August 6, 2014


Giovanna Alessio, Center Director

Giovanna taught English and German in Mexico and in California for five years before joining the INTERLINK teaching staff. Having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, she counts herself as a California native but relocated to Greensboro to teach English at INTERLINK in 2013. She holds a B.A. in German Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz and a Masters in TESOL from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Katheryn van Laar, Academic Coordinator 

Katheryn grew up in a very multicultural family in Canada and the U.S. Her love of cultures led her to study language acquisition. She attended the University of Ottawa, completing a B.A. in Second Language Teaching and M.Ed. in Second Language Education. Katheryn taught in Canada at the University of Ottawa, in Georgia at a local library, and in China at Shantou University. She has been at INTERLINK since 2014 and hopes to continue working with the great students here. She loves learning about new cultures and people and hopes to continue her education in that field.  Email:

Gloria Darby, Administrative Assistant 

Born and raised in Greensboro, NC, Gloria recently married and is the mother of two grown kids. After graduating from Dudley High School in 1974, she decided to join the United States Army, where she served for ten years. Gloria was a cheerleading and dance coach for the military recreation center in San Antonio, Texas and decided that whatever she did in life would revolve around working with kids. She is an active member of her community and church and loves all sports, especially golf. Gloria came to INTERLINK with 25 years of administrative experience and is very excited to be part of the team.

Heaven-Pearce-UNCG Heaven Pearce, Student Activities Coordinator  

Heaven majored in International and Global Studies with a concentration in Asian-Studies. She has and continues to be involved with INTERLINK as a conversation partner. Through this experience she has learned a lot and became better prepared for her work in international relations. Heaven is a member of the Global Leadership Program on campus and has studied abroad in Japan. E-mail:

Ellen Baumgartner, Instructor

Ellen joined INTERLINK first as a part-time instructor in August, 2006 and then began full-time in January 2007. Ellen did her undergraduate work at Drew University in Madison, NJ, majoring in Behavioral Science and Education. She taught for a few years in elementary schools and pre-schools and then decided that she needed a change. Due to her love of traveling and wanting to take advantage of her Swiss citizenship, she went to Switzerland in order to improve her French and learn German. On the way, she discovered English-language teaching and earned her CELTA certificate from International House, London in 1993. She then began teaching for a private language school in the cities of Zug and Basel in Switzerland. In 2002, she returned to the States after 13 years of living abroad and pursued her M.Ed. with an ESL concentration at UNCG. While doing this, she also taught ESL to immigrants at GTCC.  She loves her students at INTERLINK because they teach her so much about their cultures and because they are so motivated to learn. Email:

Geoffrey Butler, Instructor

Geoffrey was born in Alexandria, Virginia and majored in Classical Studies at the University of Virginia. After receiving his BA, he began teaching with the Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan in 2003. Since that time he has worked in Japan, Costa Rica, South Korea, and the USA. He holds an M.A. in TESOL from the SIT Graduate Institute. He has been teaching at INTERLINK since August of 2015. E-mail:
Lara Kurth, Instructor

Lara majored in English and Spanish at the University of California Santa Barbara. After teaching Spanish and English, she obtained a M.A. in TESOL from the SIT Graduate Institute. Since then she has taught English in Costa Rica, Japan, South Korea, and the USA. She has been teaching at INTERLINK since August of 2015.  Lara loves language learning and teaching. E-mail:
Isaac Grose, Instructor

Isaac began teaching English as a Second Language in early 2014 and has been an instructor at INTERLINK since 2016. He holds a B.A. in English Education and a M.A. in TESOL, both from Lenoir-Rhyne University in his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. He is also currently pursuing a M.A. in Intercultural Studies from Southeastern Seminary. Isaac’s love for international students has been strengthened through over a dozen short-term trips to places such as Thailand, Guatemala, Romania, and South Asia. He greatly enjoys helping INTERLINK students improve their linguistic, academic, and cross-cultural skills.  Email:

Abdoul Diop, Instructor 

Abdoul grew up in Senegal before coming to the United States as a Fulbright fellow. Abdoul loves studying languages and is fluent in French, Arabic, Wolof, and English. He also studied German and Spanish in Senegal. Abdoul did his education in French up to the university level and then he went to Ecole Normal Superieure de Dakar to be trained as a French and EFL teacher at the secondary school level. He then had a Fulbright scholarship to further his studies as a cultural ambassador at the University of Texas at Austin with a major in English literature and a minor in education. After his B.A, Abdoul earned his M.A in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Indiana State University where he taught Arabic, ESL, French, and Wolof as a teaching assistant. Abdoul has been teaching at INTERLINK since October 2016.  E-mail:

Selina Jaber, Instructor

Selina first discovered her passion for teaching ESL while majoring in Education and French at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. She loved working with newly arrived refugees and decided to pursue a career as an ESOL instructor. She has also lived in France for a year while completing her undergraduate degree and has traveled throughout Europe. Selina has lived and taught ESL in the Middle East before settling in the United States in 2008. She is fluent in English and Arabic, and is proficient in French. In Greensboro, NC she has taught ESL at local community colleges as well as private companies and has experience teaching ESL online with the McDonald’s Corporation. She joined INTERLINK in the summer of 2016 after obtaining her Master’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, specializing in Education in TESOL. E-mail:

   Leslie Miller, Instructor

Leslie has a Master’s of Theological Studies (MTS) in Historical Theology from Emory University, and a much more recent Master’s degree in TESOL from Greensboro College.  She was even a hospital chaplain for several years, but has been teaching now for several years, mostly part-time, and is now in her fourth term at Interlink.  Leslie always thought she was from a big family (of 8) until she met students who had many more siblings, and had to stop feeling “special.”  Still, Leslie and her siblings are very close and visit each other often.  Leslie has traveled extensively, including a month teaching in Vietnam as a volunteer, observing English language classes in Afghanistan, and “just visiting” in Morocco and Tunisia.  Since her mother was from Belgium, Leslie has also spent a good deal of time backpacking in Europe and studying French in Switzerland.  The best part of teaching is getting to know students from all over the world and having the opportunity to learn from them. Students have taught Leslie so much, not just about their countries, but also about teaching, her own culture, and herself as a teacher.

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