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Current Advisees

Jhon Cuesta

I'm from Bogotá, Colombia. I earned my MA in Education at Carthage College (Kenosha, WI) and then moved to Florida to pursue my Ph.D. (not only because of the weather). I'm currently working with two professors in a project that investigates L2 learners' development and maintenance of their fluency after a study-abroad program and I'm writing a book chapter with another professor on empowering non-native Spanish teachers. I'm also working on my dissertation proposal, which explores how foreign language TAs' possible language teacher selves originate and evolve over time and whether their experiences and/or institutional support result in motivating or demotivating factors to teach a target language.

Anastasia Khawaja

My name is Anastasia Khawaja. I am from Cherryhill, NJ and have lived in several other countries over a period of time in between degrees.  I earned my MS at Florida State University in Multilingual Multicultural Education.

My research interests include individual differences in relation to emotions connected to language use in bi and multilinguals situated in areas of conflict. My dissertation currently in progress focuses on the emotional perception of languages used by Palestinians living in Palestine and in the diaspora.

Ramona Kreis

I joined USF in 2014 after completing my First State Examination degree (M.A. equivalent) in English and Political Science at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. I also received a Master of Education while studying abroad at Carthage College, Kenosha, WI.

I am particularly interested in discourse analysis, L2 pragmatics, and multilingualism. 


Yunhyun Lee

I am from South Korea and got my MA from the University of Central Oklahoma.

My research interests lie at teaching English pronunciation. Specifically, I am interested in investigating the relationship between English lexical stress and intelligibility. I am also interested in second language acquisition and corpus linguistics.



Yao Liu

I am from China, and did my MEd of TESOL in the University of Sydney, Australia.  Each year, I have completed at least two research projects with my professors and my fellow students. We presented at different international academic conferences such as AAAL, SLRF and ACTFL. My research interests include second language motivation, teaching Chinese as a foreign language, and second language pedagogy.




Maria Matilde Olivero

María Matilde Olivero is a teacher educator and researcher at the University of Río Cuarto, Argentina. She is a former Fulbright scholar and a current doctoral candidate in the Second Language Acquisition program of the University of South Florida.

Her main research interests include individual differences and second language teacher development.  Her dissertation explores pre-service teachers’ beliefs and emotions regarding the implementation of peace language activities in an EFL practicum course.



Abeer Mohammad

I am Abeer Mohammad from Saudi Arabia. I received my master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of South Florida in 2011.

My main research interest is Discourse Analysis, with a focus on analyzing nurse-to-nurse discourse in medical settings. I have gained so much from this program which will give me an advantage in my future career as a language teacher at a Saudi Nursing College.


Jelena Vuksanovic

I am originally from Zadar, Croatia. I received my M.A. in Applied Linguistics: ESL from the University of South Florida. 

My research interests include language learning motivation, emotional intelligence, as well as the role emotions play in language learning.



Yi Zhang

Originally from China, I earned my MA TESL degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 2012. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate working on my dissertation entitled "Heteroglossic Chinese Online Literacy Practices on Micro-blogging and Video-sharing sites." My research focuses on areas of sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and computer-mediated communication. I am especially interested in the complex language practices, such as code-mixing and use of regional dialects, adopted by Chinese online users. I also worked with Dr. Camilla Vásquez on a research project that explores how hotel businesses manage online complaints through TripAdvisor.


Past Advisees

James Aubry

James Aubry is an associate Professor of French and the Chair of the Department of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Tampa. A native from France, he obtained his BA in English Literature before pursuing an MA in French and a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology from USF. In his research, James Aubry specializes in the study of factors affecting motivation in the foreign language classroom. His other academic interests include sociolinguistics, Computer Assisted Language Learning and contemporary French literature.


