Chad Blowers '13
Chad graduated in 2013 from the Intercultural Studies program. "[The program/department] changed my life significantly...well beyond the program content. Generally, I learned to appreciate and love Christ more. Specifically, I learned to look at my own assumptions about the gospel more critically and withhold judgments about how others live out the gospel in their own cultural context. I’m a bit more inclined to learn and ask questions first. I learned how to study the scriptures more effectively, how to ask better questions and how to think more critically. I have a higher view of Christ and his sovereignty and great work across the centuries and I am more aware of how little I know and how much I need to learn. I am also more keenly aware of the spiritual dimension, the importance of prayer. I also realize that I have a very, very long way to go in becoming a more effective cross-cultural worker. I’m eternally grateful for Dr. Gallagher and Dr. Moreau as well as the other great adjunct professors who taught me along the way. Currently, I am working as a teacher in China."
Meghan Odsliv Bratkovich '11
"I graduated in May 2011 from the Intercultural Studies & TESOL Department.
After completing Wheaton’s program I was grounded in faith, sound in theory, and prepared to practice the art of teaching. Wheaton provided me a solid foundation as a Christian scholar and educator by training me to critically examine the many facets of teaching and learning through a lens of faith.
After graduating, I worked for the US Department of State as an English Language Fellow in Indonesia. I’m currently pursuing further graduate studies in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Assessment at Columbia University in New York City.
While at Wheaton, my interest in metacognition and learner autonomy was piqued, and I was able to complete an Independent Study on the learning patterns of adult English as a Second Language students. I have continued to study these themes here in New York as I work with high school and adult English language learners as I continue my education."
Jennifer Carver '13
Jenifer graduated in 2013 from the TESOL program. “Without having completed this program, I don't think I would be as well prepared as I am for work and mission.” Currently, Jennifer is an IELP and ESL Instructor.
Nancy Clark '09
“My experience at Wheaton turned life around! I graduated in August, 2009 from the TESOL & Intercultural Studies program. Anticipating going overseas to teach in a mission school, with no prior knowledge in education structure or function, I got a lot of experience and a solid handle on the educational curriculum. The wisdom of overlapping the cultural studies with my education classes filled in the gaps of lacking an undergraduate degree in education. The following 4 years I taught in both Colombia and Peru. I taught at El Camino Academy in Bogota, Colombia and Strong Tower Christian School in Chiclayo, Peru. Each culture was distinct, yet having had the preparation from Wheaton, I felt confident to navigate through them. I am currently teaching college students at Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA and absolutely love the interactions I have with each one as they process and pray about what God is doing in their lives to prepare for future ministries cross-culturally. God is good!”
Kelly Cunningham, '07
Kelly graduated in December of 2007 from the Intercultural Studies TESOL program. “[This program] helped me established a support network of professionals and friends with similar interests and goals and gave me the practical tools I needed to succeed in my profession and the ongoing support to do so in a way that was true to my goals and beliefs. In my talks with other professionals in the field, I found our program gave us the practical focus and intercultural understanding others wished they had had.
I am currently teaching writing, academic writing and electives in the focal skills based intensive English program at Elgin Community College. I have also developed and taught online writing and grammar for our IEP and am currently working on the development and marketing of 3 summer ESL programs for ECC & revising our marketing and informational materials. I also teach in both the Adult & Academic ESL Programs at the College of DuPage and occasionally edit or do layout for Easy English News. I am working with the creator of Easy English News, Elizabeth Claire, to co-edit/author and do layout for American Manners & Customs- 2 that should be out within the next year. This coming August, I will be moving out of Wheaton to Iowa where I will begin my PhD in applied linguistics & technology.”
