Jim 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 30 years. He has taught English in Japan and China and 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.
Em Turner Chitty
Em Turner Chitty is a senior teaching associate. 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); and Pellissippi State Technical Community College in Knoxville. 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 Davenport has been an instructor at ELI since 2008. She is very interested in using technology and learning management systems. 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, Tennessee, 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. She is the coordinator of ELI’s New Student Orientation and has recently published an open textbook about Greek mythology for ESL learners.
Golshan 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, Tennessee, and Panasonic in Knoxville. 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.
Erin Smith is an instructor at the English Language Institute. Along with teaching ESOL, she participates in student services and has taught elementary French for UT’s Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures. Before teaching at UT, she worked as a writing specialist in the Learning Center at Roane State Community College, where she also taught developmental writing. Erin earned her B.A. in French at UT in 2006 and her M.Ed. with a specialization in TESOL at Northeastern University in 2010. In 2018, she graduated from Middlebury College with a M.A. in French with specialization in civilization, culture, and society.
Ronnie 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 served for 10 years in the US Navy, during which time 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 UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. He earned his master’s in TESOL at Carson-Newman University.
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.
Doug 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. She 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 University.
Anwar F. Accawi
Anwar F. Accawi is an ELI instructor emeritus who has been an ESL teacher for 32 years. He has taught in the US 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. He is a published writer whose work has appeared in books, literary anthologies, reviews, and college textbooks in the US and abroad.
Mostafa Rahbar is an instructor emeritus who has taught at ELI since 1980. Before teaching at ELI, he taught English in Iran for a US 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.
Laura 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 in human services from Carson-Newman University and a Master of Education in school counseling from Liberty University.
Steve 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.