Via Lingua Advisory Board

Via Lingua International Advisory Board

In order to ensure the quality of all Via Lingua programs, both content and delivery, the organizational structure includes both an Academic Board and an Advisory Board. The Academic Board comprises a number of senior Via Lingua academic staff members. The Advisory Board comprises a group of distinguished international educators, all of whom have expertise within the field of Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

The Advisory Board has a significant role in advising and counseling the managing director and the Academic Board. In addition, its role is to vouch for the quality of the content and delivery of the study programs offered in Via Lingua Study Centers.

The members of the Advisory Board are all internationally recognized within the TEFL and academic community. This group of outstanding professional educators and leaders in the field of international education is in a unique position to publicly vouch for the quality of our courses.

Perry AkinsPerry Akins

Perry Akins is chairman and cofounder of iTEP International headquartered in California.  iTEP International, LLC develops and markets internet based English language assessment tests--iTEP: academic, high school (SLATE), English programs (assessment and placement) and business.Prior to iTEP  Perry was president of ELS Language Centers for 30 years and retired from that position when the company was sold to Berlitz. In addition to serving on several corporate and advisory boards, Perry is also an active member of Rotary International and past president (twice) of his Club.


Donald BackDonald Back

Don Back is currently Director of the English Language Institute at Virginia Tech, one of the leading universities in the United States. Prior to joining Tech, Don was with ELS Language Centers, where he directed one of the company's largest language centers, oversaw centers in the Southern district, and, most recently, recruited throughout Latin America. A former U.S. Peace Corps volunteer, he has been active in international education for almost 20 years and has worked in managerial capacities in English language programs for more than 15 years. Past-president of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP), the leading organization representing language institutes in the United States, he has additionally served on a national level as a SEVIS Project Manager for NAFSA Association of International Educators, is listed as a contributor in NAFSA's sourcebook for immigration advisors, and has authored several NAFSA practice advisories for language schools. Don was awarded the NAFSA Association of International Educators Colleague Award in 2005. He holds an M.Ed. in International Education from the University of Massachusetts.

 "I am delighted to join the advisory board of Via Lingua. Having taught abroad myself for several years, I appreciate the value of undergoing appropriate TEFL training prior to undergoing such an experience. Teaching English in other countries enriches the lives of both participants and recipients. By promoting the exchange of knowledge and cultural understanding, Via Lingua in some small part contributes to a more peaceful world. I envy those going to work abroad for the first time the excitement and challenge of beginning their new assignment."

Gabriele W. BosleyGabriele W. Bosley

Gabriele Bosley currently holds the positions of Director of the International Programs Office, Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages & International Studies, and Professor of Global Languages and Cultures at Bellarmine University in Louisville.
Gabriele designed Bellarmine's new trans-curricular Baccalaureate Degree in FLIS (Foreign Languages and International Studies), secured more than $1.1 Mill. in private foundation funding for the implementation of the FLIS degree.
With over 13 years of experience in international education, Gabriele has served in numerous leadership roles on international, national, and regional boards and committees. She currently serves on the AIEA Executive Committee, the UCS Board of Trustees, the CCSA Board of Trustees, the KIIS Board of Directors, the CCCS Board of Advisors, the Kentucky Department of Education Foreign Language Programs Review Board, the Louisville Mayor's International Affairs Advisory Board and a number of Bellarmine University committees.
Gabriele is the recipient of several awards, including the 2006 Kentuckiana Metroversity Award for Curriculum Development, the 2005 Miles Service Award, the 1999 Women's Council Award, the 1994 National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher/Scholar Award, the 1992 Council for Basic Education Fellowship Award, and the 1991 Rockefeller Research Fellowship Award.