Kevin Felt '10 and Ruth Felt '09
Kevin graduated in 2010 from the Intercultural Studies program while his wife Ruth graduated in the Intercultural Studies/TESOL program in 2009. "Wheaton's Intercultural Studies master's program has made a significant impact on our service in China. Through the unique partnership between Wheaton and ELIC, both my wife and I have had a fantastic opportunity to explore cross-cultural service at a deeper level. The expertise and first-hand cross-cultural experience of outstanding professors like Dr. Moreau and Dr. Gallagher helped me to gain a fuller appreciation for how the Father has been moving throughout history, in addition to how He is working now. I also gained a deeper understanding of the differences between American and Asian cultures in particular, since the majority of our cohort were also serving in China and other Asian countries.I learned how to contextualize the message of Hope so that it is easier for our Chinese friends to hear, without compromising the Truth. I learned to suspend judgement when encountering behavior that is different from what I expect and give others the benefit of the doubt before labeling behavior as "wrong." It also reinforced our need to take time off from teaching to focus solely on Chinese study to enable us to communicate with the Chinese in their heart language. I highly recommend Wheaton's Intercultural Studies program to anybody with an interest in serving cross-culturally, be it in one of America's increasingly diverse cities or abroad. Currently, my wife, daughter and I work for ELIC, and are on assignment as Chinese language students in China. After a 6 month home assignment to have our second child, we plan to return to one more semester of Chinese study in Spring 2014, then to begin our sixth year of teaching English in China in Fall 2014.
Jason Fizzard '11
Jason graduated in July 2011 with a M.A. in Intercultural Studies and TESOL. "The program equipped me for full time service overseas with not only the knowledge and new skills that I apply regularly, but also allowed me to grow each year during the program by bringing insight I've learned from the field to the classes for discussion and dialogue. I am currently the country director for ELIC serving in Vietnam."
Lois Hill '00
Lois graduated from the Intercultural Studies Missions program with a TESL certificate.
“It was a wonderful experience in growing professionally and developing communication skills. I am retired and living in Bozeman, Montana. I am a conversation group leader once a week with five or six spouses of international grad students at Montana State U. and tutoring a Chinese high school exchange student once a week.”
Kim Hitchcock '05
Kim graduated from the Intercultural Studies TESOL program in 2005.
She is also a graduate of Wheaton college with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology. Currently she is teaching ESL for the workplace. Kim Hitchcock founded English Language and Cultural Services>> in 2002 to put to work her creative teaching skills, love for other cultures, and desire to bridge the language and cultural gap that exists between non-native speakers and their workplaces and communities.
She has taught ESL for over 10 years to students from over 50 different countries, with many different language backgrounds and all skill levels. Throughout that time, she has helped executives, managers, and those in entry level positions develop their general and work-related communication skills. She has created course material for each client addressing the language skills needed.
Kim has lived in both South Asia and South America and learned two other languages in a foreign context. Both of these experiences have greatly informed her understanding of the language learning and cultural adaptation process. This makes her teaching relevant to those living and learning English in the U.S.
Tara Holloway '09
Tara graduated with a MA in Intercultural Studies in partnership with ELIC. “This program had a profound effect on me as I was living in Cambodia while studying for the classes I was taking. Everything I read in the books and all the papers I was writing seemed to have immediate application or relevance to what I was experiencing on a daily basis in Cambodia. I became so much more aware of how I was being understood by the Cambodian people, and how to more effectively teach, interact, and share with them. It was eye opening and humbling. I have never appreciated my academic experience like I do this one. My husband and I are returning to Cambodia with ELIC in February where we will teach English and implement a training and mentoring type program. I am excited to be able to use what I have learned in this program once again.”
Tim Hooker ‘04
Tim graduated in December 2004 with a M.A. in Intercultural Studies and TESOL. In regards to the impact the department and program had on him, Tim says, “I grew in leadership skills, developed a stronger theology of missions, developed greatly as a teacher, became more aware of spiritual warfare, and developed a more interdenominational outlook. [Currently] I serve as the Director of ESL Programs at Campbellsville University (KY) and am also involved in international-related ministry at the local church level. I previously served in a "visiting professor" capacity at both Handong Global University in Pohang, S. Korea and Inha University in Incheon, S. Korea.”
