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Academy Resource Center

Online Language Support

Meet Our Team

Chantelle Ferguson
Online Language Support Department Director

Chantelle has loved language and culture since she was about five-years-old and learned her first Spanish words from a children’s television show. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s Degree in English, she taught English at a Colombian university, continued to hone her Spanish skills, and studied a bit of German. She currently directs the Online ESL Department at the Academy of Art University. She also travels, lifts weights, practices yoga, walks, and watches a lot of movies.

Lisa Chou
Online Writing Lab Coordinator/Online Language Support Faculty
Lisa Chou has a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and an M.A. in TESOL and a Certificate in Teaching Composition from San Francisco State University (SFSU). Lisa was born in Taiwan but grew up in California. Lisa has studied abroad at Beijing Normal University in China. She has been involved in education on many fronts-teaching English throughout China, serving in AmeriCorps National Service to improve literacy for at-risk youths, and teaching ESL in the Bay Area at UC Berkeley, St. Mary's College and the SFSU American Language Institute. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys finding hidden spots in the Bay Area with her family.

Alice Clay
Online Language Support Faculty
Alice attended the University of Minnesota from 1985-1991. She has degrees in Russian Area Studies and Applied Linguistics, Fine Art, and TESL. From 1993 to 2001 she traveled the world and had many wonderful adventures. While living and teaching abroad she furthered her education with a Fine Art apprenticeship in Printmaking in Russia and received a special 2-year Cultural Visa apprenticeship in Japan. She taught in Athens, Greece; Moscow, Russia; Iizuka and Kanazawa, Japan. In 2001 Alice returned to the USA and started teaching ESL at the Academy of Art University. Her hobbies include traveling off the beaten path, cultural anthropology and languages, yoga, playing the ukulele, printmaking and photography.

Donna Dager
ARC Website Coordinator/
Online Language Support Faculty
Donna is an online support instructor and an ESL Support instructor. She has an M.A. in Communications Arts from Vermont College and a B.S. in Education from S.U.N.Y. at Cortland, NY. She specializes in computer and video technologies and has been working with ESL students at the Academy in these areas for many years. Previously she worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in teacher training in Montego Bay, Jamaica, then moved to California from her hometown in upstate New York. She likes to read mystery novels, sing, and swim with giant sea turtles in Maui.

Thomas Donahoe
Online Language Support Faculty

Thomas Donahoe received his Doctorate of Educational Technology from Pepperdine University. He also holds a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers in Other Languages from the School for International Training and a BA in Journalism from the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He also participated in a yearlong distance learning course on technology and telecommunications for teachers for the Department of Education in Hawaii. For more than 7 years, Thomas was a Citizenship Program Coordinator at the Rancho Santiago Community College District. He also served as an Adjust Instructor at the same college where he taught ESL grammar, Citizenship courses, and Advanced Grammar review. Previously, he has taught language, writing, and English at various universities and colleges, including UC Irvine Extension, Pepperdine University, Cerritos College, and the Mid-Pacific Institute. Thomas is currently affiliated with the International Society for Technology in Education and Computer Using Educators. He was a recipient of the CATESOL Rick Sullivan Stipend.

Donna Marlene Ernst
Online Language Support Faculty
Donna Ernst is a native of California. She has taught English as a Second or Foreign Language professionally for almost 20 years, including 12 years in Japan. She holds a Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from California State University, Sacramento. Her work experience includes teaching business English, English for Academic Purposes, and Aviation English to pilots. She was most recently an instructor at an intensive language program for international business students. Ms. Ernst is also an ESL teacher trainer and an essay rater for the TOEFL exam. As an undergraduate, she studied Art History in Florence, Italy. Her interests include traveling, taking photographs, and watching movies.

Anne Hastie
Online Language Support Faculty
Originally from Minnesota, Anne received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Looking for new adventures, she then moved to San Francisco where she got her MA in English and taught English as a Second Language at San Francisco State University. She is now an online ESL support instructor at the Academy of Art, and when not teaching, she enjoys rock climbing, reading long novels, and relaxing with her cat.

Blaire Kilbey
Online Language Support Faculty
Blaire left her native New Mexico to combine her love of foreign travel, language learning and cross-cultural communication at the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. There she earned her MA in ESL and Spanish, with a minor in French. She's lived and worked in Spain, France, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Japan and Thailand and has adventured through many more countries. Blaire loves hanging out with her teenage daughter, exploring new painting techniques, yoga and reinventing her ever-evolving garden each season on the Central Coast of California.

Anita Mamoun
Online Language Support Faculty
Anita has had a career in ESL that spans more than twenty-five years, with various teaching and administrative positions in Massachusetts, Florida, and Northern California. Originally from the Boston area, she received her B.A. in French from Emmanuel College and her M.A. from Emmanuel, in a joint program with the Sorbonne, in Paris. As an online student herself, she recently got her TESOL Certificate in Online Teaching. For relaxation, Anita enjoys playing golf, experimenting with her digital camera, and exploring the wonderful neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Carlo Pellegrini
Online Speaking Lab Coordinator/Online Language Support Faculty
Carlo has been interested in foreign languages since he began studying French in high school. After earning a B.A. in Italian from the University of Washington, he went on to learn Japanese in Japan and Spanish in Guatemala. In addition to having taught ESL for over 8 years, he has developed websites for professional sports teams, academic institutions, and independent artists, among others. Currently he is developing new online support materials at AAU and supporting online ESL students. Carlo likes going to museums, listening to music, drinking coffee, and taking photographs.

Walter Thoma
Online Language Support Faculty
Walter has an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (ESL) focused on Computer-Assisted Language Learning from the University of Massachusetts and B.A.'s in Fine Arts and Sociology. He has been at the AAU for 11 years and has been supporting online ESL students while living in Paris and now Brussels for the past 3 years. Besides traveling, Walter enjoys running, skiing, photography, painting, finding unique cafés, cooking and eating international cuisine.