Teaching English and working on test development projects have taken me to many places throughout the world.
I earned my BA in English with minors in Writing, German, and Biology from Northern Michigan University in 2005. The following year, I served as an Austrian-American Fulbright Commission Fremdsprachenassitentin (Foreign Language Assistant) where I taught English as a foreign language at two vocational high schools in Neusiedl am See, Austria. I earned my MA TESOL at MSU (2008) and then taught pre-sessional English for academic purposes programs in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lithuania, Albania, and Georgia over the course of eight years. During my overseas teaching, I got involved in language test development and administration of standardized tests and classroom-based assessments. I’ve had the opportunity to work on large-scale standardized test development projects with Educational Testing Service and Second Language Testing, Inc. as an item-writer for TOEIC, ELPA 21, ELPAC, and GTEC-CBT. Looking to deepen my understanding of test construction and evaluation, I pursued a second MA degree in Language Testing by distance from Lancaster University in England (2017).
In the fall of 2017, I returned home to Southwest Michigan to start up an English as a Second Language program and a Writing Center. As a program administrator, I observed that educational policies, language acquisition theory, and language testing do not always align, or they interact in ways that create unintended consequences that can hinder learners’ linguistic, academic, and social development. It is this space that has driven me to return to Michigan State University as a Ph.D. student in its Second Language Studies program and gain research skills that can help address these real-life policy and practice challenges.
My research interests include classroom-based language assessment, language assessment literacy, language test development, test-taker response processes, task clarity in writing assessments, and rater behavior.