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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 20 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. 



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.



Paige Williams of Paris, TN received her Bachelor of Arts degree from APSU in May 2011, studying History and minoring in Art History. Her favorite travels include her summer study abroad program to Germany, France and Austria in 2010 through APSU’s European Studies and Holocaust Seminar. Paige has visited other locations such as England, Spain, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Belize, and Ireland. In 2014, Paige was promoted to Coordinator for the Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange. Her main goal is to advise and educate the APSU community about the importance of being a global citizen. Her dream trip is to travel throughout the UK and Ireland to research family genealogy.



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.


Elizabeth has volunteered as an English educator for more than 10 years and began her academic career at Austin Peay in 2019. She currently teaches Intensive Writing and Intensive Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation courses, as well as Business English and private sessions. Both her Bachelor of Science and Master Arts of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language were earned at Austin Peay, and she is enhancing her knowledge and competence to lead in adult education as a member of the 2021 Doctoral Cohort in APSU’s Ed.D. Program. When she isn’t investigating teaching strategies or tutoring, she enjoys learning new languages, reading science fiction books, playing video games with her sons, cooking with her daughter, or watching cartoons with her husband.