Patrick ColabucciPatrick Colabucci

Patrick F. Colabucci is  the Director for North America of Global Study Partners, a unique online platform that allows international students to search, compare and apply for thousands of courses globally. As former Director of International Programs at UCLA Extension, he led a team dedicated to the successful recruitment, retention, and accomplishments of students from around the world. His expertise is his commitment to serving the diverse students during their journey through the US higher education system.  As internationalization is a core principal of everything he does, he works with academic and service departments to ensure students' interests and innovative programs. From recruitment to enrollment, from the first class to OPT experiences, he serves students.

Patrick has been involved in and leading teacher training programs for more than two decades. He earned his bachelor's at the University of Maryland and his master's at the Tokyo branch of Temple University. He's worked in academic and corporate contexts in Japan, Taiwan, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Currently, he is also the US Outsourcing Coordinator for the IELTS exam through the University of Cambridge. Patrick has been an active member of JALT, TESOL Arabia, CATESOL, TESOL and NAFSA. Recently, he authored the English Proficiency chapter in AACRAO's International Guide.


Dr. Elena M. GarateDr. Elena M. Garate

Elena M. Garate, Ph.D., is president of EMG Consulting and is a retired faculty member in the ESL department at Santa Monica College, where she was responsible for developing materials and teaching in a program designed to utilize technology to enhance classroom experiences through interactive programs. Dr. Garate, the former Dean of International Education at SMC, where she developed the largest community college program for international students in California, continues to consult as an expert in the field of international higher education, developing and promoting international programs in the USA and abroad. She is currently a member of the board of directors of the International Institute of LA and an advisory board member for English Language Services (ELS) and the USC Marshall School of Business CIBEAR Board.


Mark W. HarrisMark W. Harris

Inspired by his own study abroad at the University of Madrid and language teaching experience as an instructor of Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania, Mark W. Harris has dedicated four decades to international education. He earned a Master of Arts degree from the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania and later an MBA Degree in International Management & Marketing from The Anderson School of Management at UCLA. In May of 2015 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Adelphi University.

Mark joined The Berlitz Corporation in 1978 and has served most recently as the Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer and President. Berlitz was established in 1878, and currently operates worldwide in 72 countries 550 Training Centers involving Global Leadership Training, Cross-Cultural competencies training & testing, Modern Languages, Managing Diversity, and Corporate Communications. From October 1998 to June 2016 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of ELS Educational Services Inc., the world’s largest network of campus-based English language instruction and university preparation centers, with more than 75+ locations in the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and Malaysia. Mark has just recently been appointed President Emeritus of ELS Language Centers,  where he will focus business development worldwide. He is Co-Founder of ELS/United Nations Academic Impact Many Languages One world International Essay Contest and Youth Forum.

Mark is a member of the Council of Senior Advisors of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), and is also a member of AIEA, NAFSA, and was a founding member of the Japan Association of Overseas Study. In 2015 he has joined the board of the Center for Entrance Examination Standardization.


Sharyn S. MooreSharyn S. Moore

Sharyn Moore served in the Peace Corps (with her husband) in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia in the Government Secondary School. Her specific teaching duties were to prepare students from elementary schools taught in Chinese, Malay, Tamil or Tagalog, to enter secondary schools taught in English.

Upon her return to the United States, she enrolled in graduate English courses at Pepperdine University, and qualified for a State of California Lifetime Secondary Teaching Credential in English and History, and immediately put it to use in a language immersion pilot program with the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In 1970 she was offered a position as Year-in-Europe program assistant to the Pepperdine university provost. In 1971, she moved to Heidelberg, Germany and in the following four years worked as Assistant Director in the Pepperdine program. Concurrently she was a Lecturer in English for the Paedagogisches Hochschule (Teachers College); TEFL program coordinator and instructor for the USIS Amerika Haus; ESL program coordinator and instructor for the Pepperdine University Bibelschule; and, coordinator and teacher for the Volkshochschule (TEFL adult education) in Neckargemund.

