Instructors & Staff

When it comes to a rewarding learning experience, especially learning in a foreign language, the quality of the instructors and staff can make all the difference. The International & English Language Programs at the University of Washington are proud to feature some of the best teachers and staff in the country.

All of our classroom instructors are well-trained, experienced English language teachers. All of them possess advanced degrees in the field. A considerable number of them have written or contributed to published textbooks and professional articles about teaching English as a foreign language, and many have presented at conferences around the United States. Our instructors have lived and worked with people of different cultures from all over the world. See a list of International & English Language Programs instructors.

Our staff and advisors are also highly knowledgeable and have undergone extensive training. They have decades of combined experience working with international students like you, and will make sure that you get the most out of your time studying at the UW.

See below to learn more about a few of the IELP staff members who are available to help answer your questions and make sure your needs have been met.

  • ethan decoster

    Ethan DeCoster

    International Student Advisor, Downtown IELP Office

    Ethan is thrilled to work with International & English Language Programs at the UW. He has worked in the field of education for 13 years and in higher education for eight years at both the community college and university level. He graduated from Marquette University and has a Master of Arts in Education from Seattle University. He served as a professional volunteer in Belize and has lived and worked in Greece, Mexico and India. His passion for international education began as a student, and he hopes to continue to show hospitality to students from all over the world. Outside of work, Ethan loves exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, cooking and traveling.

  • carol lowe

    Carol Lowe

    Front Desk Receptionist, UW Tower IELP Office

    Carol is often one of the first people whom IELP students meet when they visit our main office. She is a Maryland native and received a degree in education from Skidmore College in New York. Carol has a background in teaching and social work, but she has also spent time as a cook on yachts and as an in-house caterer for the president of the UW. She joined IELP in 2006 and says she loves interacting with the students. In her free time, Carol enjoys volunteering, reading and traveling.

  • michelle foshee

    Michelle Foshee

    Academic Advisor, UW Tower IELP Office

    Michelle graduated from the University of Washington and also earned a teaching degree at the University of Arizona in Tucson. She has studied and lived in Russia, Kosovo and Poland. In addition to advising, she is also a teacher in the department. She thinks that talking with students is the best part of her job. When she is not at work, she enjoys reading and talking about books, sailing, and making clothes and hats.

  • elisabeth mitchell

    Elisabeth Mitchell

    Director of Student Services, UW Tower IELP Office

    Elisabeth has dedicated her professional career to working with students and people from other cultures, both in the United States and abroad. She has an undergraduate degree from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon and received her master's in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from the UW. She served in the Peace Corps in the Sultanate of Oman and later returned there and worked with two women's organizations. Elisabeth spent a decade working with international fellows in several UW programs before taking her current job with IELP in 2010. "I love having contact with students from all over the world," she says. "Thoughtful cross-cultural experiences can lead to a more peaceful world, and I enjoy being part of that peace-making."