Tammen Nicholson
Fulbright Global Portfolio Program Officer, Institute of Internatioal Education

Tammen Nicholson is a Fulbright Global Portfolio Program Officer at IIE. He primarily manages the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) and the Fulbright Scholar in Residence (SIR) programs. Prior to joining IIE, Tammen was a Healthy Youth Advisor with the United States Peace Corps in Lesotho and a Senior University Relations Coordinator for CISabroad. Tammen is currently pursuing an M.A. from Fordham University in International Political Economy and Development. He holds a B.S. in Sport Management from Springfield College.


Dr. Leyah Malcha Bergman-Lanier
Executive Director, Spring International Language Center
Director, English Language and Cultural Studies

Dr. 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 Sociolinguistics) at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Bergman-Lanier has traveled extensively in Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Her home town is in West Los Angeles.

Dr. Todd Shields
Dean, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, University of Arkansas

Dr. Todd Shields is the Dean of the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. He completed his B.A. in psychology and political science at Miami University in 1990, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in 1991 and 1994. His research interests lie broadly in American campaigns and elections, though he also researches in political psychology, political communication, and research methods. The author of many journal articles, his first book examines the likely effects of campaign finance referenda on congressional elections. He is the co-author of Money Matters: The Effects of Campaign Finance Reform on Congressional Elections and the co-editor of The Clinton Riddle: Interdisciplinary Perspectives of the 42nd President.


Michael Freeman
Director of International Students and Scholars, University of Arkansas

Michael Freeman ensures that program goals meet the ever-changing needs and requirements of students and scholars, the university, the state, and the federal government. Michael has over 30 years of experience in International Education. He has served as a coach and mentor for various International Education organizations and was named Outstanding International Student Advisor by Who’s Who Among International Universities and Colleges. He has received various grants to conduct research concerning topics related to international students and has conducted numerous presentations and workshops.  In 2011, he received a Fulbright Grant for International Education Administrators to travel to Korea. Michael received his M.A. degree in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and his B.A. degree in Psychology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

Brenda Magnetti
TA Supervisor, Spanish Instructor
World Languages, Literatures & Cultures, University of Arkansas

Professor Magnetti is the Supervisor for TAs and Instructors in the World Languages, Literatures and Cultures department at the University of Arkansas. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from Ouachita Baptist University (2004) and holds a Master of Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American Literature from the University of Arkansas (2007). She is currently in her final year of studies for the Doctor of Modern Languages degree from Middlebury College. Prof. Magnetti has presented at conferences on Foreign Language Teaching and she is currently working on the development of new Online Spanish classes for the department of WLLC and Global Campus. Magnetti has taught SPAN 2013H Intermediate Spanish II Honors, SPAN 3003 Advanced Spanish and SPAN 4003 Advanced Grammar on campus.

Wendy McBride
English Language and Cultural Studies Faculty

Wendy McBride came to Spring International with many years of teaching experience in adult education, job readiness training, GED preparation, community college English courses and English as a Second Language programs in Illinois and Japan. Additionally, she spent a semester as a foreign exchange student in the former USSR. She earned a B.A. in English and Psychology with a journalism focus from Augustana College (IL) and an M.S. in TESOL and Bilingual Education from Northern Illinois University. McBride presented at Bridges to Success: SETESOL 2014; Crossing Borders, Building Bridges. 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo; and Reflecting Forward: 1966-2016. 2016 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. She wrote “Guided Research: Great Questions Inspire More Than Answers” for the February 2017 issue of TESOL Connections. Wendy gardens as well as reads and writes avidly and has a published novel and nonfiction book to her credit.

Becky Menendez
Instructional Designer and ESL Instructor

Becky Menendez is an instructional designer at Penn State College. She holds a B.A. in Art, with concentrations in graphic design and digital productions; a M.A.T. in Elementary Education; and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language. Becky has 6 years of teaching experience with English language learners in elementary, community college, and university settings. She has a special interest in materials development and design. She also enjoys exploring the ways in which technology can be used to improve learning, promote collaboration, and increase engagement. Becky is currently completing an M.Ed. in Educational Technology through the University of Arkansas.

Gavin Nelson
Special Programs & Teacher Training Coordinator, ESL Instructor, Spring International Language Center

Gavin is a native Arkansan. She earned 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 Spring International and has since 2012.

