UMass Boston

Meet our Undergraduate ESL Faculty and Staff

Dr. Hadi Banat is an assistant professor of English and the ESL Program Director at UMass Boston. He earned his BA and MA in English Language from the American University of Beirut and his PhD in English from Purdue University with a dual concentration on Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Rhetoric/Composition. His published works focus on L2 writing assessment and pedagogy, tutor identity in writing centers, grant writing in collaborative research teams, World Englishes, and the internationalization of writing and ESL programs. For a detailed overview of his scholarly expertise, please visit ,, and

Lorena Fuentes has been working at UMass Boston since 2010. She served as a full-time ESL faculty for close to eight years, until she switched careers in 2019 to become a full-time administrator for the undergraduate and pre-collegiate ESL programs as the Director for Pathways and Multilingual Programs. Lorena has an MA in Applied Linguistics and is currently completing her PhD in Higher Education Leadership. Her research interests include curriculum development, racial justice in education, multilingual students, faculty development, and organizational theory in higher education.

Teddy Chocos Dimitrakopoulos is a Senior Lecturer II at UMass Boston where she first pursued her teaching career by completing a BA in English. As an immigrant child from Greece, she was keenly aware of the powers of English; thus, after earning her MA in Bilingual Education from Boston State College, she taught ELL in her native country. Upon her return to UMass Boston, she has taught every level in the ESL Program and freshman composition for native speakers. She contributed to varied departmental initiatives, such as creating and implementing curricula for ELL nursing and ELL first-year seminar students, in addition to collaborating with colleagues and mentoring Chinese scholars and student teachers. She has also held tutor meetings and contributed to the assessment, placement and advising of incoming freshmen students. Teddy Chocos has presented at numerous national and international conferences.

Carol Chandler-Rourke is a senior Lecturer II in the English Department. She has been teaching composition as well as tutor training and graduate teacher-training courses at UMass Boston since 1984. Carol’s work has focused on creating leadership opportunities for students, immigrants and refugees and developing community-university partnerships. Since 1989, she has been coordinating the Community University Project for Literacy (CUPL). Her interests include: Teaching Composition, ESOL, and Community Engagement. Carol holds a BA English/Political Science, MEd in Bilingual/ESL Studies and an MA in English Literature. 

Mara Martinez Earley grew up in the suburbs of Barcelona, Spain, and immigrated to the United States at the age of 19. She attended UMass Boston, graduating with a BA degree in Italian Language and Culture. She continued her graduate studies at UMass Boston, earning an MA in Applied Linguistics. She started teaching in the ESL Program at UMass Boston in 2000. She also worked as an ESL instructor at Cambridge College and at Quincy College. Her areas of expertise are ESL/bilingual education, second language acquisition, and ESL composition.

Wayne Rhodes studied creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh and specialized in teaching writing to English language learners. He has published in literary and academic journals, including fiction in Puerto del Sol and The Nashwaak Review and articles in Montague Street and Human Architecture.

Wendy Schoener came to the Boston area to teach ESL after earning a degree in Applied Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has taught in a wide range of schools before coming to UMass Boston, including the Somerville adult education learning center (SCALE), Bunker Hill Community College, and Wellesley College. She is interested in social justice issues and their effect on immigrant populations.

Elizabeth Raptis was born in Greece and immigrated to the United States at age nine. She completed her BA in Modern Languages and Education at Northeastern University, and continued her graduate studies at UMass Boston where she received her MA in English Literature and received a second MA in ESL and Education. After graduation, she taught at UMass Boston, Boston University, and Northeastern University, and she directed Adult ESL programs. Her areas of expertise are Adult Literacy, ESL/Bilingual Education, and English Composition.

Tracy Brown has taught in the ESL program at UMass Boston since 2007. She completed both her BA in Political Science and her MA in Applied Linguistics at UMass Boston. Before returning to UMass Boston to teach, she tutored in a college writing center and taught ESL to adults in community settings. Tracy’s particular interest is in the use of internet-based tools for the teaching of ESL listening and speaking.

Mark Earley is a Senior Lecturer who graduated from UMass Boston with a BA in Creative Writing and returned to get his MA in English Composition. After graduation, he taught high school English in the public schools and taught English Composition at Cambridge College. He joined the UMass Boston ESL faculty in 2013. His areas of expertise are Composition, ESL pedagogy, and Creative Writing.