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Graduate Profiles

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Class of 1998

"Working in the educational field has been a long-term dream for me. SUA gave me the technical, theoretical, and practical tools that I needed to become an educator and to teach English as a Second Language. I now have the confidence and skills necessary to train experienced teachers as part of my current job."

Educational Trainer
Electronic Educational division of
Pearson Education,
the world's largest K-12 publisher.

Magda graduated from Faculdades Metropolitanas Unidas in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She is currently responsible for training educators in the use of leading edge educational software.



Class of 1999

"The professors and classmates I met at SUA are the most precious gift I have received in my whole life... The way the SUA professors taught was so different from what I was used to in Korea in many ways. For instance, I learned that learning is neither just memorizing, nor just gaining knowledge, nor just taking others' opinions passively. Learning is rather a process in which you critically think and examine all possibilities from as much information as possible, and you think and think over and over again. I also learned how to present myself in class and express my own opinions effectively and with confidence, which I had never learned to do in Korea. Since I started teaching English back in Korea, I have been developing my own unique way of teaching based on what I learned at SUA."

English Instructor
SISA English Institute
Seoul, Korea

Ok Joo graduated from Sejong University in Seoul, Korea with a bachelor's degree in English Literature. She currently teaches English classes at SISA English Institute, one of the most prestigious English language schools in Korea.



Class of 1995

"At SUA I learned about the importance of English education and the opportunities it can create for students. The teaching of English as a second or foreign language is, in a word, empowerment. From the faculty to the staff to the fellow students at SUA, there is a genuine concern about each and every student.

Through my experience at SUA and from teaching English in Japan, I have developed a real love for teaching. Therefore, I decided to enter the PhD program in order to pursue my career as an educator. I am certain if I had not gone to SUA, I would not be where I am. Thanks to SUA, I now have the confidence, courage, and commitment to achieve my goal to be a true educator."

Assistant Professor
University of Central Arkansas
University of Houston, Texas

Joe graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in government and history. After graduating from SUA, he taught English for one year at Kansai Soka Junior and Senior High School and for three years at Soka University in Hachioji. He has subsequently earned his PhD in political science from the University of Houston and now teaches at the University of Central Arkansas.



Class of 2000

"I realized how much I learned at SUA when I began teaching and found that I was able to help my fellow teachers with their lesson plans because of the innovative and refreshing ideas I learned from SUA's professors. I feel that SUA offers a well rounded education that prepares you to be a great language teacher."

C-BET instructor
Rowland Heights School District
Rowland Heights, California

Caroline graduated from Central Washington University in Seattle, WA with a BA in Spanish. She served as the Director of the Summer ESL program at Whittier College in Summer 2001. Currently, she teaches ESL and life skills to immigrant parents in the C-BET program in the Rowland School District.



Class of 1996

"Small class sizes, an exceptionally natural, peaceful environment, rigorous academic standards, a talented and dedicated faculty and staff helped to shape my experience while at SUA. During the intensive 3-semester program, faculty, advisers, and classmates formed a lasting and cohesive bond that is truly unique in the often indifferent and competitive world of academia.

"I had always loved languages and had had some previous teaching  experiences, particularly with ESL. I had taught on the Navajo Indian Reservation some 15 years earlier. I wanted to recapture the fulfillment and satisfaction that that position had provided. SUA was the vehicle for  attaining that goal. In spite of my age at the time of enrollment (43), and  the considerable gap of time that had gone by since I had participated in a full-time intensive program, I excelled at SUA. I did so because of the  enjoyment of the challenges that the program consistently offered."

Freshman English Coordinator
Lecturer, World Language Center
Soka University, Tokyo, Japan

Michael received a bachelor's degree in French and Secondary Education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. After graduating from SUA, he moved to Tokyo and has since been teaching English at Soka University in Tokyo.



Class of 1999

"You get a ton of individualized attention at SUA since the class size is no greater than 10 students. The top-notch faculty at SUA express genuine concern for all students and invest a great deal of their energy and time to support each student in his/her academic and professional endeavors. Not only was I encouraged to teach creatively from the outstanding faculty, but I was also challenged to think critically from seven uniquely different classmates from all over the US, Korea and the Philippines.... SUA definitely provided me with the practical tools that I needed to tackle any challenging EFL/ESL classroom."

