Graduate Students in the SLS Program are working toward their Ph.D. in Second Language Studies. They are listed below in alphabetical order.

Graduate Students in the Second Language Studies Program have a Graduate Student Representative who serves as a conduit of information between the SLS students and the SLS faculty. The Representative attends and participates in the SLS Faculty Meetings, which are held at least once a month during the academic year. The Representative also may attend and participate in specific SLS committee meetings, or nominate other SLS students to do so. The 2020-2021 SLS Graduate Student Representative is  Ayşen Tuzcu. The annual procedures for electing the SLS Graduate Student Representative are outlined in the SLS Graduate Student Handbook.

J. Dylan Burton joined the SLS program in May of 2019 after 15 years working in the field of language teaching and assessment in Japan, Spain, and China. He is currently acting as Editorial Assistant for the journal Language Testing with co-editor Paula Winke. He holds a BA in Mathematics from Hendrix College and an MA in Language Testing from Lancaster University. Dylan’s research interests include the development and validation of speaking tests, rater cognition, and language assessment literacy.


Yingzhao Chen joined the SLS program in Fall 2018. She received her MA in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland and her BA in English Language and Literature from Sun Yat-sen University in China. Prior to joining the program, she worked as an EFL teacher in Beijing. Her research interests include instructed SLA, implicit and explicit learning, and second language processing.

Carlo Cinaglia joined the SLS program in 2020. He holds an M.S.Ed. in TESOL from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Spanish from Saint Joseph’s University. Before coming to MSU, he taught undergraduate courses in Linguistics, TESOL, Spanish and ESL as well as community ESL classes throughout Philadelphia. He continues to mentor graduate TESOL students at Penn completing their teaching practicum. Carlo is interested in conducting research that informs and is informed by students’ and teachers’ classroom experiences, exploring such topics as learner and teacher identity, assessment literacy, and stakeholders’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions about language instruction and assessment.


Caitlin Cornell is the Assistant Director of the Center for Language Teaching Advancement at MSU. She entered the Second Language Studies program in 2017. She earned her MA in Linguistics (with a specialization in TESOL) from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009. She has taught English and trained teachers since 2005. Her research interests fall into the broad category of accessible teaching and learning for language learners with disabilities, and through this lens she explores individual differences, online education, CALL, and U.S. language education policy.

Matt Coss is a PhD student broadly interested in additional language (AL) educational innovation and evaluation. This includes aspects of instructed second language development and language teaching, assessment, language teacher education, and program design and evaluation, as well as the interface(s) of research and AL pedagogy. Prior to joining the SLS program in 2021, Matt taught Chinese and Spanish for 11 years in a variety of K-16 contexts. Matt also worked for 4 years at the National Foreign Language Center (University of Maryland) as a Graduate Assistant and then Second Language Specialist on the STARTALK project. Matt earned his BA in Hispanic Linguistics & Asian Studies from UNC Chapel Hill and his MA in SLA from the University of Maryland College Park. 

Kevin Fedewa is currently a PhD student in Second Language Studies at Michigan State University and an instructor and coordinator of Foundations Writing courses for Environmental Science students at a University of Arizona micro-campus in China. Since 2009, he has served in various teaching and program administration roles for English and Mandarin language programs in China, Korea, and the US. His interests are in second language writing, language for specific purposes, task-based language teaching, as well as program development and evaluation.

Brittany Finch is a Ph.D. student in the Second Language Studies program. She earned her M.A. in TESL and B.A. in TESL and Spanish, Literature, Culture, and Translation from Kent State University. Her research interests include psycholinguistics, bilingualism, lexical processing, cognitive processes in reading and predictive processing.

Steven Gagnon received his MA in TESOL from MSU, and has taught both ESL and Korean language courses at the university level. As a teacher-researcher, Steven works to bridge the gap between research and teaching by conducting studies that are grounded with a pedagogical focus. For example, he has researched Korean language learner pronunciation, which had a direct impact on his teaching of phonological processes. These days he focuses his efforts on investigations of constructions as produced by Korean ESL speakers using corpus linguistics methods. He hopes to use the skills he acquires in the Ph.D. program to explore Korean learner language using corpus-based methodologies.


Curtis Green-Eneix is a doctoral candidate and joined the SLS program in Fall 2018. Prior to joining the SLS program, he earned his MA in TESOL at the University of Arizona and his BA at Boise State University. His research interest includes teacher development, identity, power dynamics in the classroom, language policy and planning, as well as how social class effects language teaching and learning.  

Leonardo Guedez is interested in linguistic variation, particularly with regard to using corpus methods to refine psycholinguistic accounts of learner language. Other areas of interest include studying the interaction between prosody and lexico-grammar across registers, and investigating the cognitive mechanisms of language production in non-native language varieties.

Lee Her is currently in her final year in the SLS Ph.D. Program. She is a recipient of the MSU University Distinguished Fellowship. She has experience teaching English abroad in Thailand. She received her MA in TESOL from San Jose State University and a BA in literature from UC Santa Cruz. Her research interests include learner and teacher identity, learner motivation, and intercultural communication particularly within the Hmong community.