Kristin Cardellio

I came to USF with a master’s degree in Italian from New York University and completed my doctoral studies at USF in May 2016. I presented at national and international conferences during my studies and was awarded the USF Dissertation Completion Fellowship in 2014 which helped fund my dissertation research. My dissertation focused on language use of learners of Italian during service-learning in Siena, Italy. My specific areas of interest in the field of applied linguistics include discourse analysis and pragmatics and my research has led me to be interested more broadly in how language is used to “get things done” in various settings. I am currently pursuing a career in interpersonal communication in organizations.

Zeynep Erdil (-Moody)

I am from Turkey and just completed my PhD in Fall 2016. I received an MA degree in TESOL at California State University, Sacramento on a Fulbright scholarship and a BA degree in English Language Teaching at Middle East Technical University in Turkey. I have engaged in multiple collaborative research projects besides an interdisciplinary group project with the faculty at USF that later were published and presented at conferences. My research interests include L2 motivation, L2 teacher education, IDs and qualitative interviews.



Amy Fioramonte

Prior to completing my doctoral degree, I was awarded an M.A. in Applied Linguistics - TESL from USF.  In an unrelated field, I also have an M.S. in Management Information Systems from Northern Illinois University.  My research interests include:  discourse analysis, institutional and medical discourse, physician-patient communication, and intercultural pragmatics.  Presently, I am employed as Assistant Director in Graduate Medical Education at the Morsani College of Medicine at USF.

Jane Harvey

Originally from the UK, I worked for 17 years as an English language teacher and teacher educator in the UK, Turkey, and Italy before starting my Ph.D. program at USF. I am now working as a Faculty Coordinator at the English Language Program at USF, enjoying combining my scholarly and practical skills and knowledge to promote professional development among our ELT instructors. My current research is focused on applying Vygotskian sociocultural theory to my work as a trainer of mentors for our MA Applied Linguistics/ESL interns.



Derya Kulavuz-Onal

Derya received her PhD from USF in 2013, and since then she has been an assistant professor of Applied Linguistics/TESOL at Salisbury University, Maryland. Originally from Turkey, Derya taught English as a foreign and second language at variety of levels and contexts for 9 years. Her research interests center around second language teacher education, computer-assisted language learning/teaching, sociolinguistics, and qualitative research. Her dissertation, completed under the guidance of Dr. Camilla Vasquez, explored ESL/EFL teachers' learning to teach with technology in an online community of practice, through an online ethnography approach. Her study received a doctoral dissertation grant from The International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF).

Zeynep Koylu

I am from Izmir, Turkey. I received my MA in TEFL from Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey. After my Fulbright grant period was over, I was offered TA-ships from the World Languages Department. I also collaborated with WLE faculty members for research projects and publications.  My research interests include second language acquisition, study abroad, English as Lingua Franca, multilingualism, code-switching, and technology-enhanced language teaching/learning. I graduated with my PhD in Fall 2016.



Mimi Li

My name is Mimi Li. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Writing and Linguistics at Georgia Southern University. I earned my MA in Foreign Linguistics/Applied Linguistics from Sichuan University, China. My research interests include second language writing, computer-assisted language learning, and English for academic/specific purposes. My work has appeared in peer-refereed journals such as Journal of Second Language Writing, Computer Assisted Language Learning, Language Learning & Technology, System, and Computers & Education.


Nader Morkus

Nader Morkus is currently an Assistant Professor of Arabic and Applied Linguistics and Director of the Arabic Language Program and Director of the Arabic Flagship Program at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington. Before coming to IU, he worked for a number of years as a full-time lecturer of Arabic at the University of Texas at Austin and Middlebury College. He received his B.A. in English Language and Literature from Alexandria University, Egypt, and his Master's degree in TESOL from the University of Northern Iowa. He received his Ph.D. degree in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology from the University of South Florida in 2009. His research interests include cross-cultural pragmatics, interlanguage pragmatics, discourse analysis, and corpus linguistics.

Shenggao Wang

I came from China.  I got my MA from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China.  In May 2013, I graduated from USF with a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology. I am a Chinese language and culture instructor at Florida International University in Miami.