Muhia Karianjahi '03
Muhia graduated in 2003 with a M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies with Christian Education (that is now CFM) and Intercultural Studies. “I came to Wheaton with the express desire to read and write about a church based rites of passage program I wash involved in back home in Kenya. I found the IDS program perfect for that. I enjoyed the spiritual formation elements of Education. My teaching methods were forever impacted by the Christian education classes. From the Intercultural side I learned a lot on leadership from Dr. Gallagher, and contextualization with Dr. Moreau who also supervised and held my hand through my thesis. I went back home and from the thesis wrote a training manual for churches to run rites of passage programs. This was all very highly impactful to me and to ministry back home. After ten years doing camp and youth ministry in Kenya after graduating, I am back at Wheaton at the HoneyRock Outdoor Center for Leadership Development. I oversee the graduate program there as well as global initiatives.”
Andy Kelley '03
“My name is Andy Kelley (James A. officially). I am currently teaching Chinese in a high school in Nashville TN. I have been teaching here for three years and this summer I am taking a small group of three students to do an intensive English teaching summer camp in central China. I am very excited about this first step into China for our school and hope that some of the students will be inspired by their time in China to devote their lives to building bridges with China.
I graduated from Wheaton MA program TESOL/Intercultural Studies in Dec. 2003. I was part of an ELIC cohort and worked in China while completing the MA program.
I was impacted in a number of ways that I did not realize until I had graduated and moved on in my studies. I continued my graduate education at the University of Memphis, receiving my Ph.D in Dec. 2010 in Applied Linguistics (dissertation on motivation and social network sites in TEFL). While I had a good experience at the University of Memphis, it was so very different than the strong community-based and faith-based education I received in my years at Wheaton. I am grateful I had both experiences, but I now appreciate my teachers, leaders, and colleagues at Wheaton in ways I probably did not express adequately at that time. It was a wonderful experience that helped me become a scholar, a better teacher, and a better person. I am very thankful for the work of people like Dr. Dickerson, Dr. Seaman, Dr. Pierson, and Dr. Moreau who I see as molding me in important ways as a scholar, teacher, and person.”
Easten Law '09
Easten graduated in January, 2009 from the Intercultural Studies with ELIC program.
"The program gave me an awareness of how culture and context forms everything from identity to social structures. Without knowing culture, you are likely to do more damage than good no matter the field you are in. The program gave me sensitivity for listening, humility for understanding, and an ability to analyze situations from multiple perspectives.Wheaton taught me that when doing any kind of intercultural work, context matters more than we realize. Whether it is development, diplomacy, business, or missions… our awareness of cultural norms and traditions is vital to a success that honors every person's dignity. This attitude shapes every classroom I enter and is something I strive to form in every student I teach.
Currently, I am teaching Cross-Cultural Communication with the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. I love teaching undergraduates about the importance of understanding culture in their work as many aspire to be diplomats or NGO workers."
Vance Massengill '01
“I graduated from the MA in Intercultural Studies (part of the 1st ELIC cohort)
The degree from Wheaton was very meaningful to me. The short times we were able to spend with the faculty were invaluable and their impact both inside and outside the class was crucial to my ministerial development. While I had already done a BA in Intercultural Studies from Lee University, the degree from Wheaton further strengthened my interest in IS and eventually led to my work on a PhD in the discipline. Also the degree helped prepare me for my current work in the Middle East. Although I wish I had been able to spend more time on campus, my experience at Wheaton was monumental and invaluable.
Currently I am a career "cross-cultural" worker for the Church of God WM (Cleveland, TN). The year after graduating Wheaton, I was appointed as the regional education coordinator for COGWM in the Middle East. I have been stationed in Greece, Croatia, Germany, and my family and I are currently residing in the United Arab Emirates where we are working with Malayalam Indian churches in the area of diasporic mobilization and education. In this role, I have also been appointed by the Malayalam leadership as "principle" of their seminary. I am currently in the dissertation phase of a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.”
