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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.



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


Elizabeth Harrison has volunteered as an English educator for more than 10 years and began her academic career at Austin Peay in 2019. She is the current International Student Services Coordinator, and assists with English as a Second Language Institute. Both her Bachelor of Science (2013) and Master Arts of Teaching (2020) were earned at Austin Peay. Elizabeth works in international studies because it is her passion and a shaping foundation of her life. Her household is foundationally international, with Argentine, Irish, German, Korean, and Chinese family all living together, there is always something new to learn for everyone at home and in life. When she isn’t investigating teaching strategies or traveling, she enjoys learning new languages, reading science fiction and fantasy novels, playing video games with her sons, cooking with her daughter, or watching cartoons with her husband.


angeliqueAngelique 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!