samford University. She has experience studying in Costa Rica and teaching English in Mali, as well as traveling in many countries. Rebekah has worked with international students at UAB for more than 10 years and considers it a privilege to help them achieve their goals and succeed in American academic culture. She enjoys teaching academic writing and reading skills, and learning about other cultures from her students.