SLS and MA TESOL Students at the Fall 2023 Applied Linguistics Graduate Student Orientation

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 2023-2024 SLS Graduate Student Representative Matt Coss. The annual procedures for electing the SLS Graduate Student Representative are outlined in the SLS Graduate Student Handbook.

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. 

April Day

April Day is a Ph.D. Student in the Second Language Studies program. She earned her MA in Applied Linguistics and her BA in Linguistics and Drama from the University of Queensland, Australia. April has taught in many countries around the world, including China, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. Her research interests include critical multilingual language awareness, non-verbal interaction styles and critical discourse analysis.

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.

Elena Gorshkova

Elena Gorshkova joined the SLS PhD program in the Fall of 2023 while completing her master’s degree in TESOL at Michigan State University. She holds BA with honors in Teacher Education with specialization in Foreign Language Instruction from Saratov State University in Russia. She has taught English in Russia, China, and the US. Her research interests include formative and standardized assessment, eye-tracking and nonverbal behaviors. 

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.

Shannon Harasta

Shannon Harasta joined the SLS program in the fall of 2023. She earned her MA in Linguistics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and her BA in Cognitive Science and Game Simulation Arts and Sciences from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Prior to her graduate studies she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal where she worked as a food security volunteer and taught ESL. She is broadly interested in the intersection of sociolinguistics and SLA.

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.

Eunmi Kim joined SLS in Spring 2024. She holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), South Korea. After she earned her doctorate, she has worked as an academic research professor at the Language Research Institute at HUFS. Her research focuses on the differences between synonymous linguistic items and the different semantic, pragmatic, and morpho-syntactic features of language used by English L1 speakers and L2 learners, employing a corpus-based approach. Her research has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals such as English Studies, Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics, and the Australian Journal of Linguistics. She has received research grants from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea, the National Research Foundation of Korea, and the Research Affairs/R&DB Foundation of HUFS.

Nari Kim

Nari Kim joined the SLS program in 2023 as a Fulbright Graduate Student Program grantee. She holds an M.A. in Foreign, Second, and Multilingual Language Education from the Ohio State University as a recipient of the University Fellowship. Before coming to MSU, she was an elementary school teacher in South Korea with 10 years of experience. During that time, she worked closely with young EFL students, developing her professional expertise in practice-driven language teaching and learning. She continues to expand her areas of interest including: bi/multilingual education focusing on equity and access, identity, language education policy, and teacher education.

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 doctoral candidate in the Second Language Studies program at Michigan State University (MSU). He is a recipient of the MSU distinguished fellowship, a Fulbright-Hays DDRA fellowship, and has experience teaching English in both international and domestic contexts across multiple age groups. His research interests include second language and multilingual writing, multilingual creativity, second literacy, innovation in language teaching and learning, teacher education and sociolinguistic factors in SLA.


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.

D. Philip Montgomery has 15 years of experience in language education in the US and Kazakhstan. As a PhD student in the SLS program, he has worked as a graduate coordinator and assistant director at 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 critical language policy, English-medium of instruction universities, language ideologies, and critical reflective practice.

Adam Pfau

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.

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.

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.