|Paul Swift, Center Director
A native of Bozeman, Montana, 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.
|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.
|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.
|Cherí Ladd LeCain, Instructor
Cherí’s interest in the field of English Language Teaching stems from her childhood experience living in Hawaii, surrounded by a rich diversity of people from many different cultural and language backgrounds. Her early years were spent singing songs in Japanese, celebrating Chinese New Year, strumming the ukulele, and dancing the hula. Since then, she has studied abroad in Spain, lived in Japan, Germany, and Norway and has traveled extensively. Today, teaching English as a Second Language allows her to combine the interests in culture and language that began in her youth.Working in California for four years teaching refugees from Southeast Asia and immigrants from Latin America, Cherí became the first teacher hired when the A.C.E. Language Institute (now INTERLINK) at MSU opened in 1994, and she has been teaching and coordinating programming ever since. Cherí has presented at many international and regional conferences, published articles, and participated in numerous trainings and workshops. She has earned many certificates, served as secretary of the IEP Interest Section of TESOL, and serves as a regular TESOL proposal reviewer. As Director of Studies, she completed a full revision of the institute’s curriculum and chaired the Curriculum Committee. Her areas of interest include curriculum, assessment, and vocabulary instruction. She has also taught Linguistics and University Seminars as well as ESL in adult education and community college settings.
|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 a 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. 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.
|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!