Faculty and Staff

Chris Dunsmore

Chris Dunsmore, Director


Chris is the new Director of PIESL. He has been a language program administrator for 9 years and has been teaching English to international students in a variety of settings since 1994. He has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) from Michigan State University. He lived in the Republic of Korea for almost 7 years working for companies like Samsung, LG, and Hyundai. He also worked for the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology Graduate School of Management. When not busy directing and teaching, Chris enjoys bike riding around Lincoln with his family.

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Carol Ochsner

Carol Ochsner, Lecturer


* M.A., English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
* B.S., English Education, University of South Dakota

Carol began teaching at UNL in 1989. Areas of professional interest include ESL in Higher Education, IEP program and curriculum development, academic language, and standardized testing. She oversees all TOEFL and SPEAK testing at UNL, is active in Phi Beta Delta Honor Society, and serves as Interim Coordinator of the IEP in the Coordinator's absence. Carol has several conference presentations in the U. S. and Canada to her name, and she has represented the program in Brazil, Japan, and Korea. In addition to teaching, she enjoys cross-country skiing, fly fishing, gardening, reading, and geocaching.

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Juliee Crocker, Administrative Assistant


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Sharon Frederick

Sharon Frederick, Administrative Assistant


Sharon has been working for the University of Nebraska- Lincoln for over 18 years.  She has been a vital part of PIESL for 5 of those long years and no one here can get along without her! Sharon is married, with 2 children and 9 grandchildren. She spends her free time attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and making crafts with her husband to sell at fairs around the state.

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Barb Fuller

Barb Fuller, Part-Time Staff Assistant


Barb has worked for UNL for the past 18 years and has eight years of experience working with international students in the Admissions Office. Barb is married and has two grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her grandchildren are the delights of her life! She attends their many activities as often as she can. She also enjoys quilting, reading, traveling, cooking, decorating, and spending time with family.

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Julie Abo

Julie Abo, Lecturer


* M.A., Teaching, University of Puget Sound
* B.A., English, Whitman College

Julie has taught English (composition and literature), English for the International Baccalaureate, English as a Foreign Language and English as a Second Language for students ages 9 through 50 in Japan, Switzerland and in the United States (Washington, California and Illinois). Currently, she is a part time lecturer in the Intensive English Program at UNL. She has two daughters, Maya and Aiko. Her professional interests include multilingual tutoring for young students and teaching composition. She enjoys cross country skiing, hiking, camping, traveling and most recently, dancing Mexican ballet folklorico with her husband and daughters.

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John Andrews

John Andrews, Lecturer


*M. Ed, Educational Administration, Grand Canyon University-Phoenix *B.S. Ed, Secondary Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

John is currently teaching in his second session of the IEP. He has a B.S. Ed. in Secondary Education from UNL. His major was history with a minor in political science. He also has his M. Ed. in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. He became interested in teaching ESL when I took graduate courses in ESL at the University of Nebraska. So far he has taught Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing in the IEP. What he likes most about teaching in the IEP is creating student-teacher relationships. Those relationships energize hiim. He also gets to learn about the cultures his students come from. If you, or someone you know, is considering becoming a part of our program he wants you to know that we value our students, not just academically, but also as unique individuals. We will do what is necessary to help you succeed.


Jean Arnold, Lecturer


*DELTA, Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults, Cambridge
*M.A., Linguistics, Arizona State University
*B.A., Spanish and German, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jean has taught courses ranging from literacy in ESL to qualitative research methodology and presently enjoys teaching all skills in UNL's Intensive English Program. When not at work, you might find Jean in the swimming pool at Campus Rec, or biking around town, studying Spanish, cooking a delicious macrobiotic dish.

