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Doug Terry

Senior Teaching Associate

Doug Terry, MA TESOL Education, is a teaching associate at ELI. Deeply interested in helping UT become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus, he also coordinates the Academy for Global Scholars in addition to his teaching work at ELI. The Academy helps first-generation college students–students who are the first in their families to attend college–travel abroad and see the world. Before joining ELI, he worked with Knox County Schools and Pellissippi State Community College’s Adult Education program.

What do you enjoy most about working at ELI?

I always say that I’m so blessed to have the best job in the world because I get to work with the best people in the world – our students! Whether they are at a basic, intermediate, or advanced level, I’m continually impressed by how much our students teach me through sharing their life experiences and cultures. Additionally, I’m always in awe of their courage and resilience in taking on the challenge of advancing their English language skills.

What advice do you give to new ELI students?

I encourage our students not to be shy. I tell them to let any of us faculty or staff know how we can be of service to them we can always do our very best to help! In terms of language learning, I let students know that learning a language is not a linear process, where every day you can obviously tell that you are improving. Instead, I tell them to think of their English language development as learning to incorporate a healthy habit. Some days may seem to be more of a struggle than others, but over time, you can truly see growth.

What is your favorite place on campus?

I love The Hill, where Ayres Hall, with its clock tower, looks down on a lush green hill that slopes downward to Cumberland Avenue. This is the spot where I asked my wife to marry me.

What is something you love about Knoxville?

I love living in a small city that has access to so many wonderful places to go hiking and experience the outdoors! We’re very close to the Smokies, various scenic state parks, and, of course, Ijams, our urban wilderness!

What are a few of your favorite books or movies?

Chef by Marcus Samuelsson, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby, and the Harry Potter series.

What are some TV shows you enjoy?

Most of my favorite shows are older ones such as Parks and Recreation, The Office, and early seasons of American Idol.

Do you have a podcast recommendation?

Yes, two:

  • Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend is a good choice if you’re looking for something funny, O’Brien, the host, interviews famous people.
  • Fresh Air  from National Public Radio (NPR) is a good choice If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of politics, entertainment, or other aspects of U.S. culture,


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