UW International & English Language Programs

IELP Staff

The quality of the staff can make all the difference in creating a rewarding learning experience. This is especially true when you’re learning a foreign language.

Our staff and advisors have decades of combined experience and extensive training in working with international students like you. They'll 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 are met.

 

Sandra Janusch

Sandra Janusch

Assistant Vice Provost, International & Academic Programs

Sandra Janusch, a California native, has lived internationally for most of her professional career, teaching and coordinating programs in China, Vietnam, Canada, the Netherlands, France and Indonesia. An expert teacher herself, she has trained teachers of English as a second/foreign language. Janusch came to the UW from the University of Montana, Missoula, where she was director of the English Language Institute. She earned her Ph.D. in education from the University of Calgary; her master’s of education in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Holy Names University; and a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.


James Cody Evens

James Cody Evans

Director of English Language Programs

James has been the director of English Language Programs since 2008. He switched to administration after teaching in IELP. Before coming to University of Washington, James taught English in Japan at colleges and other schools for 10 years. For much of that time he lived in Kochi, where he learned to surf. While he still goes surfing occasionally on the Washington coast, he misses the warm water of Kochi. James plays guitar, but not very well. He also enjoys reading mystery novels, playing softball and watching sports, especially college basketball (and most especially the University of Kentucky Wildcats). His advice to students who want to improve their English is to read as much as possible. Read often. Read anything, preferably something you find interesting and enjoyable.


Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas

Director of Student Services & International Enrollment

Chris received his master's of higher education leadership from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has over a decade of experience in international education. Chris previously lived and taught English in Gifu, Japan, and has held positions at a wide range of institutions. His experience spans topics such as study abroad, immigration and academic advising, orientation, student life, admissions and institutional partnerships. He is a past chair of the Association of Washington International Student Affairs and is the current chair of the NAFSA Academy for International Education. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling (74 countries and counting), gardening, raising chickens and spending time with family.


Amy Renehan

Amy Renehan

Academic Director

Amy received her master's in teaching English to speakers of other languages from the University of Washington in 2005. Since then, she has taught and helped to develop various ESL, teacher training and content-based courses for IELP. She is an active member of the TESOL organization and served as local co-chair for the 2017 convention in Seattle. She's also the co-author of University Success: Writing, Transition Level, which was published in 2017. Amy lives on Whidbey Island with her husband and daughter, and she enjoys spending time outdoors, writing and interior decorating.


Cheryl Wheeler

Cheryl Wheeler

Program Director

As a program director, Cheryl creates and oversees new customized international programs in a broad variety of content areas, including business, technology and environmental sustainability. Cheryl has an M.A. in international environmental studies from University of Oregon and a B.A. in communication theory from McDaniel College. Previously, Cheryl worked in university-level study abroad programs in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She's been working at the UW since 2005. Cheryl enjoys international travel, spending time with family and pets, being outdoors and cooking.


Melissa Woldeit

Melissa Woldeit

Program Director

Melissa attended graduate school at the University of Washington, earning master's degrees in international studies and public administration. She has over a decade of experience with development, implementation, management, and evaluation of educational programs for international learners. Melissa has developed and managed both open-enrollment and customized programs spanning topics related to international studies; supervised research; peace and conflict studies; faculty development; and longer-term academic studies. She's passionate about lifelong learning, cultural exchange, resilience, mindfulness and compassion. Outside of work, she enjoys being active, exploring in nature, dabbling with arts and crafts and spending time with family.


Jen Patterson

Jen Patterson

International Student Advisor

Jen is originally from San Francisco but has lived in Seattle since 2007. She now considers both cities home. Although she’s found benefits to different places she’s lived, she loves being on a coast near the ocean! Jen received a bachelor's degree in sociology with an emphasis on not-for-profit management. She's taught English in China and has been privileged enough to visit several countries in Europe and Asia. She's worked with multicultural communities and international students for over 15 years in various settings. Outside of work, Jen likes to walk and be outside, write and receive cards, and spend time with family and friends.


Jean Sauvion

Jean Sauvion

Lead International Student Advisor

Jean has been working in the field of international education for over 20 years and she's passionate about helping students reach their goals. She enjoys meeting students, assisting them with their immigration and academic advising needs, and figuring out the best plan of action. She's lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Poland, Italy and France and knows what it’s like to make your home in a new country. She’s also half-British and half-American and has a French husband. So, what kind of food does she prefer? Ask her! To relax, she likes to do yoga, dance, run, craft with her daughters, attend performing arts shows, and get outside and enjoy the spectacular nature of the Pacific Northwest.


Nasrin Nazemi

Nasrin Nazemi

Assessment Coordinator / Academic Advisor

Nasrin was born in Tehran. She has a master's in TEFL and a Certificate in Instructional Design. Nasrin has worked with international students for 25 years. Her interest areas are teaching writing, teacher training, language assessment and designing online courses/trainings. Previously, Nasrin lived and taught English in colleges and universities in Canada and Iran. She's the past president of the Washington Association for the Education of Speakers of Other Languages. Nasrin is fluent in English and Farsi and is also familiar with German and Arabic languages. She enjoys reading, walking and doing brain teasers in her free time.


Darya Anoshei

Darya Anoshei

Admissions and Outreach Lead

Darya graduated with a degree in law from the University of Rome, “La Sapienza”. She's a seasoned professional who brings her experience in immigration law, ESL and precollege advising, student affairs operations and international admissions to her role. Darya is a polyglot and is fluent in Italian, English, Farsi, French and German. She's bicultural and enjoys to learn new languages and cultures. When she's not at work she loves cooking, baking and most of all playing with her little boy! She normally has lots of yummy goodies in the office for her colleagues and friends.


Yara El Hage

Yara El Hage

International Student Advisor

Yara El Hage was born and raised in Lebanon, the second smallest country in the Middle East. Lebanon is famous for its hospitality, big, extravagant weddings and, of course, its cuisine. Yara holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and an MBA in marketing. After getting married, she moved to the United States to start a new life. Yara has over three years of experience in international education. She also speaks English, Arabic and French. After moving here, Yara knew she wanted to help students fulfill their international pursuits. Yara is interested in student activities, international studies and intercultural communications. She feels lucky to have a job that connects her to the global community. During her free time, Yara loves to spend time with her daughter, craft, cook and travel.


Kelsey Getz

Kelsey Getz

Program Coordinator

Kelsey was born and raised in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle and received her bachelor's degree in mathematics, with a minor in African studies, here at the University of Washington. She had transformative life experiences during her several study abroad programs and while volunteering to help folks experiencing houselessness throughout Seattle. She has experience working in nonprofits, labor unions, finance, fundraising, operations and student services, and finds great joy in communicating across differences. When she is not busy drinking coffee and discussing racial/ economic/ gender/ social justice, Kelsey likes to cuddle with her cats, sing in a choir, and take walks around the beautiful parks and beaches of the Pacific Northwest.