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Natalie Baskin

Natalie Baskin, Lecturer



Crystal Bock Thiessen, Lecturer


*M.A., TESL, University of Central Missouri *B.A., Photography and Spanish

Crystal Bock Thiessen graduated with Bachelor's degrees in both Photography and Spanish, and received her Masters in TESL from the University of Central Missouri, where she eventually worked with the IEP for a year and a half.She has taught EFL in Japan for three years and in Ukraine for one, and especially enjoys American Culture and technology for language learning as professional interests.  Besides teaching, she is a professional photographer specializing in weddings and travel photography and, combined with her love of travel, has photographed and visited 36 countries and 24 states. Her other interests include running, art, live music, and blogging. She and her husband, Jacob (who is a chef and baker), are new to Nebraska, both originally hailing from the great state of Kansas.


Ann Bouma

Ann Bouma, Lecturer


*M.S., Reading, University of Southern Mississippi
*B.S., Education, University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Ann has worked as an educator in Nebraska for nearly thirty years. She has done research in spelling acquisition and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education. She enjoys spending time with her family and playing in the bell choir at her church. Ann also makes volunteer work a large part of her life and has worked with a variety of service and support groups here in the Lincoln community


Brooke David, Lecturer

*M.A., Literacy and Language, Boston University *B.S., Secondary Education, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Brooke is originally from Lincoln. She recently moved back to Lincoln from
Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and her 15-month old son. Brooke likes to spend time with her friends and family, read, go hiking, be active outside, cook, and try new restaurants. Mainly, she spends her free time running after her 15-month old son and taking him to the library, Children's Museum, and zoo.

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Jill Fox

Jill Fox, Lecturer


* M.S., ESL Education, University of Tennessee- Knoxville
* B.A., French, Simpson College

Jill has worked with students of varying ages in Illinois, Tennessee, Alaska, Nebraska, and Mali. Her academic interests include sociolinguistics, idioms and slang, and American culture. She is an avid traveler and has visited 46 U.S. states and 23 countries on six different continents! She currently serves on the board of directors for the National Peace Corps Association. Jill is interested in peace and environmental issues and is learning how to play the fiddle.

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Brenda Friedman Ingraham

Brenda Friedman Ingraham, Lecturer


* M.Ed., Linguistics & Language Disabilities, Loyola University of Maryland
* B.S., University of Virginia Charlottesville

Brenda has been teaching at UNL for over 20 years. Professional interests include language acquisition and use as well as the ways in which creative forms of expression such as poetry and music can facilitate language use. In addition to spending her time with the Learning Disabilities Project at UNL and PIESL, Brenda has published and presented widely, including a recent presentation in Hong Kong. Married with three children and four grandchildren, Brenda enjoys listening to classical and indigenous folk music, playing piano, cooking, gardening, reading, and writing poetry.

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Cathy Gabell

Cathy Gabell, Lecturer


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Jane Hanson

Jane Hanson, Lecturer, Adviser


* Ph.D., Foreign Language and ESL Education, University of Iowa
*M.S. Housing and Design, Oklahoma State University
* B.A. TCD, University of Nebraska- Lincoln

Jane Hanson teaches the IEP and CESL grad and undergrad courses for PIESL, as well as Linguistics and Society for the Department of English. In addition to teaching, Jane also served three years as the adviser for the IEP program. Daily. She has taught ESL Acquisition for TLTE and is teaching Reading Methods for the Indigenous Roots program. Jane has also taught in the bilingual endorsement program in Teacher Education at UNO and has worked as a coordinator for Lincoln Literacy Council. She specializes in second language reading and computer-assisted language learning. Her research areas include second language teaching culture and the effects of second language learning on brain development. She is the author of peer-reviewed articles and sits on the review board for two academic journals.  She has an extensive journalistic background, which includes ongoing contributions to the Prairie Fire Newspaper and The China Daily in Beijing. She is a member of the Fulbright ESL Review Committee and a National Trustee on the Mensa Education Research Foundation. She speaks Spanish and Mandarin.


Emily Herrick

Emily Herrick, Lecturer


* M.A., TESL, Northern Arizona University
* M.A., History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Emily has taught at UNL for 15 years. Idioms and American Culture are professional interests. Emily serves as the Textbook Coordinator for PIESL and is a regular lecturer in the Institute for International Teaching Assistants. She is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, and she has several publications to her name as well as overseas experience in Costa Rica and the Philippines. Emily has one daughter, and she likes to garden, bike, read, travel, camp, watch movies, and volunteer in the community.