Kristy McGarvey '06
Kristy graduated from the Intercultural Studies Department in 2006 with an emphasis in Leadership Development.
“[Intercultural Studies] fueled great exploration in my own questions and learning about cross cultural ministry; equipped me for all sorts of “contextualization” that I do on a regular basis no matter where I have worked; expanded my perception of God’s work in the world; deepened my value of integrity and character in a leader. Currently, I am a Residence Director at Wheaton College working with upper class students. Next year I will be transitioning to the Director of Graduate Student Care position working alongside grad students with a specific attention paid to the international students as they study here.”
Sarah Morrison '12
Sarah graduated in 2012 with a MA Intercultural Studies.
“I went through the program while I was teaching in China, and the class discussions and assignments served as amazing chances to debrief and make sense of what I was learning through my experiences on the field. I have recently come back to the States and am looking for jobs in teaching intercultural communication, or working with International students.”
Kaylene Powell '10
Kaylene graduated from the Intercultural Studies TESOL program.
“It was like a breath of fresh air for my mind, heart, and soul. It gave me the chance to take everything I'd already learned while working abroad and synthesize those lessons with new theories and views. The multicultural environment, of the whole community, of the department student body, and of the apartment where I lived for a time, gave me chances to see the world in a much broader way than I ever had before.
I know that a richer outlook has made me a better and more compassionate worker after leaving Wheaton and I'm thankful for the continuing emotional and spiritual support that Wheaton professors and friends provide for me, long after I've graduated. They truly became like family to me. Currently, I study Chinese and work as an EFL teacher in China. I also mentor and support both foreign teachers and local Chinese English teachers as they seek to develop their own language and teaching skills.”
Lynn Stapleton '06
“I graduated in 2006 in Intercultural Studies/TESOL.
For the past several years I have taught English at various Bible schools, seminaries, and language schools in SE Asia. I am currently teaching English at a language school in Yangon, Myanmar. So my category would be education. My specific area is teaching English for specific purposes - Academic English and, when possible, within a biblical context, though I often end up teaching general English courses too.
Wheaton Grad School gave me many tools, resources, and methods to help me improve in my teaching style and classroom management. But the biggest contribution was the encouragement I received from the professors, particularly Alan [Seaman] and Cheri [Pierson]. Their personal interest and involvement in my ministry and classes spurred me on to seeing bigger pictures, trying new ideas, and applying myself in new areas. Also the way they shared from their own experiences in the classroom and teaching abroad helped me to learn how to adapt lessons and assess students from a variety of backgrounds.”
Sarah T. '11
Sarah graduated in May 2011 with a M.A. in TESOL from the Intercultural Studies Department. “The program humbled me to a place of depending on Christ and recognizing my great need for Him in this work and in this life. Currently, I am teaching English to at-risk children in South East Asia and preparing for a move to Central Asia.”
Ellie Tasheva '10
Ellie graduated in December 201l from the TESOL and Intercultural Studies program.
“For me to be able to live and study in the USA was both a valuable and a challenging experience for many reasons. I had to adapt to a different culture, different expectations and requirements. It was rewarding to be able to immerse myself in the academic environment, to answer the professors’ demands, high expectations, and deadlines. Alongside with the process of learning new information, I was prompted to use my previous experience as an EFL teacher from Bulgaria and to re-define my teaching philosophy. All the courses were extremely beneficial for me as they enriched my knowledge, helped me build new skills, and opened new perspectives. I was able, once again, to think through what I believe about teaching (through the theories of teaching methodology that I consider to be the most effective), to face the challenge of connecting theory and practice and face the fact that there is not a single answer to effective language teaching, but we often need to be flexible and observant and adjust to the situations we face. Very helpful in this respect was the combination between theory, micro teaching, practicum, and the literature that we had to review and study during the courses. My first step to gaining an insight into culturally diverse classrooms was to work with a World Relief ESL class in Wheaton. As a person who has been raised in a mono-cultural environment and worked with homogeneous groups of EFL students, I realized that I had a very little understanding of the dynamics in a multi-ethnic classroom. The students were from Nepal, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Mexico and Iran. It was a new experience for me to face some favorable aspects of ethnically diverse learning environment, which encourages the students to use the target language and modify their pronunciation to the best of their abilities. My studies at Wheaton and the incredible support of Dr. Seaman and Dr. Pierson contributed to my confidence as an ESL/EFL teacher and helped me gain a new insight in the art of foreign language teaching.
