Purdue Language and Cultural Exchange (PLaCE) Department of English

Meet Our Team

Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen

Assistant Director Curriculum and Instruction
765-496-0178
matthew-place@purdue.edu

Matthew Allen has been at Purdue University since 2007, where he has worked with many units and programs on campus, including the Oral English Proficiency Program, the Writing Lab, Introductory Composition, and the Afghan Junior Faculty Development Program. In his current position as Assistant Director of PLaCE, he has been able to pursue his interests in how language and culture interact in higher education contexts where English is used as a second language. Matthew recently earned a Ph.D. from Purdue’s Department of English in Second Language Studies / English as a Second Language (ESL). His areas of expertise include advanced second language literacy in English, ESL program and curriculum development, and intercultural learning. His own second language is French, which he mainly learned by spending time in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg (and he tries to stay fluent while living in Indiana). Outside of work, Matthew enjoys spending time with his family, playing with his dogs, and exercising (especially cycling and weight lifting).

Lixia Cheng

Lixia Cheng

Assistant Director of Testing
765-496-0191
clixia@purdue.edu

Prior to this full-time position, she had 3 1/2 years of work experience as a graduate testing coordinator and research assistant for the Oral English Proficiency Program (OEPP) at Purdue. During her graduate program, she also taught a range of ESL/English for Academic Purposes courses including GS490: Reading, Writing and Speaking for International Students; English 106i: First-Year Composition for International Students; and English 620: Classroom Communication in ESL for Teaching Assistants. In addition, she carried out her project of designing and implementing a short-term course on Pragmatics and ESL Communication for international graduate students and spouses for a Bilsland Strategic Initiatives Fellowship from the Graduate School. Before pursuing her PhD, she had been a full-time English language lecturer at Southeast University in Nanjing, China. Lixia is a 2014 PhD graduate of Purdue’s Second Language Studies/ESL program.

Suzanne Nicolas

Suzanne Nicolas

Program Coordinator
765-494-1090
snicolas@purdue.edu

Suzanne brings a wide range of experience and skills to the PLaCE program. After attending Purdue for Industrial Supervision and Organizational Leadership, she spent the first part of her career as a government analyst for the Department of Energy and Department of Defense. She then found her passion in the nonprofit world managing conferences and tradeshows for both the technology and agriculture sectors. The latter part of her career she worked with TEAM USA in the sport of whitewater canoeing and kayaking on organizing world championships and Olympic Trials. She has now returned to her Indiana home and spends her free time working on her home and garden projects, going to the dog park with her beagles, playing trivia and supporting the Boilermakers.

Cammy Ronchetto

Cammy Ronchetto

Program Secretary
765-496-2743
cronchett@purdue.edu

Prior to joining PLaCE in August 2016, Cammy spent the past 25 years working for a Fortune 500 company as an executive assistant.  She has experience in a fast-paced environment working closely with customers on pricing and contracts, along with organizing sales meetings and customer entertainment.  She has two Boilermakers, her two sons currently attend Purdue.  In her free time, Cammy enjoys bicycling, traveling, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. 

Mariam Alamyar

Mariam Alamyar

Continuing Lecturer
malamyar@purdue.edu

Mariam Alamyar has been working as continuing lecturer with PLaCE since the beginning of the program. Before joining PLaCE, Mariam has worked in a number of academic and administrative/management positions such as office manager in Princeton University; Education Summer Program, Manager/Coordinator, teacher trainer, and ESL instructor in the American University of Afghanistan; Professional Development Program, instructor, academic coordinator, board member, curriculum design committee member in Kabul University. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in the SLS program at Purdue and her secondary areas are English Writing and Leadership/Management in Education. She did her bachelor’s in English Language and Literature in Kabul University and her master’s in English at Purdue University. She believes that being a good educator, requires dedication, hard work, inspiration, and strong personality in order to bring positive changes in students. She enjoys cooking, reading, listening to music, sightseeing, and helping youth, especially girls in issues relevant to higher education to bring positive changes in their life in her free time.

Chelsy Albertson

Chelsy Albertson

Continuing Lecturer
albertsc@purdue.edu

She has been instructing English as a Second Language for 12 years. After earning her undergraduate degree at Ball State University in Spanish, Chelsy moved to Arizona where she earned her master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2010 to work in a public school before transferring to teach on the University of Cincinnati’s campus. In the last few years, she has had some incredible opportunities to travel to South Korea, India, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, China and Costa Rica. In Chelsy’s free time, she enjoys kayaking, playing guitar and drums, rock climbing, traveling, and learning languages.

Deanne Brenneman

Deanne Brenneman

Continuing Lecturer
dbrennem@purdue.edu

Deanne received her BA in Psychology and Linguistics from Indiana University in Bloomington, after which she worked as a social worker in her hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, for several years. She then returned to school, earning her Master's Degree in English and a Graduate Certificate in Teaching English as a New Language (TENL) from Indiana University/Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). She taught English Composition and Basic Composition classes to both native English speakers and English Language Learners at IPFW.  After graduation, she tutored international students in English, history, and other subjects at Canterbury High School in Fort Wayne. In 2011, she moved with her family to the Lafayette area and began teaching ENGL 106i as a Continuing Lecturer for the ESL Writing Program at Purdue. She joined the staff at PLaCE in the fall of 2016. In her free time, Deanne enjoys reading and spending time with her husband and four children.

