Faculty & Staff

All of our faculty are trained professionals with at least a master's degree in TESOL or related field.

Our administrators have degrees and special training in their areas of expertise.


Administrators and Staff

Leyah Malcha Bergman-Lanier, PhD.DirectorDr. Leyah Bergman-Lanier brings more than 20 years of ESL teaching and administrative experience to her position as Director of Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Her teaching spans all ages from kindergarten through adult levels. She served as Director of the Program in ESL at the University of California at Irvine, Assistant Director of ESL at Pitzer College, and Program Coordinator of Adult Education and K-12 Programs in Claremont, California; Leyah has also directed the Spring Institute for International Studies at the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Bergman-Lanier speaks fluent Japanese and taught in Japan for four years. She has also taught and conducted research in the People's Republic of China. Her undergraduate degree comes from the University of California at Berkeley, and she completed her M.A. (Education and Reading) and Ph.D. (Education and Sociolinquistics) at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Bergman-Lanier has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Her home town is in West Los Angeles. In her spare time, Leyah enjoys weaving, reading and exploring the outdoors.Adriana TreadwayAssistant DirectorAdriana Treadway is originally from Argentina. She started teaching English in 1982. She has worked as a translator for corporations and individuals in Argentina and in the USA; as an English as a Foreign Language instructor in public and private schools in Argentina and in Japan; and as a Spanish Teaching Assistant in the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Arkansas. In 1992, she started working at Spring International Language Center as an ESL instructor. Adriana completed an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language and Translation at the University of La Plata in Argentina. In 1993, she completed an M.F.A. in Translation at the University of Arkansas. Adriana loves teaching, traveling, cooking, gardening, and spending time with family and friends.Nakeli HendrixInternational Student Advisor & RegistrarNakeli is from Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to Arkansas in 2006. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Travel Industry Management from the University of Hawaii. In 2007 Nakeli began working at Arkansas State University in the Office of International Programs. Throughout her time there she held several positions within the office and worked her way up to the senior immigration officer. Nakeli has extensive experience in advising F-1 and J-1 students and scholars on complex immigration issues. She enjoys meeting students from all over the world and helping them achieve their goal of studying in the US. In her spare time Nakeli enjoys spending time with her family, baking and exploring Northwest Arkansas.Lynne Marie LukasExecutive AssistantLynne Marie began her career in Fort Smith, Arkansas selling Babylock sewing machines for B Sew Inn before opening her own business selling Bernina sewing and embroidery machines. She moved to Fayetteville in 2005. In 2008, Lynne Marie started working at the University of Arkansas where she completed her BSE in Human Resource Development. As the Executive Assistant at the Spring International Language Center, Lynne Marie processes student payments, invoices sponsoring agencies, and manages the business accounts. In addition to the accounting duties, she also processes the paperwork for new employees and assists in screening agents who wish to represent the Spring International Language Center. She enjoys meeting with students to discuss their financial responsibilities and working with the outstanding staff and faculty at SILC.Jimmy BowieStudent Services CoordinatorJimmy Bowie is from Fayetteville, Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2006 with Bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Political Science. While studying at the University, Jimmy was a resident assistant at Holcombe Hall, which houses many international students. Immediately after graduating, he pursued a career in journalism, but the desire to help students never subsided. In January 2008, Jimmy was hired as the Student Services Coordinator at Spring International Language Center. In addition to helping international students, Jimmy enjoys spending his time outdoors hiking with his dog.Shelby ShackelfordAdministrative AssistantShelby Shackelford is a United States citizen who calls Fayetteville, AR her “home-base,” since she keeps returning to Northwest Arkansas in between her travels. She has lived in Asia and Europe and has traveled throughout the world, living in 25 different houses on 3 different continents before graduating the University of Arkansas with an English degree. She has received her TEFL certificate with Spring International Language Center, and after 2 years of teaching English in Albania she returned to complete her degree and started working with SILC. Shelby must have coffee every morning, is a chocolate connoisseur, loves learning other languages and spending time with friends and family.  In her free time Shelby enjoys reading, horseback riding, or doing any outdoor activity.Kirk LanierGeorgetown Square Manager & PhotographerBesides being Dr. Lanier's husband, Kirk has been a professional musician for decades both as a bass guitarist and singer. Kirk has recently discovered his talent for photography and has quickly become a recognized artist in this field. He has a studio at the Fayetteville Underground, a local artists cooperative. Luckily, he is now SILC's own resident photographer, taking professional photos of all our students, many of their activities, and home countries.