Currently, I am teaching English at New Bulgarian University in Sofia (>" target="_blank">www.nbu.bg>>) and in addition as a freelance educator I teach Business, English, and ESP."
Elizabeth Tebbe '97
I’m Beth Tebbe and I graduated with an MA in Intercultural Studies in May 1997, with the TESL (a.k.a. TESOL) certificate. I appreciated both the TESL and ‘missions’ aspects of the degree – really more than I can say! We’d then been working with InterServe in several countries in South Asia and the Middle East for 20 years. The coursework and interactions gave me an intellectual understanding of God’s calling and plan to reach the world through cross-cultural means. It was invaluable to me personally as well as giving me tools to understand problems we encountered. From 2002-10, Jim (my husband) and I worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in their Madison WI National Service Center. I did a variety of administrative jobs and Jim was the Urbana Director and VP for Missions. We worked 25 years with InterServe and then IVCF. Since 2011 my husband and I have been working in Lahore, Pakistan at Forman Christian College. I am employed by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, seconded to the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students to be on their South Asia Regional Leadership Team. We are working with students and faculty in the college, as well as an encouragement role with IFES in South Asia.
Luke Tseng '12
“My name is Luke Tseng, I graduated from the INTR Program/Department in December 2012. I would say the department impacted me in unexpected ways. I was planning on learning as much as I could about member care before jumping into the field, but I gained a far richer experience. Coming from an Asian-American background, I assumed I knew plenty about crossing cultures, but the courses in the program taught me humility and gave me an incredible depth of knowledge in how the truth can extend far beyond any culture.
My wife, Holly, and I are currently working with the English Language Institute/China (ELIC), working as English teachers at Hengyang Normal University in Hengyang, Hunan Province, China; we will be here for the next two years.”
Rose Wang '01
Rose graduated in 2001 from the Intercultural Studies and Missions program. “[The program] prepared me well for my teaching jobs, both in ESL and Chinese teaching.” Currently, Rose is an instructor of Chinese at Wheaton College.
Jessica Woodley '05
“I graduated in December of 2005 (May 2006 was the official date of graduation) with a Master of Arts in TESOL and Intercultural Studies. Through Wheaton's TESOL/Intercultural Studies program, I learned not only how to teach English to speakers of other languages, but also how to see the world around me through a different set of lenses and to appreciate and love the beauty of cultural diversity in my surroundings. Recently, I've been teaching English to speakers of other languages in Nashville since January of 2006, and I currently teach English Language Development and Spanish at Antioch High School in Antioch, Tennessee.”
Jonathan Wu '09
Jonathan graduated from the Intercultural Studies MA program in the summer of 2009. “I was able to learn a lot about practical ways to connect the truth to the students that we work with. The program really helped me to see ways to reach out to other cultures and how to apply the classroom knowledge into reality. Currently I am teaching English in China.”
Marcela Zoncova '05
“I graduated in December 2005 from the TESL and Intercultural Studies program.
The time at Wheaton College and the program itself have both incredibly enriched my professional as well as spiritual life. It has been almost 7 years since my graduation, but basically every day I experience something that reminds me of my studies. I have especially appreciated the practical side of my program. Over the years in my teaching I have been able to use most of what I learned during my studies. Another significant part of my time at WC was meeting many interesting and inspiring people and learning from them. Currently, I work part-time as an EFL teacher.”