Orange County, California

iec occ team

Meet Our Team!

INSTRUCTORS 

team allisonAllison Walter - Instructor
Allison began her teaching career in Paris, France, where she used film and news stories to improve students’ pronunciation and comprehension of the English language. After earning her TEFL certificate from Cambridge University, Allison created an English program at ING Sviluppo SpA, in Milan, Italy, teaching exclusively to analysts and stockbrokers using current financial news and authentic materials. Her return to the United States began another journey of pedagogy and study at the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a Single Subject Teaching Credential in English and French as well as her Master’s and Ph.D. in French Literature and Philosophy. Upon completion of her degrees, Allison continued teaching at UCI International Programs and is now happy to be part of IEC's instructors.

team aminiAmin Momeni - Instructor
Before teaching at The International Education Center in Orange Coast College, Amin taught at The University of Birmingham in the UK and Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus. As a part-time faculty, he has also taught English at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. He holds a Cambridge University CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and has presented papers in various conferences in Iran, Turkey, and the UK. He has also published a book chapter with Routledge. Amin plays in a Vietnamese soccer league as one of the two foreign players allowed in the team. He played professional indoor soccer as a member of his university’s team when he was an undergraduate student. In his free time, he enjoys riding a motorcycle along the Pacific Coast Highway (right along the ocean), playing (absolutely unprofessional) volleyball, and listening to traditional Persian music.

team danielDaniel Palacio - Instructor
Daniel received an MA in English with an emphasis in TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. Before that, he earned a BA in Linguistics from Cal State Long Beach, and he has taught in South Korea, Colombia, and Southern California. He found his love for teaching from working with other professional teachers and from seeing the efforts of determined students. Daniel has worked with students of diverse ethnic, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds, and he respects, appreciates, and incorporates his students' unique lived experiences which influence what they've learned about English in the past and how they will learn and use English in his classroom and beyond. Daniel hopes that by having an equitable and inclusive class atmosphere, his students can take on the great challenge of learning a language so they can participate in the world of communication opportunities that comes with it. In addition to teaching at IEC at OCC, Daniel teaches at other community colleges in Southern California.

team krystieKrystie Ritchey - Instructor
Krystie is originally from Detroit, Michigan, but has called Orange County home since August 2018, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and her pets (one cat, one dog). She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, with a double minor in Spanish and English, from Purdue University in 2015. She completed a Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. She has been teaching ESL since 2015, and she began teaching at the IEC in January 2022. She considers herself a true language nerd, having studied a total of six languages so far (English, Spanish, German, Latin, Swedish, Icelandic). In her free time, she enjoys singing, hiking, running, roller skating, reading, and podcasting.

ADMISSIONS/STUDENT SERVICES AND RECEPTION

Gladys Calderon - Program Facilitator
Contact Gladys for F1 visa or I-20 questions, any immigration document questions, medical insurance questions, or attendance and status issues.

team gladysGladys earned her B.A. in Political Science with a minor in International Migration Studies from UC San Diego in 2010 and later earned an M.S. from California Baptist University in 2016. Gladys has a passion for people, cultures, and education. She taught English in Thailand in the summer of 2008 and again in The Republic of Georgia in 2012. She has traveled to Thailand, Georgia, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Armenia, and more. In her free time, Gladys enjoys visiting Disneyland, taking road trips, and discovering new delicious places to eat.

Noriko Gotschall - International Student Counselor
Noriko is an OCC International Counselor. She helps OCC international students achieve their educational goals by making sure they understand degree and university transfer requirements and helping them choose classes. Noriko came to the US on an F-1 visa after graduating from high school in Japan. She first attended an intensive language program before going to college. She has a BA in International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in Counseling from California State University, Long Beach.

Thu Nguyen - Student Advisor
team thuThu graduated from Orange Coast College and will finish her BA in Management this Fall 2017. She grew up in Saigon, Vietnam, and came to the U.S. after graduating high school. Thu would like to pursue a Master's Degree in Counseling and work as an International Student Advisor. She enjoys traveling, shopping, dancing, and cooking. In her free time, she travels and dances Zumba.

Stephanie Phonsiri - Staff Aide
I received my BA from Vanguard University in Organizational Management and my MBA from Redlands University. I worked at Coast Community College District since 1990 and for Orange Coast College since 2006. I love working with and meeting students from all over the world. I can speak four languages: Vietnamese, Laotian, Thai, and English. When I'm not at work, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two children. I enjoy outdoor activities and love running. 

MARKETING/RECRUITMENT

contacts naokiNaoki Hirota - Marketing Director
Naoki came to the US as an international student and majored in International Relations at the University of Kentucky, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1997. He has been with IEC since its opening in 2000. He travels internationally throughout the year, meeting partner institutions and prospective students around the world. In his spare time, he enjoys playing the drums (a pair of drumsticks are his icon!). If you see an IEC employee doing a presentation at a fair/exhibition, it will likely be Naoki.

contacts kristopherKristoffer Toribio - Assistant Director of International Admissions and Recruitment
Kristoffer is the Assistant Director for the Global Engagement Center is responsible for driving the admissions and recruitment for international students. Kristoffer was born and raised on the island of Kaua'i and a proud graduate of the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He has worked in international undergraduate admissions for nearly 9 years and has traveled to nearly 40 countries. In his spare time, he enjoys the beach, staying active, traveling, learning about different cultures, and playing with his corgi, Koji. His hidden talent is memorizing nearly every world capital and national flag. 

ADMINISTRATION

team shaneShane Liliedahl - Director, IEC@OCC
Shane is the Interim Director for the International Education Center. He taught English in Japan, and has even worked with Japanese Singers from the boy band “King and Prince”. Shane grew up in Los Angeles and has his Master’s in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages from The University of Southern California. He loves to sing, study Japanese, and his loud voice can often be heard singing from the classrooms next door.

 

contacts nathanNathan Jensen - Associate Dean, Global Engagement
As Associate Dean, Nathan is responsible for oversight of the Global Engagement Center which includes services for international students, study abroad programs and services, the Multicultural Center, and IEC@OCC intensive English program. Nathan has worked in international higher education for nearly 15 years. Nathan likes to explore the world with his wife, attend church, play music, and go to art museums. Nathan has a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in music from CSU Long Beach.