Michelle SneadAcademic CoordinatorMichelle Snead, who is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, has been teaching at SILC since 2007. She holds a Master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor’s in English with teaching certification.  Her areas of licensure include ESL, English, and music, k-12.  Before coming to SILC, Michelle gained experience teaching in several secondary schools and at the English Language Institute at the University of Alabama.  There she also taught several university composition courses for non-native speakers. At SILC, Michelle has taught a wide-range of courses and enjoys teaching ESL students of all levels.  In her free time, Michelle enjoys singing, reading, cooking, and spending time with her friends and family.Cindy Rauth
ELAC Academic Coordinator
Cindy Rauth earned her B.A. in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and M.A. in TESOL from the University of Washington, Seattle.   She began teaching ESL so that she could travel the world and her first teaching job took her to Oporto, Portugal in 1997.  She has also lived in Chile, France, and southeastern Europe, where she worked as a lecturer at the University of Montenegro and a teacher trainer for the Ministry of Education and Science. She also taught language and TEFL methodology to pre-service teachers at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. Cindy has been teaching advanced English language classes and training teachers for SILC and the UofA’s EASL / ELAC programs since 2007.  She is proficient in Spanish and Croatian.
Molly Staeheli
College & Community Outreach Coordinator
Having earned a BA and a couple of Masters degrees in international education and communication, Molly Staeheli joined the field of English language Education in 2002 to teach in a New York City public high school.  She has taught in Japan and most recently worked in Kosovo and Turkey on US Government granted projects where she worked extensively on teacher training projects, promoting English language development and intercultural understanding.    She spends her summers directing an English language camp that promotes peace to youth of Eastern Europe.  She has taught ESL/EFL at all levels from primary through graduate school, and is happy to add the University of Arkansas and Spring International to her teaching experiences.
Tony Hartman
Instructional Technology Coordinator
”Tony Hartman is from Emporia, Kansas. He spoke Aramaic as a child and studied French in high school and college and Mandarin during time in Guangdong, China. He has a Master’s Degree in TESOL from the Teacher’s College in Emporia, Kansas. In more than ten years as an English language professional in China, Kansas, and Arkansas, Tony has taught courses ranging from true beginning ESL to instructional technology training for ESL teachers. He enjoys building and training students and faculty with instructional technology as the Instructional Technology Coordinator at Spring International Language Center. This includes building and supporting online class-management platforms and providing training with other computer assisted language-learning tools. His website, esltony.com, provides a growing collection of resources for ESL teachers around the world. In free time, Tony enjoys fly fishing, cooking, brewing, building websites, and travelling in the United States, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia.”
Roseli FrancoOriginally from Brazil, Roseli Franco came to the U.S.A. to pursue her Master's Degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Before that, she was an English as a Foreign Language Teacher in Brazil for 10 years. She has also been an English as a Second Language Teacher in the U.S.A. since 2001. Currently, Roseli holds a Master's Degree in Curriculum & Instruction in addition to her Master's in TESOL. She brings to the classroom not only her vast experience as a language teacher but also her experience as a language learner. During all these years, Roseli has taught English to students of all ages and language levels, and from diverse backgrounds. She also enjoys cooking, doing yoga, and watching TV. Roseli loves being around her family and friends.Wendy HowardWendy launched her career in language with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and a minor in English from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, in 2007. As part of that degree, she studied abroad in Cuernavaca, Mexico. She later earned her Master of Education degree in TESOL from Regent University in Virginia Beach. In 2011, Wendy joined the faculty of the Intensive English Program at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. After two years, she transferred to the University of Arkansas, and currently teaches at Spring International Language Center in Fayetteville. Wendy loves teaching English and values her students as the brightest in the world. She enjoys snow skiing, SCUBA diving, hiking, and playing the violin and piano. She has lived in nine states, including Hawaii, and has visited most of the United States except those in the Northwest. She has also travelled to six other countries, and she hopes to visit many more in the future.Vladimir IvashchenkoVladimir Ivashchenko was born in Novosibirsk, Russia. His family later moved to Ukraine. He got his BA in English and French at Kiev State University in 1990. The same year he flew to Canada (a cloak-and-dagger tale, one of intrigue – the Wall had just fallen – but that is