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English Language Institute

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Meet Us

ELI Director
NCates Mr. Nick Cates has taught English as a second language since 1989 and directed English language programs since 2001.  He has a B.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) from the University of Idaho.  He has worked in Thailand, Japan, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, and back home in the United States.

As Director of the English Language Institute, Nick works to ensure that ELI students receive world-class preparation for study in JSU's undergraduate and graduate programs. In addition to managing daily operations, he designs and implements programs with outside partners, helps to recruit international students, and serves as campus resource regarding all things ESL.
Lead Teacher
Luke Michels Photo Mr. Luke Michels is a Michigan native who has been living and teaching abroad for the past 10 years. He earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his M.S. Ed from the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares in Madrid, Spain.

Lukes’ career has led him to various international universities and governmental programs as an English as a Second Language teacher. His love for travel and education has inspired his desire to help international students improve their English and communicative abilities.

As Lead Teacher, Luke designs and implements curricula for the six-level Intensive English Program. He works directly with the ELI teachers to ensure an engaging and productive learning environment for our students.
Program Coordinator
Cindy Jeffers Photo Ms. Cindy Jeffers is a native of Dekalb County, Alabama. She came to Jacksonville State University in September 2003 and joined ELI in April 2005.

As the Program Coordinator, Cindy guides prospective students in applying to ELI and, as a Designated School Official, obtaining study visas.  In addition, she coordinates contracts and payments for international student recruitment agents. She finds working with international students especially rewarding.
Student Services Specialist
Sean Williamon Photo Mr. Sean Williamon is a Calhoun County native who received his Art from JSU in 2003.  Sean has been with JSU since 2004.

Sean is in charge of student services, seeing that arriving students transition successfully to their new life in Jacksonville--from airport to dorm to student ID to health insurance to bank accounts--and that current students are able to focus on their studies. He also coordinates the language lab, program-level testing, field trips, and student volunteers for the Conversation Partners program.
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