In 1974, she returned to California and began an almost 35 year association with ELS Language Centers. She has held numerous positions, and undertaken several special assignments with ELS Language Centers: summer program director at Pepperdine University/Malibu; Marketing Consultant/Germany; Instructional Specialist; Curriculum Developer; Researcher/Writer of "ESL? ELS! A Narrative History of ELS Language Centers"; and her current position of Assistant Academic Director, ELS Language Centers/Santa Monica, California. She continues as a curriculum developer, and created "The Global Citizen" curriculum for  the ELS Language Centers Masters levels, as well as courses on Global Poetry, Travel Talk, California Culture and Here’s Hollywood. Sharyn studied, and worked in Heidelberg, Germany and taught with the US Peace Corps in Malaysia. She has also returned to Heidelberg, Germany throughout the years to assist the Pepperdine University Director in semester and summer programs. . She is a frequent presenter at TESOL and NAFSA conventions, focusing on topics related to culture, peace and globalism. Sharyn has received the ELS International Pathway Award for Life-time Contribution to International Education. She says, “We teach language. We also teach the vocabulary of kindness, respect, understanding, peace and partnership."



Dr. Tony Pellegrini

Dr. Tony Pellegrini

Dr. Tony Pellegrini is Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director – Educational Leadership, College of Education, Southern Utah University. Tony grew up on a farm digging ditches and growing wheat, beans and hay in Monticello, Utah. He didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up, but he knew he didn’t want it to involve more ditches.

In high school, Pellegrini enjoyed theater. When his drama teacher told him he could do whatever he put his mind to, he took her encouragement to heart. Enrolling at Utah State University and Brigham Young University for his theater education and administration degrees, Pellegrini went on to teach theatre, English and dance before becoming an elementary school principal for 12 years. He earned his Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nevada in 1992.

In 2002, Pellegrini was hired to teach at Southern Utah University and has been here ever since. He teaches the following classes:

  • EDUC 2000 Exploring Education in Society
  • EDUC 6020 Information & Technology in Education
  • EDUC 6036 Leadership with Technology
  • EDUC 6030 21 Century Research & Data
  • EDUC 6650 MEd Thesis Proposal Wiring
  • EDUC 6652 MEd Portfolio Writing
  • EDUC 6895-99 Supervisory Capstone

Pellegrini says the most satisfying part of his job is when he sees the potential for growth in his students, and can be a small part of it. “As a high school teacher with 30 students, I had a very small lever,” said Pellegrini. “Now, as a university professor, I see the impact I have on my students and how that can carry on to impact their own students.”


Marcie SchneiderMarcie Schneider

Marcie Schneider is a senior executive with over 25 years of global experience in the international education, study abroad and cultural exchange Industries. She is currently president of Intrax, a premier cultural exchange company.  Marcie has demonstrated success integrating sales/operational and strategic issues using global teams. She has in depth experience negotiating contracts at international and government levels. As well as identification and integration of new revenue opportunities. Marcie is an expert at managing complex global service organizations. She loves to build winning cross-cultural teams and partner networks both domestically and globally and is passionate about new business development.

Marcie has lived 25 years outside of the US and is currently  based in San- Francisco. Marcie loves travel for both business and pleasure as well as hiking in beautiful spots around the globe.


Eddy White, Assessment Coordinator, University of Arizona

Eddy WhiteAfter receiving his Applied Linguistics doctorate from Macquarie University (Australia), with a focus on classroom assessment, Eddy has been at the University of Arizona since 2011. This includes being Assessment Coordinator for the Center for English as a Second Language (CESL), as well as an Associate Professor in the Public and Applied Humanities Department. He has been involved in both achievement testing at the classroom level, as well developing and administering proficiency tests for the university in screening incoming students and visiting scholars. 

Eddy has been a teacher trainer since 2009, which has included publishing, presenting, and teaching courses about assessment, and promoting assessment literacy in the profession. His most recent publications include co-editing the following books:  Handbook of Research on Assessment Literacy and Teacher-made Testing in the Language Classroom (2019), and Classroom Assessment: Challenges, Choices and Consequences (2020).

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