a tale for another day…), and from there to the United States. In 1992 he began the pursuit of an MFA degree in Literary Translation at the University of Arkansas, during which he taught elementary French and Russian in the Foreign Language Department, at times also tutoring in English, Russian and French, as well as translating for local companies and individuals involved in international business. He completed his studies in 1998, but he considers himself an eternal student, as there is so much to learn in the language field. He joined Spring International in August 2000; he has been teaching ever since, and truly enjoying it, and he finds teaching one of the best means of learning.Kevin JohnsonA native of Fayetteville, Kevin graduated from the University of Arkansas, Little Rock with an MA in English: Technical and Expository Writing. He has worked in the field of English studies in a variety of situations and settings—as a researcher, a writer, an editor, and a teacher. He worked as a development associate , tech writer, and editorial consultant in San Francisco for eight years.  After that, he taught university English at Ming Chuan University in Taipei, Taiwan and Burapha University in Bangsaen, Thailand. Kevin enjoys traveling, and he has traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East. He also enjoys canoeing, hiking, reading great books, and watching great films.Michael KneppMichael Knepp has a Master’s Degree in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas. He has been teaching English as a Foreign Language since 1978. He has taught in Japan, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, and the United Arab Emirates in addition to the United States of America. Most of his teaching experience is in English for Academic Purposes, preparing students for undergraduate or graduate degree programs. In addition, he has worked with English for Specific Purposes in the fields of Information Technology, Business, Economics, Education, and Petroleum Engineering. In his spare time, Michael enjoys music (playing the keyboard and composing) and reading (particularly history).Kim MaksymovichKim lived most of her life in the Denver area of Colorado where she got her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After backpacking through nine countries in Europe over a summer, she returned to school to get her Colorado teaching license at Metropolitan State University in Denver. She later moved to Kobe, Japan and lived there for seven years. While in Kobe, she taught English for all ages and levels at AEON English Language School for two and a half years. Wanting more challenge and to experience a more international environment, she then worked as a guidance counselor, high school English teacher, and second grade teacher for four years at Marist Brothers International School in Kobe. After returning to Colorado, she completed her M. Ed. in TESOL at Grand Canyon University while teaching English at Spring International Language Center in Littleton, Colorado for three years before transferring to Spring International in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Kim has been teaching at Spring International Language Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas since January of 2014. She loves teaching and getting to know her students and learning about their cultures and experiences. In addition, Kim enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, and spending time with her two dogs.Wendy McBrideWendy McBride came to Spring International with many years of teachingexperience in adult education, job readiness training, GREpreparation, community college English courses and English as a SecondLanguage programs in Illinois and Japan. She earned a B.A. in Englishand Psychology with a journalism focus from Augustana College and anM.S. in TESOL and Bilingual Education from Northern IllinoisUniversity. Wendy reads and writes avidly and has a published noveland nonfiction book to her credit.Gavin NelsonGavin is a native Arkansan. She grew up in Hot Springs Arkansas and moved to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas. She received her B.A. in English and relocated to Seattle, Washington. There she was the marketing manager for a hospitality company that managed conference centers, the World Trade Center Seattle, and boutique inns and resorts in the San Juan Islands. Gavin returned to Arkansas to earn an M.A. in Second Languages from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. During her studies, she received a graduate assistantship to teach with the Intensive English Language Program on campus. After graduation, Gavin traveled to Norway to participate in a Group Study Exchange, a position awarded her by Rotary International. Upon returning to the U.S., Gavin accepted a teaching position at the Intensive English Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Opportunity then led her to teach at Spring International Language Center (SILC) in Denver, Colorado on the Auraria campus. She taught there for six years until Arkansas called her home. Now she happily teaches for SILC Arkansas and has since 2012. Besides teaching, Gavin loves spending time with friends and family, gardening, mountain biking, and kayaking.Noah SchmidtA native of Northwest Ohio, Noah attended Bowling Green State University (twice), where his love of language was nurtured and shaped over time into a love of teaching.  