|Paul Swift, Center Director
A native of Bozeman, MT, Paul began his career in the field of education when he moved to southern China in 2004. Teaching and working with students who were learning a new language and culture, just as he himself was doing, quickly became a passion for him. This passion took him from the rugged southern city of Guilin in Guangxi to the megalopolis of Beijing, where he spent almost five years in an exciting variety of work—from executive search, consulting and government relations, to instruction and educational administration. In 2010, Paul returned to his home town with his family. He enjoys sharing with his students both his love of Montana and his knowledge of language and culture.
|Ana Valdivia, Operations Director
Ana is originally from Lima, Peru. She graduated as an Architect before coming to Bozeman where she has lived for more than 15 years and is now used to the long and cold winters. Her interest for learning about different cultures began in 2000 when she began working on the Montana State University campus. Being herself a non-native English speaker, she found the perfect place to help foreign students coming to Bozeman.Over the years, Ana has taken different roles and assumed increasing responsibilities. She is now responsible for financial reporting, reconciliation accounting and tuition records and works directly with INTERLINK Home Office staff. Ana enjoys meeting students from different countries and backgrounds, assisting and seeing them succeed at INTERLINK. Ana’s other passions are arts, drawing, music, and spending time and traveling with her family.
|Amy Engblom, International Student Advisor
Amy is a Montana native who enjoys meeting people from other countries. Always desiring to travel, she looked for places to go. As a young adult, her adventures took her out of Montana to places like Raleigh, North Carolina for a year of university study, and then to Mombasa Kenya for a six month cross-cultural program. But somehow, Montana was always the place that she returned. In her early married life, Amy had fun hosting students from Japan and India. After living in Bozeman for many years, she and her family moved to Istanbul, Turkey in 2002. Amy studied Turkish, learned to make jewelry, and taught English in Turkey. The family returned to Montana in 2012. The transition back, after living in Turkey was made easier for Amy when she started working with Turkish students and other international students at INTERLINK Language Center. Now she enjoys assisting with student activities, orientation, and special needs of the students. Amy loves the outdoors, new experiences, watching her son and daughter grow-up, and helping students to be successful at INTERLINK. She is always interested in talking about Turkey!
|Tiffany Ranalli, Instructor
Tiffany Ranalli’s humble beginnings in the world of ESL began back in 2002 when she left the US for Europe in search of new experiences. At the time, teaching EFL was a means to accommodate her adventures, but it was in the tiny Polish town of Myslenice, where she had been teaching English for year, that her passion for language and teaching was awakened. When her time in Poland came to an end, she immediately settled in NYC and completed a Master’s degree in TESOL at Hunter College in 2007. Tiffany spent seven years in NYC teaching in variety of private language institutes as well as several community colleges in the various boroughs. She moved to Bozeman, MT in 2011 and has worked as a lead instructor, site coordinator for the CEA accreditation process, and assessment coordinator. Tiffany is grateful for the professional development opportunities working at INTERLINK has afforded her, and she is excited to continue being part of INTERLINK’s innovative efforts moving forward.
|Valley Peters, Instructor
Growing up in rural Nebraska and Montana, Valley acquired wanderlust at a young age as she dreamt of far-flung places. A study abroad program in college to New Zealand ignited her plan to pursue a lifetime of traveling and learning about other cultures. A stint as an Americorps volunteer ESL instructor opened the door for combining travel and culture with her love for learning. Outside the classroom, you’ll find her dabbling in artistic pursuits, hiking, hanging out with her daughter, and listening to Tedtalks.Valley has taught in Japan, Mexico, and in the United States in a variety of settings. Her love for the outdoors led her to Jackson, Wyoming where she spent 10 years at a non-profit developing literacy programming for adults, training ESL tutors and teachers, and eventually acting as the executive director. Her professional interests include learning-to-learn strategies, reading development, reflective practice, learner efficacy, and intercultural competence. She has presented at conferences in Japan, Wyoming, and Washington on “constructive chaos” in the classroom, group discussion skills, reflective practice, participatory pedagogy, training ESL tutors, and advanced reading strategies.
|Kristina Allison, Instructor
Kristina Allison began her cultural and language interests as a child, reading every National Geographic magazine arriving at her house from cover to cover. It wasn’t until she was an adult, however, moving to Geneva, Switzerland, that she was fully immersed in another language and culture. During her time working for the United Nations as an English-language editor, she was constantly struck with the sheer number of languages spoken in this cosmopolitan environment, and was amazed at the ease with which some people could switch so easily from one language to another. Inspired and humbled by the difficulty of navigating local life without speaking the local language, she began formal study of French at the UN Language Programme. There she learned lots of French grammar and became fascinated with the language-learning process.Kristina obtained her CELTA certificate in 2011 in Bogota, Colombia, and has worked for on the Montana State University campus since 2012. There she has had the opportunity to teach leadership skills to students in the program and has presented this experience at various conferences in the region. Her previous career was in social work, where she worked for several years facilitating workshops for parents and educators in behavior-management techniques. She has also taught French to children in the Bozeman area.Kristina finds teaching ESL the nearly perfect blend between her love of languages and her desire to teach and help others, and sincerely enjoys the opportunity to develop relationships with students from around the world. She loves having a job that is never boring. When she is not working at INTERLINK, you might find Kristina on her bike, on her skis or on her couch in front of a blazing wood fire.
|Shannon Mahoney, Instructor
Shannon Mahoney’s interest in foreign languages began in elementary school with a Spanish class. In high school, she continued with Spanish and began studying Latin, French, and Italian. This studying paid off when, during her university years, she had the opportunity to spend some time in Italy and in Spain, where she was hired to teach English. With that experience, she was hooked.Upon returning from Spain, Shannon moved to Montana and enrolled in Montana State University where she obtained her teaching license. In 2005, she began teaching ESL on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana.Due to her love of other languages and cultures, Shannon has found her home in the ESL field. In recent years, she has had less time for travel, so she appreciates that other languages and cultures come to her. When not teaching, she can be found enjoying her favorite activities that the lovely state of Montana offers: skiing, biking, and hiking
|Nadya Modyanova, Instructor
After years of living, studying, and working in different places (Russia, Switzerland, France, UK, Portugal, and the United States), Nadya Modyanova discovered the last best place of Bozeman, MT. Here, she has been teaching English as a Second Language at the INTERLINK Language Center and helping international undergraduate and graduate students succeed in learning and applying different aspects of English language to their studies, work, and life. Nadya has a TESOL Certificate from Lingua Edge.Previously, Nadya completed a B.A. (First Class Honours) in Linguistics with Cognitive Science at the University College London, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she carried out research on and taught about normal and abnormal child language acquisition and its genetics. While Nadya still wishes to get back to doing research on language development sometime, she hopes to continue teaching for now! In her spare time (what spare time?), Nadya likes to take advantage of the great outdoors and go hiking or cross-country skiing.