ESOL Faculty and Staff

ESOL Faculty


Kimberly Spallinger

Position: Lecturer, Program Director
Phone: 419-372-2746

Kimberly has been teaching ESOL courses at Bowling Green State University since 2004. Before this time, she taught teacher preparation and linguistics courses at Bluffton University and also had the opportunity to teach for a short time in Viet Nam. At BGSU, her primary role has been in ESOL, teaching graduate and undergraduate students in both speaking/listening and writing courses. Additionally, she occasionally teaches English 3800, an introduction to linguistics course for future English teachers, and English 5100, a TESOL Methodology Course. Kimberly enjoys working with students from different departments across campus, and one of her favorite parts of being an ESOL teacher is that she learns just as much from her students as they learn from her.


Lucinda Hunter

Position: Instructor, Assistant Program Director
Phone: 419-372-8145

Lucinda received her MA in English (specialization in TESOL) in 1999 from Bowling Green State University.  She has taught composition and ESOL courses at Bowling Green.  In addition, in the greater Philadelphia area, she taught new U.S. residents enrolled in literacy programs. She taught full time in the ESOL Program in 2002, returning to BGSU in 2007. 

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Fernanda Capraro

Position: Instructor
Phone: (419) 372-7554

Fernanda was born in Italy and became an ESL learner at the age of six. Her interest in language learning continued. She received a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from Ohio State University. She has studied and taught Spanish, Italian, and ESL in higher education. Her ESL teaching experiences include intensive English courses and spoken English courses for prospective international teaching assistants.


Amy Cook

Position: Assistant Director
Address: 312 East Hall

Amy Cook is originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she completed a BA in Languages and Latin American Studies. She also holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Arizona, where she taught first-year composition classes for American and international students. In the fall of 2010, Amy began teaching at BGSU in the ESOL Program, and since the fall of 2014, she has taught in the General Studies Writing program. For the 2016-2017 Academic Year, Amy will be the Acting Assistant Director of the ESOL Program.

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Anna Martins

Position: Instructor
Phone: 419-372-9398

Anna holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Teaching and a TESOL Certificate from Bowling Green State University. She has been interested in understanding how we learn a foreign language since she moved to France at the age of 14 and, in the following year, attended high school in the U.S. She had to learn both French and English on her own. Anna is originally from Brazil, where she completed a BA in Letters and majored in technical translation from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. As a technical translator, she worked in projects for IBM and Microsoft. She taught English as a foreign language for over 18 years, both privately and in language schools in Brazil. Teaching ESOL provides her with the opportunity to learn from and interact with students from different cultures and backgrounds.

Anna also enjoys travelling, spending time with her family and friends, and being outdoors.

Andrea V

Andrea VanVorhis

Position: Instructor
Phone: 419-372-9631

Born and raised in Austria, Andrea Van Vorhis graduated from the University of Salzburg in 1986 with M.A. degrees in American Studies and Spanish.  At Bowling Green State University, she earned a Master of Arts degree in English/TESL in 1988.

She is now a full-time professor in the Department of Humanities at Owens Community College, where has been teaching courses of Spanish and English for over sixteen years.  She has also been teaching as an adjunct instructor in the Department of English at BGSU.  Her favorite subject matter is the study of language.  As a speaker of ESL herself, she identifies with many of her students’ experiences.

Although she still misses some aspects of life in Austria, Bowling Green has become her new home.  And to get her “mountain fix”, Andrea spends her summers hiking, tent-camping, and photographing in various places of the American West. There is one thing about Americans, however, she still doesn’t understand—why haven’t they adopted the metric system?


Jason Wells-Jensen

Position: Instructor

Jason Wells-Jensen teaches linguistics and ESOL courses at BGSU.He has developed languages for Children of the Drought, a series of fantasy novels based in the American Southwest,  

… narrated WBGU-TV's award-winning 2013 documentary Made in America: The Lima Locomotive Works, …
… is the music director at Peace Lutheran Church, …
… and plays bass with the Grande Royale Ükulelists of the Black Swamp.
A North Dakota native, Jason has previously taught linguistics and ESOL at The Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, San Germán campus, and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

ESOL TEaching Associate


Soha Youssef

Position: ESOL Program Graduate Teaching Assistant

Phone: 419-372-6864

Soha’s interest in languages, writing, and rhetoric developed at a very young age. Coming from Cairo, Egypt, she was immersed in a culture that values language learning. She pursued her BA in English with a minor in German in her homeland. For two years she taught a variety of EFL courses at a private university. Her first MA was at Oklahoma State University where she studied TESL and Linguistics. She, then, complemented her MA degree with another in Composition and Rhetoric at Eastern Illinois University. Her area of interest focuses around continuing the conversation she started in her latest MA thesis on nonnative students’ perceptions on their placement in the mainstream FYC classroom and how their perceptions can, consequently, affect their learning. However, finding areas of intersection between the field of Composition and that of ESOL is something she is yet planning to explore in more depth during her PhD career at BGSU.

ESOL Secretary

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Danielle Burkin

Position: ESOL Program Secretary
Phone: 419-372-8205

Danielle Burkin is a native of western Ohio. A former falcon, she earned her Bachelors of Science in Health Administration from Bowling Green State University. Happy to be back on campus, Danielle divides her time between the ESOL and English offices and her home in Perrsyburg. She and her husband are the parents of four children. When she is not carpooling children from event to event, she is volunteering with the Perrysburg Musical Theater.


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Stephen Ohene-Larbi

Position: ESOL Program Graduate Assistant
Phone: 419-372-8205

Stephen Ohene-Larbi comes from Ghana; he obtained his bachelor’s degree at the University of Toledo majoring in Communication and proceeded to have his first and second master’s degrees also from the University of Toledo-Masters of Public Administration (MPA), and English (MA) with a concentration in ESL. He had the opportunity to work with AmeriCorps-United Way of Greater Toledo, working as a graduation coach mentoring high school students who were at risks of graduation from high school. Stephen also had the opportunity to do what he enjoys doing-“Teaching at the American Language Institute” at the University of Toledo. He taught different levels of composition writing at the same University. Currently he is pursuing his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition Writing at BGSU. His area of research is in ESL composition writing and is looking at the integration of multimodality, strategies and other areas that can help students to achieve fluency in writing and speaking as well.  


Benjamin Katz

Position: ESOL Program Graduate Assistant
Phone: 419-372-8205

Benji Katz is a native of Cincinnati, OH. He received his BFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University in August, 2016 and is currently pursuing his MFA in Poetry. He plays bass in the local bands Indian Opinion and Tree No Leaves.