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Tim Janda, Lecturer


* M.A., TESOL, University of Arizona
* B.A., University Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tim has been at UNL since 1993. Areas of professional interest include composition/rhetoric and the Institute for International Teaching Assistants, for which he is a regular lecturer. He has multiple publications, including a chapter in Virtual Connections. He taught for the Asociación Cultural Hispano-Norte Americano in Spain for several years before joining the PIESL faculty. Tim has two children, and in his free time he enjoys creating graphic art and music, gardening, and many outdoor sports.

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Laurel McClelland

Laurel McClelland, Lecturer



Nikki Menard, Lecturer


*M.A., American Indian Studies, University of Arizona Tucson
*B.A., English and secondary Teaching Certificate, Nebraska Wesleyan University

Nikki Menard is Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. She is married and has two smart and beautiful teenage daughters, Zoe and Luta. Nikki loves fibers, so she spins and knits a lot! Reading is a favorite activity and she plays the piano and flute. Nikki graduated from high school at the International School of Brussels in Brussels, Belgium. She has traveled to over ten countries and did her student teaching in New Zealand.

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Jane Miller

Jane Miller, Lecturer



Don Pearston

Don Pearston, Lecturer


*M.A.,TESOL, California State University- Los Angeles
*B.A., Business Administration, Point-Loma Nazarene College

Don has been an ESL and/or software instructor since 1993. He taught overseas in South Korea, Dubai, and the Czech Republic. During that time, he traveled to over 25 different countries. After nearly seven years teaching overseas, he settled in Lincoln. His professional interests include computer assisted language learning (CALL) and computer software in business. He enjoys gardening and spending time with his son.


Dawn Rammaha

Dawn Rammaha, Lecturer


* M.A., Applied Linguistics (TESL), Indiana University
* B.A., Spanish, Kent State University

Dawn has taught ESL for more than 20 years, including 11 years as an intensive English program adminisitrator. Professional interests include Comparative Linguistics, Phonology, Anthropological Linguistics, and Second Language Acquisition. She especially enjoys teaching grammar and phonology. Dawn is an animal lover and advocate for saving endangered wildlife. She enjoys traveling, flower gardening, drawing & oil painting, listening to American & ethnic music, and spending time with family and her own "zoo" of five cats.

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Stacie Swinehart

Stacie Swinehart, Lecturer


* M.A., French, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
* B.A., English & French Education, South Dakota State University

Stacie started teaching at UNL in the Department of Modern Languages & Literature in 1992; she's been with PIESL since 1997, and she lists language acquisition, American culture, and reading comprehension among her areas of professional interest. Married to an English teacher with Lincoln Public Schools, Stacie is also the mother of two beautiful young daughters. In whatever spare time she can find, Stacie likes to read, listen to music, attend cultural activities, antique, and learn other languages.

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Steve Swinehart

Steve Swinehart, Lecturer


* ESL: Endorsement/Certification K-12 State of Nebraska, 1996
* MA: English/Linguistics, South Dakota State University, 1991
* BA: Philosophy/English, University of North Texas, 1986

Steve has been with the PIESL Department since 1992. For more than a decade, he has been acting Coordinator for the Japanese Summer Program, Senshu Matsudo High School. He’s also coordinated for universities and high schools in Taiwan and Mexico. He has taught TOEFL Prep and other courses, has been an invited presenter to teacher education classes at UNL, attended conferences, and has been published in academic journals. Moreover, Steve has taught ESL/ELL in middle and high schools in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. For eight years, he served as Department Chair of the ESL/ELL program at Lincoln East High School. He currently teaches Composition and Literature classes at Lincoln East High. In his spare time, Steve enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, cycling on the Mo-Pac trail, writing, and playing in a local jazz quartet.

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Tom Umland

Tom Umland, Lecturer


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