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Academics

Faculty Biographies

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Komfort Akyempon-Archer 

I have been teaching in the Reading and Vocabulary B courses in the Credit ESL Department at Los Angeles Valley College since 2017. In addition to teaching at Los Angeles Valley College, I teach noncredit ESL at Los Angeles Harbor College. I have taught ESL at EC Los Angeles and the Intensive English Program at CSU, Northridge. I have also tutored English-language students at the University of Southern California’s International Academy. I received my B.A. in journalism, my M.A. in linguistics, and my Teaching ESL Certificate at CSU, Northridge. I received my Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at CSU, Long Beach. In my spare time, you can find me reading, walking my dog, listening to BeyoncĂ©, or spending time with my family and friends. I thoroughly enjoy working with diverse students from all over the world. I strongly believe that students are all capable of success. I am available to help students succeed in any way I can.

Alicia Bien

I am Alicia Bien. I have been teaching in the LAVC Credit ESL Department since 2016. I have also taught ESL in Japan, Belgium, and at the University of Delaware’s English Language Institute. I received my undergraduate degree in Literature. I have a Master’s degree in Linguistics and I earned my MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. I grew up in the Midwest with cornfields and horses. I enjoy reading, writing, and teaching English.

Kyle Crawford

I am Kyle Crawford and I have been teaching at Los Angeles Valley College since fall 2019. I teach ESL 3A in the morning. I have also taught at Los Angeles Mission College and ELS Language Centers. I received my B.A. in Linguistics and my M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from CSUN. In my free time, I like to design and program web applications. I wish you the best of luck with your studies.

Anwar El-Issa

My name is Anwar S. El-Issa, and I am a professor of English, ESL, and Arabic at Los Angeles Community Colleges in California. I have been teaching at LAVC since 2002. I received my Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature at Damascus University, Syria, Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics from Saint Michael’s College, Vermont, USA, and a Doctorate in Linguistics from the University of Liverpool, England. I got a Graduate Certificate in TESOL from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, USA, a Graduate Certificate in TESOL-LATEFL from ESADE, Barcelona, Spain, and a Graduate Certificate in TESL from Durham University in England. My primary teaching and research areas include pedagogical grammar, writing pedagogy, writing assessment, translation, and discourse analysis. I have a wide experience in teaching academic writing and advanced grammar, and I taught in different countries. I worked for the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) in Saudi Arabia as an advanced English teacher at the Industrial Training Centers (ITC), the University of Qatar as a lecturer at the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU), and Philadelphia University as an assistant professor at the English Department. I also taught at Chapman University, Orange County, California, before joining Community Colleges in Los Angeles in 2002. I have two sons and daughters. I enjoy spending time with my family, friends, traveling, and reading.

David Feliz

My name is David Feliz, and I am from Los Angeles. I have been teaching English as a Second/ Foreign Language since 1986. I taught in South Korea for six years, Japan for seven years, Thailand for six years, Vietnam for eight years, and LAVC for three years. I also teach ESL at Glendale Community College. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from California State University of Northridge and a Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from California State University of Los Angeles. I enjoy traveling and taking photos. One of my favorite trips was to Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa where I went on safaris. The animals were amazing!

Alixan Gorman

I am Alixan Gorman, a proud native of the San Fernando Valley, and I have been teaching Credit ESL here at LAVC since 2018. Currently, I teach ESL 4A - Writing and Grammar. I have been an educator since 2009 when I began teaching ESL at a volunteer organization called MEND. I received my Master of Arts degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from CSUN in 2014 and have been teaching in their Intensive English Program since then.  I understand the challenges of studying a new language since I am also a student of Spanish. I studied abroad in Madrid last summer to practice my Spanish language skills. Besides teaching, I also love taking pictures, collecting vinyl records, surfing, and playing with my kitten, Hamlet.

Jaime Haile

My name is Jaime Haile. It is a pleasure for me to join Los Angeles Valley College. I am currently teaching ESL 8. Previously I have taught classes at Los Angeles Pierce College and ELS Language Centers on the campus of Cal Lutheran where I served as the Academic Director for over five years and currently serve as an Instructional Specialist. My English teaching career began in Seoul, South Korea in 2000 teaching young children. I earned my B.A. and Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSU Chico and my MATESOL from Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. I also have a TEFL Certificate. When I’m not lesson planning or grading papers, I love spending time with my family. I have three beautiful children that keep me quite busy. I love teaching students at any level and supporting their academic goals. I look forward to teaching you and welcoming you to my classroom. 

