English Language Institute

Center for International Education

Faculty & Staff

Jim HamrickJim Hamrick is the Director of ELI. His professional interests include curriculum development and program evaluation. Jim has been involved in ESL/EFL for more than thirty years. He has taught English in Japan and China and has trained teachers in Poland and Saudi Arabia. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, a master’s from Georgetown University, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan.

emEm Turner Chitty is a Senior Teaching Associate at ELI. She also organizes ELI’s elective courses. Before ELI, she taught English at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the Istituto Americano in Florence, Italy, the American School in Switzerland (TASIS Lugano), Pellissippi State Technical Community College in Knoxville, and she has been a tutor and contract instructor. She is the author of the book How We Really Talk: Using Phrasal Verbs in English. She speaks Italian and French. She has a master’s degree in English.

Charity DavenportCharity Davenport has been an instructor at ELI since 2008. She is very interested in using technology and learning management systems at ELI. She taught at an intensive English summer camp on Jeju Island, South Korea in 2005 and 2006. She also taught English to middle school students in Nashville, TN, and was a TOEFL and TOEIC speaking test rater. She has a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies with a minor in Japanese, and a master’s in TESOL, both from the University of Tennessee.

Golshan DehkordiGolshan Dehkordi has been teaching at ELI for more than 10 years. She also is the supervisor for ELI’s TOEFL exam. She worked for the English department and has taught ITA (International Teaching Assistant) courses at the University of Tennessee. In addition, she taught English to workers at Denso in Maryville, TN, and Panasonic in Knoxville, TN. She has Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies, and a Master’s degree in Linguistics with a concentration in Second Language Acquisition.

Joan HollidayJoan Holladay has been an instructor at ELI since 2000. She began teaching in 1966 in Music Education and taught in Tennessee, the Department of Defense Schools in Alabama, and Chapel schools in Tokyo, Japan. In 1978, she began teaching ESL at Amarillo College in Texas. She also taught at the American Language Institute at the University of Toledo for 13 years. She holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from East Tennessee State University, and a Master of Arts and Education from the University of Toledo.

Ronnie HowardRonnie Howard is a Teaching Associate at ELI and has been teaching since 2009. He also serves as a liason for BSMP (Brazil Scientific Mobility Program) students at ELI. He joined the US Navy and served for ten years, during which he was stationed in Sardinia, Italy, and traveled throughout the Mediterranean region as far as Egypt, Greece, and Turkey. He was also stationed at Bahrain and visited U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He earned his master’s in TESOL at Carson-Newman University.

Anthony SchmidtAnthony Schmidt Anthony Schmidt is a Teaching Associate at ELI. He has interests in second language acquisition, applied linguistics, and technology. Beginning in 2007, he taught English to middle school students in Busan, South Korea and Osaka, Japan. In 2012, he began teaching English at Pukyong National University in Busan, South Korea. he came to ELI in 2014. He holds a Master’s degree in Language Education/TESOL from Indiana University.

Erin SmithErin Smith is a part-time instructor at ELI and has been teaching since 2010. She also coordinates ELI’s Conversation Partners Program and teaches elementary French at the University of Tennessee. Before teaching at ELI, she worked as a writing specialist in the Learning Center at Roane State Community College, where she also taught developmental writing. She has a bachelor’s in French from the University of Tennessee and a M.Ed. in TESOL from Northeastern University.

Doug TerryDoug Terry is a Teaching Associate at ELI. He also leads ELI’s First Term Orientation class. In addition, he has served as liaison for student groups from Kansai Gaidai University. Before joining ELI, he worked for 10 years as an ESL instructor with Knox County Schools and Pellissippi State Community College’s Adult Education program. He earned his Master’s in TESOL Education at the University of Tennessee in 2003.

Lauren Wood has been an instructor at the English Language Institute since 2012. She also coordinates activities for short-term study abroad groups at ELI. Ms. Wood has taught at Carson-Newman University, Namseoul University in South Korea, Yanbian University of Science and Technology in China, and as a private tutor. She earned a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language at Carson-Newman.

woman-placeholder20160203164419Erin Wentley

Anwar AccawiAnwar F. Accawi is an ELI instructor emeritus who has been an ESL teacher for thirty-two years. He has taught in the USA and in Lebanon at the National Evangelical Institute, Sidoon High School, and the American University of Beirut before coming to the University of Tennessee in 1979. He has also trained ESL teachers. Anwar is a published writer whose work has appeared in books, literary anthologies, reviews, and college textbooks in the USA and abroad.

Mostafa RahbarMostafa Rahbar is an instructor emeritus who has taught at ELI since 1980. Before teaching at ELI, he taught English in Iran for a U.S. State Department binational center. He also translated many books from English into Persian and from Persian into English for UNESCO while working for the Center for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelor’s in Broadcasting and a Master’s in Foreign Language Education.

BrittneyBrittney Martin has been at ELI since November 2012 and recently became ELI’s Admissions Specialist/Financial Coordinator. She manages ELI’s enrollment and admissions and serves as one of ELI’s Designated Student Officers (DSO) for immigration compliance. She also serves as ELI’s primary liaison with Undergraduate Admissions, University Housing, Bursar, Health Center, and Student Affairs. She handles data of applicants, enrolled students, alumni, and their financial, academic, and immigration records.

LauraLaura Crowe is the Administrative Specialist at ELI.  She is responsible for processing applications, registration, answering inquiries, and assisting students and teachers in any way that she can.  She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Carson-Newman College and a Master of Education degree in School Counseling from Liberty University.

placeholder_male2xSteve Randolph has over 20 years of human resources management experience in governmental and corporate settings. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and is currently working on a master’s degree in Intercultural Studies.



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