Hyun-Bin Hwang joined the SLS program in the Fall of 2021 as a grantee of Fulbright Graduate Student Program. He received his B.Ed. with the highest distinction, and M.Ed. in English Language Education from Korea National University of Education. He was an English Language teacher in South Korea for 7 years prior to joining the program. His research interests include instructed SLA and the research-pedagogy interface.


Elizabeth (Lizz) Huntley employs psycholinguistic methods and cognitive measures such as reaction times and eye tracking to understand how L2 Arabic (particularly as a di/multiglossic language) is represented in the mind. As a former Arabic teacher, study abroad coordinator, and textbook writer, she seeks to translate empirical findings to the L2 classroom. Lizz is also the editorial assistant for Studies in Second Language Acquisition..

Joanne Koh joined the SLS Ph.D. program in the Fall of 2020. She received her BA in English Education and MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Ewha Womans University, Korea. Her current research interests include the role of technology in mediating L2 learning and teaching, cognitive processes in L2 vocabulary acquisition and learning, and the cognitive mechanisms under technology-mediated language learning.

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Jared Michael Kubokawa is a recipient of the MSU “University Distinguished Fellowship.” He has experience teaching English in both international and domestic contexts across multiple age groups. His research interests include second language and multilingual writing, critical multilingual pedagogies and classroom methodologies, SLA theories of multi-competence, teacher education, and corpus linguistics.

Vashti Lee joined the SLS program in 2021. She completed her BA in Linguistics at Brigham Young University and her MS in Applied Linguistics at Georgetown University. She has taught Mandarin, Cantonese, and ESL to adult learners in a variety of contexts, including at the university level. Her research interests include multilingualism, language immersion education, and language identity and ideology. Recently, much of her research has drawn on the experiences of heritage language learners and multilingual transnationals.


Melody (Wenyue) Ma received her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Michigan State University and then joined the SLS program in the Fall of 2018. Before her MA studies, she worked as an intern at Disney English in China. Her research interests lie in second language testing and assessment and quantitative research methods. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant for LLT307 (Teaching Methods).

D. Philip Montgomery has worked in education for over 10 years in the US and Kazakhstan. As a PhD student in the SLS program, he is serving as a Graduate Coordinator for the MSU Writing Center. He holds a BA in Spanish from the College of Wooster and an MEd in Educational Policy from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Philip’s research interests include internationalization of education policy, English as a medium of instruction in international universities, adaptive linguistic transfer and student-centered writing instruction.

Adam Pfau joined the SLS program in 2020. He received his MA in TESOL from MSU, and holds a BA in English, and a BA in Secondary Education from MSU’s College of Education. His research interests include computer-assisted language learning (CALL), automated writing evaluation (AWE) systems, the relationship between technology and cognition, and corpus linguistics as a learning tool.

Amr Rabie joined the SLS program in 2019. He earned his BA in English language and literature from Fayoum University in Egypt. He earned his M.A. in TESOL from MSU. He has been teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) Foreign Language (EFL) for nine years. He also taught Arabic as a Foreign Language (AFL) as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) in MSU. He worked with a diverse population of students in different countries (e.g. Egypt, KSA, Hungary, USA). His research interests are Arabic L2 writing, vocabulary acquisition, and language assessment.

Robert Randez  is an educational linguist interested in the language learning experiences of neurodivergent individuals. Receiving his BA and MA from the University of Texas at San Antonio, he has taught young learners in both ESL and EFL settings. Robert has also been involved in English language education for adult refugees and international students. Currently, Robert is a member of the Michigan Seal of Biliteracy Committee and teaches LLT 307: Language Teaching Methods.


Hima Rawal, as a Fulbright scholar from Nepal, received her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Michigan State University. She received her MA and BA in English Education from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has served as a graduate student representative on MSU’s College Graduate Committee, College Advisory Council, and College Curriculum Committee. She worked as an editorial assistant for the journal Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Her research interests include humanizing pedagogies and research in linguistically diverse educational settings.

Kiyo Suga received his MA in Linguistics from Sophia University in Tokyo and from MSU. His interests includes Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA) and second language teaching. He is primarily interested in how to develop L2 learners’ implicit knowledge through systematic form-focused instruction, such as input-providing/output-promoting tasks and corrective-feedback. Pedagogically, he is interested in how theory/evidence-based L2 instruction can be successfully incorporated into teaching practice.

Ayşen Tuzcu joined the SLS program in the Fall of 2019 as a Fulbright scholar. She received her BA in Foreign Language Education and MA in English Language Teaching from Boğaziçi University, Turkey. Before joining the program, she taught EFL at college level in Turkey. Her research interests include instructed SLA, task-based language teaching, quantitative research methods, and first and second language processing.

Monique Yoder earned her MA TESOL at MSU (2008), and her MA in Language Testing from Lancaster University in England (2017). She has developed tests for Educational Testing Service, Second Language Testing, Inc., and MSU; directed the ESL Program at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, MI; and served as interim director of LCC International University’s MA TESOL program. Monique’s research interests include classroom-based language assessment, language assessment literacy, language test development, task clarity in writing assessments, and rater behavior.