RS Hubbard

Hello, and thank you for your interest in the faculty of the Credit ESL Dept. at Valley College.  As the son and grandson of immigrants, and after having lived and worked in Asia, Europe, and The Americas, my life experiences have formed the basis of my teaching.  I have been a professor at Valley College since 1996, and I have been fortunate to have had careers in business, academia and government.  You might be interested in knowing that I was chosen to represent The U.S. at the World Tourism Organization International Conference in Cheju, Korea, and I had the honor of being the first Western professor to give a lecture at the former headquarters of the Communist Party in Budapest, Hungary.  My Master’s degree is in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and my doctorate is in Intercultural Communication with an emphasis on Communication Strategies for Professionals, and I have written several books and articles on those subjects.  I really enjoy teaching English, and look forward to seeing you in my class.

Eric Maceyko

I teach reading and study skills courses in the Psychology Department and English as a Second Language (ESL) reading courses in the Credit-ESL Department at Los Angeles Valley College. I love anything to do with language, and I have a special passion for learning and teaching vocabulary. Most of my education and career have been directly related to my interests in language and teaching. I have a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.A. in Education from Ibaraki University, a B.A. in English/Creative Writing from Florida State University, and a B.A. in Spanish from Florida State University. I'm a first-generation college student, and I also have an A.A. from Valencia Community College. I have taught ESL, Japanese as a Second Language, English Composition, and other language-related subjects to adults in Japan, Taiwan, and the U.S. since 1994.

Laya Moghadam

My name is Laya Moghadam, I have been teaching English as a Second Language for more than 10 years. I have taught ESL to different walks of life and am very passionate about what I do. I have been at LA Valley College for 3 years in the Credit ESL department and teach E.S.L 5A grammar and writing. I have also taught at California State University of Los Angeles for many years where I obtained my M.A in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Furthermore, my journey of teaching began in UAE where I taught at a university in Dubai for 3 years which I very much enjoyed.  Learning different languages is a desire I have. I am trilingual. I speak Farsi, Arabic and of course English. Walking by the beach and yoga are my favorite ways to recharge. All in all, I love teaching ESL and I look forward to being your professor to help you with language acquisition.

Nancy Ramsey

My name is Nancy Ramsey, and I have been teaching at Los Angeles Valley College in both the Credit ESL and Child Department departments for over three decades!  I enjoy my association with students and staff at this college, and admire everyone's hard work and dedication to education.  My educational background includes an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Monica College, a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA, a Master of Arts from California State University, Northridge, and a Doctorate of Education from the University of San Francisco. When I am not at school I enjoy gardening, walking our two dogs Millie and Dexter, traveling with my husband Robert, and following UCLA football and basketball (Go Bruins!)  I enjoy teaching community college students, and appreciate their commitment to learning.

Marcia Sibony

Welcome! My name is Marcia Walerstein Sibony. I have been teaching ESL in Valley College for 17 years, and in the LACC District for over 30 years. Presently I am just teaching ESL 4B Reading and Vocabulary.  I was born and raised in a small town with a big university, in Indiana. My parents were bi-lingual, speaking a second language more for secrets, but one they expected us somehow to learn.  When I was fourteen, my family and I went to live in another country for a year, and I shared the experience many of you have of having to learn a new language, a new alphabet, as well as many new customs. But I made great friends and a new world opened up to me, so later in my life, I spent a total of ten more years living there, meeting all kinds of people from all over the world.

In between I received my B.A. from Indiana U. and M.A. from U.C. Berkeley, and started doctoral studies.  Eventually I returned to the U.S. to finish my doctorate at UCLA, and ended up in Los Angeles. I found teaching ESL an exciting way to earn an income while studying again, and continued it as my profession. I find that our students are so motivated to learn, it encourages me to do my best as a teacher.

Besides teaching at LA Valley College, I have taught at LA Southwest College, Glendale Community College for about twenty- five years, some private colleges, and at a high school abroad.

I’m very interested in teaching not only the language, but helping navigate students through the “American way” of doing things here. I’m fascinated by all the cultures our students come from, and have spent many years studying ethnic cultures.  In my class we read some very interesting articles, and I’m always trying to find material on subjects that interest the students. If you’re thinking of taking my class, you can stop by and talk to me sometimes. Check my “drop-in’ hours with our office assistant or look on the wall near H109D.

Nice to meet you!

Shawn Smith

My name is Shawn Smith, and I have been teaching in the Credit ESL department at Los Angeles Valley College for five years. I have also taught ESL intensively at ELS International Pathways as well as at the Intensive English Program at CSUN. For the past year, I have been the Faculty Adviser for the International Club at LAVC as well. I received my B.A. in Linguistics from UCLA and my M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from CSUN. Spending time with my wife and my three little kids is one of my favorite things to do. I also enjoy playing tennis, watching Dodger baseball, and studying and learning about the languages of the world. I usually teach ESL 6A and ESL 3A writing and grammar. I love teaching ESL students, and I look forward to being your professor and helping you increase your English skills!