D. Hannah Bush

D. Hannah Bush

Continuing Lecturer
bush33@purdue.edu

Prior to joining Purdue University, she worked as a linguistics graduate assistant and an ESL tutor at Oakland University. Hannah earned her BA with a double major in English and psychology from Concordia University, Calif., and her MA in linguistics with a specialization in TESOL from Oakland University, Mich. She has been fortunate enough to travel to Taiwan and Venezuela and looks forward to traveling more in the future. In her free time, she enjoys reading, painting, learning new languages (French and Arabic), and sports.

Ty C. Climer

Ty C. Climer

Continuing Lecturer
tclimer@purdue.edu

Initially, Ty graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Kansas in 2006, but after graduation decided to teach English in Seoul, South Korea. He taught in two private academies with children ranging from preschool to middle-school age. This is where he discovered that he loved teaching English. He returned to the United States and received his master’s in English (TESOL) from Missouri State University in 2012. He taught English in Missouri State's Intensive English program for a little over two years, and a year as a faculty member of the English department at Valparaiso University before coming to Purdue. In his spare time, Ty enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, reading, gardening, and traveling.

Nancy Farner

Nancy B. Farner

Continuing Lecturer
nfarner@purdue.edu

Nancy has worked in education all of her adult life, with an interest in literacy and the study of the English language. She earned a degree in English and mathematics from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in English education from Purdue University with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction. Prior to teaching at Purdue, Nancy spent seven years at Ivy Tech Community College teaching English courses designed to help English language learners develop reading and writing strategies. She has extensive experience teaching English composition at the secondary and collegiate levels. While living in Caguas, Puerto Rico, Nancy tutored English language learners in both English and mathematics. Away from campus, Nancy likes to spend her time with family and friends. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including gardening, hiking, walking her dogs and lap swimming. Last, but not least, she is an avid Boilermaker! Boiler up!

Sarah Fehrman

Sarah Fehrman

Continuing Lecturer
sfehrman@purdue.edu

After graduating from Purdue University, Sarah moved to Seoul, South Korea, where she taught English in Korean universities for three years. After she left Korea, she moved back to Lafayette to be the director of The International Center of West Lafayette. In Sarah’s free time, she enjoys cooking, baking, traveling, playing the piano and learning new things.

Mary Beth Harris

Mary Beth Harris

Continuing Lecturer
Harri239@purdue.edu

Mary Beth recently graduate from Purdue University with her PhD in English Literature (2016). During her five years as a graduate student at Purdue built upon her previous teaching and tutoring experience with new attention to the unique needs of international students and second language speakers. Mary Beth has honed her skills at the Oral English Proficiency Program, the Purdue Writing Lab, and in Introductory Composition, Introductory Literature, and Gender and Literature. In her free time, Mary Beth enjoys swing dancing, playing the violin, and yoga. 

Stephen Moriarty

Stephen Moriarty

Continuing Lecturer
smoriar@purdue.edu

Following a four-year stint in the U.S. Navy and two years completing a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL), West Lafayette native and Purdue graduate Stephen Moriarty spent over 10 years living and teaching English in Seoul, South Korea, eight of those years as a full-time instructor at Hongik University. In addition to his university duties, he provided business English instruction to several companies and government agencies in the Seoul metropolitan area such as Samsung, Hyundai and the Seoul city government. Helping students reach their language goals in a positive learning environment based on mutual respect has always been his top priority as an English instructor. When outside of the classroom, Stephen and his wife enjoy traveling and looking for new and creative ways to entertain their two young children.

Nadya Pimenova

Nadezda Pimenova

Continuing Lecturer
npimenov@purdue.edu

Prior to joining Purdue University, Nadezda (Nadya) worked at Ball State Intensive English Institute. Nadya specializes in TESOL, EFL, second language acquisition, and contrastive linguistics. She is a 2011 PhD graduate of Purdue’s Literacy and Language Program in Curriculum and Instruction. During her teaching career she taught in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms in Russia and the USA. Nadya is thrilled to be a  facilitator in acculturating international students to the U.S. culture and preparing them for success in academic coursework. Her hobbies include Argentinian tango, reading, and playing the piano. She also likes travelling.

David Crouch

David Crouch

Testing Office Assistant
crouchd@purdue.edu

David has been a PLaCE Testing Office Assistant since the summer of 2016. He is currently a Second Language Studies Phd. candidate in the English Department. He has several years of university level ESL teaching experience, including one year in China. At Purdue he has taught English 106 and 106i (for international students), and he has tutored for the Oral English Proficiency Program. His research interests are in English language testing

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