After receiving a BFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English, he relocated with his future wife to Minnesota and worked as a librarian and English tutor.  When they moved to Arkansas in 2010, he began teaching ESL full-time.  After teaching in Fort Smith for 3 years, he joined Spring International Language Center in January of 2014.  Since that time, Noah has thoroughly enjoyed helping SILC’s many bright, dedicated students accomplish their language goals.  In his free time, Noah enjoys the expensive hobby of travelling.  So far, he has visited 37 US states and 10 countries.  He would like to visit many, many more.  Additionally, he enjoys reading, writing, and learning about other languages.Alice ShepherdAlice graduated from Northeast LA University with an MA in English. She taught remedial reading at Sequoyah Indian School in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and English at Springdale High School in Springdale, Arkansas, and did a one-year Fulbright Teacher Exchange (1985-86) in England, about 30 minutes. from London in a town called Surbiton. After a year back in Springdale, she missed England so much that she arranged to take a position at an international school in Cobham, Surrey, UK. Intending to stay only a few years, she wound up living in the UK for 18 years before returning to Fayetteville in 2006. Her favorite leisure activities over the years have included reading, attending the theater, travelling around Europe, photography, and writing for her own amusement but not for publication. She has one grown daughter, who also lives in Fayettteville.Matthew ShowmanMatthew has been teaching in one form or another for more than 14 years. In 2002 he received his bachelors degree in education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and later earned a masters degree in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California. A native midwesterner, Matthew spent more than 10 years living and working in China, most of it in Hunan: the land of spicy peppers. Matthew spent his last five and a half years in China teaching English for Academic Purposes, preparing Chinese students for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the US and the UK, before joining the Spring International Language Center team in 2014. Matthew has a love of languages and spent a year studying in Hunan Normal University's intensive Chinese program. When he has free time, he enjoys reading and exercise.Anna WillsonAfter receiving a B.A. in Elementary Education from University of Missouri, Kansas City, Anna taught 4th grade until 1991. In 1992, she received an M.A. in TESL from Central Missouri State University and began teaching English at a Hungarian high school in Romania under the auspices of Soros Foundation for an Open Society. From 1994 to 1999, Anna was an instructor in the Intensive English Program at Central Missouri State University. In addition to teaching international students, Anna enjoys traveling, playing the piano, singing with her church choir, going to Razorbacks games, and playing with her dog.Don WilliamsA native of the Chicago area, Don Williams graduated from Concordia University in River Forest, Illinois, and began his teaching career at the elementary level. In 1974 he moved to Australia, working as a high school teacher for twelve years. During this time, he first experienced ESL teaching as a volunteer instructor for two months at Hangzhou University in China. He returned to Chicago, received an MA in Curriculum & Instruction, and in 1991 he joined the Peace Corps and went to Poland. There he experienced an intensive language program, but as a student this time! For the next eight years, Don lived in Krakow, teaching English at Krakow Pedagogical University, at a Polish high school, at several private schools, and at an intensive language program for the Polish military. In 1999, thanks to the Peace Corps again, Don studied ESL teaching at Wichita State University and worked at the WSU Intensive English Language Center, and in 2000 he joined SILC. Don loves his ESL work very much, and also enjoys drawing and painting, cooking, reading and travel.Triny Yates-KneppTriny Yates-Knepp received her Master’s in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the University of Texas in her home state.  She made her decision to become an English language teacher because she wanted to live and experience other languages and cultures from the inside.  She had no idea that teaching international students would be so challenging and so much fun.  She has spent 25 years of her adult life working and living in other countries including Japan, Indonesia, Mexico, Azerbaijan, and the United Arab Emirates.  Although most of her work has been in preparing students for university studies, she has also worked in the areas of English for medical students, engineers, and businessmen and for private international corporations and foreign governments.  Despite all this teaching, she still enjoys working to help people achieve their goals using English as a tool.  If she has any spare time after grading student papers, she loves to cook, learn new things, and be out in nature and travel.

Spring International Language Center (SILC) at the University of Arkansas is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) and continues to uphold the highest standards for English Language Programs and Institutions. The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation is recognized by the United States Department of Education. SILC is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students.