Special Faculty, Intensive English Program
University of Southern California

Pamela has a BA in Communication from Rutgers University. After receiving a Master's degree from SUA, she taught English at Soka University in Tokyo, Japan, where she designed and implemented Soka University's first interdepartmental Business English course. She is currently teaching in the Intensive English Program, managing the budget and advising students on the undergraduate and graduate admissions process at the University of Southern California (USC).



Class of 1997

"...this program is rigorous and prepared me to become a better teacher who can make great contributions to English language education in China."

Associate Professor
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Beijing, China
Lin Yan graduated from Beijing Foreign

Studies University (BFSU) with a BA in English. She taught in the English Department at BFSU for nine years. 
Winner of the Chen Meijie Award for excellence in teaching in 1990, she also wrote and presented an English language education program on Beijing TV 
After receiving a Master's degree from SUA, she returned to BFSU to continue teaching English.



Class of 1998

"...I had many years of teaching experience but the education I received at SUA filled in all the gaps. I now have the advantage of knowledge based upon the most current research in the field. I have gained new understandings of my profession and have become aware of the theory behind much of what I have already found to be effective in the classroom. The excellent instructors at SUA helped me to combine theory with practice and the results in my career have been wonderful."

Parent Education Teacher
Burbank Adult School,
Burbank California

Valerie graduated with a degree in English and a teaching credential from California State University, Northridge. Her experience as an elementary school bilingual teacher in Southern California made her aware of the importance of a strong background in language education. Valerie teaches family literacy classes and is currently involved in helping her school district develop a new program to teach English to adults and their elementary school children.


Andrea Yan

Class of 2001

"Studying at SUA has changed my life profoundly as an educator and most importantly, as a human being.  Through close connections to my professors, and a dialogic approach to learning, not only did I acquire the tools, techniques, and application skills to enhance my abilities to teach ESL, but I also learned how to communicate and think critically.  I was challenged everyday in my studies, but was strongly encouraged and supported along the way.  The path to learning, in other words, was neither individualized nor self-centred, but rather a collective effort to learn and accomplish together. As a result, I developed more confidence in myself, especially in speaking out, and questioning issues.

Currently, I have effectively implemented and transferred the skills I developed as a teacher to become an e-learning instructional designer for a global clientele that spans over 76 countries. My experience at SUA is helping me to bridge cultural gaps and apply key communicative approaches in dealing with clients on a daily basis.  SUA has really opened my eyes to the world and taught me invaluable skills that I could not have received anywhere else"

e-Learning Instructional Designer
HSBC Centre of Excellence
Group IT Training
HSBC Holdings, Vancouver, B.C. Canada

Andrea graduated from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor's degree in Linguistics.  After graduating from SUA, she taught English at the Soka Women's College in Tokyo, Japan.  Subsequently, she worked as a teacher trainer and instructor in English, IELTS, Popular Culture, and Academic Writing at her alma mater, Simon Fraser University. She is now a Senior Analyst in Business Systems in the area of Instructional and Production Design at HSBC Bank.



Class of 2002

"When I entered SUA, I had a vision of opening my own English school in my native country Korea, although that dream seemed too idealistic back then. Today I am the founding director of an English language school called Institute of Real English (IRE) in Seoul, Korea.

While at SUA, I asked: What are the essential qualities of a fine educator -  profound knowledge, excellent teaching skills, or a variety of experiences? Obviously, all of these traits are indispensable, and SUA provided me with them. However, more importantly, at SUA, with full support from the faculty and staff, I learned to develop an "educator's heart." That is, I learned to care and love my students and train them to be leaders in society and the world. What a teacher can teach with a textbook may be limited, but s/he can give unlimited lessons through his/her own life. This is what I learned at SUA. SUA is my eternal source of hope, and I want to be the eternal source of hope for my students.

My goal is to foster future leaders who possess both capacity and compassion to work for world peace, and I would like my school to be the bridge between Korea and the world."

Institute of Real English (IRE)
Seoul, Korea

Aura graduated from  Korea University in Seoul, Korea with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. After completing her MA in TESOL and returning to Korea, she opened her own English language school in 2007 and is now directing a program to teach English to school children in Korea.

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