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Instructors and Administration

Instructors at the ESL Institute have taught English in the U.S. and abroad. All have strong backgrounds in education – most with Master’s degrees and concentrations in English, language and/or education – and extensive experience in teaching English to non-English speakers. In addition, most instructors have also experienced the learning of a language.



Dr. Marissa Chandler has been employed with Austin Peay State University for over 25 years. Dr. Chandler received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Evansville, IN. Her master’s degree is in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Kentucky State University. She received an Education Specialist degree from APSU. Dr. Chandler earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. Dr. Chandler feels extremely fortunate to have studied abroad for two semesters in England during her undergraduate years. Her study abroad experiences literally changed her life. She has also traveled extensively all over the world conducting site visits as well as for leisure. One of her main goals while serving in the English as a Second Language Institute is to assist students in becoming a vital member of the APSU family. 

  elizabeth Elizabeth began an academic career at Austin Peay in 2019 in the school's English Language Institute. They are the coordinator for both International Student Services and the English Language Institute. Elizabeth is an APSU alum ('13, '20) and a member of the 2021 Doctoral Cohort in APSU’s Ed.D. Program. Elizabeth works in international studies because it is a personal passion and a shaping foundation of their life. When not investigating teaching strategies or traveling, Elizabeth enjoys learning new languages, reading science fiction and fantasy novels, playing video games, cooking, or watching cartoons with family.


Dora Podkovyroff has taught a variety of subjects, such as piano, performing, French, Greek, and English for over 40 years. She has several certificates and a postgraduate degree in music. She has taught all of the courses at the APSU ESLI, and is currently leading the Reading and Vocabulary courses. Outside of these courses, she still teaches piano at APSU and at the Madison Street Music and Arts Academy, leads her church group at Christ Lutheran as its Music and Choir Director, and teaches both French and Greek at the Tennessee Language Center. As a lifelong student and teacher, she enjoys working with learners of all ages and backgrounds. She believes language is more than words: it is not only a tool for communication, but carries identity, history, and culture. She is honored to aid others by adapting her teaching methods and honing the skills of her students, bonding with them to help them move forward in their own goals.



Jason Groppel earned both his Bachelor and Master degrees from Murray State University; he earned his English Language Learner endorsement from Tennessee Tech. He taught Spanish, German, and English as a Second Language through college, at home and abroad, in traditional and online classrooms for over 25 years. Currently, he teaches ESL at Richview Middle School in Clarksville, is the RMS Chess coach, and leads RMS as the Energy Champion. Outside of the classroom, Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, cooking, growing tropical plants, and beekeeping.



Tatiana Logsdon is originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia. She has always been obsessed with English and taught it in Russia for nearly a decade.  She holds a Master’s degree in Chemistry and practiced the science - as well as translations – for 15 years. During those years, English became her passion – when she moved to the US, she knew that was what she wanted to do. She earned her ESL certification at the Tennessee Language Center, where she also began teaching Russian courses. Tatiana loves to read in both English and Russian, as books in Russian foster nostalgia and love for her motherland, and books in English guide her love of learning and life in the USA.


TarrahAs a second-generation American, Tarrah Sargeant remembers speech and pronunciation classes as a child and has come full circle now that she is working for the ESL Institute. She has worked for Austin Peay State University since fall 2015 and started as an Structured Learning Assistance Instructor teaching enhanced labs for students with test-confirmed reading deficiencies. From there, she moved on to working as a Peer Writing Tutor for the APSU Writing Center until May 2021 and served as Coordinator for a year. She earned both of her degrees at APSU: a BA in English with minors in Secondary Education and Spanish and an MA in Communications with a concentration in Marketing Communication. She loves music and anime and enjoys helping others see education as a worthwhile and fun-filled process.

As an Army veteran, Jingxin Perkins's true passion has always been being a great teacher to students whoever loves and desires to learn. That is why she decided to continue her education at Austin Peay State University after military service. She has earned both of her bachelor's degree in criminal justice, and master's degree in art of teaching here at our university. With over 15 years of experience in education, and years of studying abroad in Japan, she has a much-deepened understanding of both cultural acceptance and language comprehension.  She has always believed that all students can succeed with the combination of effective instruction and hardworking ethic in language learning. She is honored to be an instructor here and ready to help students stepping onto the right path. 

Dalia Hamouda

Dalia Hamouda holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (1997) and has earned her Master of Arts in Teaching at Austin Peay State University (2022). She has a long career as a graphics and book art designer and as an art teacher. Her passion for learning and teaching languages was fulfilled by completing her English as a Second Language certification and her recent studies at Austin Peay State University receiving her Master's degree, with a concentration in teaching English to speakers of foreign languages. Dalia is passionate and motivated to provide opportunities and inspire students to explore and hone their English language abilities with her experience in researching multidimensional approaches to learning language, while supporting cultural appreciation and cognitive enhancement. 



angieAngelique Leasure-Chham holds a Bachelor’s of Science with a minor in Sociology and a focus as an Information Specialist, from Austin Peay State University. She participated in Austin Peay's Study Abroad/International Exchange program, living and studying in Daegu, South Korea at Kyungpook National University for a full year! At KNU, Angelique studied Korean Language, Korean Film, and Ethnomusicology. Additionally, she received her Certificate of Completion from Kyungpook National University in 2019. In her free time, she loves reading, DIY projects, trying new local foods, and walking through Clarksville's beautiful parks!