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English Language Institute

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Meet Us

ELI Director
Mr. Nicholas Cates Photo Mr. Nick Cates has taught English as a second language since 1989 and directed 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, Mr. Cates works to ensure that ELI students receive world-class preparation for undergraduate and graduate study.
ELI 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.

Mr. Michels’ career has led him to various international universities and governmental programs as an English and Linguistics professor. 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 curriculum and works directly with the ELI teachers to create an engaging and social environment where true learning happens.
ELI Staff
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 and a Designated School Official, Ms. Jeffers guides prospective students in obtaining visas and applying to the Institute.  She finds working with international students especially rewarding.
Sean Williamon Photo Mr. Sean Williamon is a Calhoun County native who received his B.A.in Art from JSU in 2003.  Sean has been with JSU since 2004.

Mr. Williamon is in charge of student services, seeing that new students are able to transition to life in Jacksonville--from airport pickup to housing to health insurance to bank accounts.  He also coordinates the language lab, program-level testing, field trips, and volunteers.
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