Cindy Rauth
Academic Coordinator, English Language and Cultural Studies Program
Teacher Trainer & ESL Instructor

Cindy Rauth is the Academic Coordinator for the English Language and Cultural Studies program at the University of Arkansas, which works in partnership with Spring International Language Center.  She has extensive experience in teaching ESL, developing curriculum, training English language teachers and training international teaching assistants and faculty at the university level. She has lived in Chile, Portugal, France, Montenegro and Croatia and has trained teachers from over 80 countries. She holds a Master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  She is looking forward to beginning her PhD this fall in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Kim LaScola Needy
Dean, Graduate School and International Education, University of Arkansas

Dr. Kim LaScola Needy was named Dean of the Graduate School and International Education at the University of Arkansas in 2014.  Prior to this appointment she was Department Head and 21st Century Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas.  She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Wichita State University.  Prior to her academic appointment, she gained industrial experience while working at PPG Industries and The Boeing Company.


Dr. Leslie Jo (L.J.) Shelton
Clinical Assistant Professor of Higher Education, University of Arkansas

LJ is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Arkansas. As a higher education/student affairs scholar, she explores the learning and development of college students in the United States.  Her teaching, scholarship, and service primarily reflect the following areas: 1) the experiences of minoritized students in higher education, 2) the scholarship of teaching and learning, and 3) curriculum development and learning outcomes of higher education/student affairs master’s-level gradate preparation programs, especially related to multicultural competencies.

Dr. Mary A. Wyandt Hiebert
Pat Walker Health Center, University of Arkansas

Dr. Wyandt is the Director of STAR Central at the University of Arkansas Pat Walker Health Center. STAR Central is the office for Support, Training, Advocacy, and Resources related to sexual and relationship violence that addressed these issues through prevention education and victim advocacy services. She serves as co-chair of the American College Health Association Campus Safety and Violence Coalition. She has also been appointed for a second term as co-chair for the American College Health Association Creating Guidance for Addressing Sexual Assault Task Force.  Dr. Wyandt is an assistant professor, adjunct faculty of the Department of Public Health; she teaches various academic courses including a course about rape culture and a course that explores masculinity.  In addition, Dr. Wyandt mentors graduate and undergraduate students with regards to program planning and advocacy.

Dr. James Flammer
Director of the International Student Retention Program, Graduate School and International Education, University of Arkansas

James brings humor, patience and over two decades of experience in teaching and advising to the International Students and Scholars Programs at the University of Arkansas. He grew up in Utah.  At 19 he moved to Germany to serve as a volunteer for 2 years.  After returning from Germany, he studied German at Utah State where he received his BA in Secondary Education: German and ESL.  Upon completion of his degree, he received a Fulbright to teach English in Austria. He later moved back to Utah to pursue his MA in Language Teaching.  After finishing his Masters, he served as a Teacher Collaboration and Community Outreach Volunteer for the United States Peace Corps in Thailand.  He returned to pursue an Ed.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Southern California.  After graduation he was offered a position as a Senior English Language Fellow with the United States Department of State.  He moved with his family to Erzurum, Turkey where he taught EFL, American History, American Culture, Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching courses at Atatürk University.  He currently directs the International Student Retention Programs at the University of Arkansas.

Paula Haydar
Assistant Professor, World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Arkansas

Paula Haydar is an Assistant Professor of Arabic in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.  She has taught Arabic language courses at the University of Massachusetts and literary translation and Arabic language at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. She is the translator of twelve contemporary Arabic novels by Lebanese writers, for which she has won literary acclaim and awards. Her research interests include Arabic literature, language and pedagogy, literary translation theory and practice, and oral composition in Lebanese verbal dueling.

Dr. Luis Restrepo
Professor, World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Arkansas

Luis Fernando Restrepo is a University Professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the Director of the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies.  He completed undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Literature at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, Colombia and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American Literature at the University of Maryland, College Park.   His areas of expertise are colonial Latin America, literature and human rights, Colombia, and Latino Education. He has published three books and more than 30 articles and chapters. He has been a Fulbright visiting Scholar at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, and a visiting professor at the Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad Eafit, and Universidad de Buenos Aires.   He has served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community and the Director of La Oficina Latina—The Office of Latino Academic Advancement and Community Relations.  In 2011 he founded Sin Limites—The Latino Youth Biliteracy Project a service learning initiative for Elementary and Middle School Latino students in Northwest Arkansas. He is also the University of Arkansas representative for Scholars at Risk, an international network defending academic freedom worldwide.



This activity is funded by the U.S. Department of State‘s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs as part of its Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international exchange program supported by the people of the United States and partner countries around the world.

It is administered by the Institute of International Education and hosted by Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

For more information, visit: foreign.fulbrightonline.org