Meet the IPO Staff

Michael Ziadat
Assistant Director, English Language for Academic Purposes (ELAP)
Phone: 1-815-740-3441

As a trilingual son of immigrants, Mike has considered himself a philosopher of language his whole life. His journey in higher education began in the Middle East and continued in the United States. He received a B.A. in Philosophy at Purdue University, where he started working with international students and fell in love with his work, and the rest is history. He obtained his M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Northeastern Illinois University, where he started formally teaching and recruiting in higher education. Mike has worked in many ESL and international programs and considers himself a proud advocate for immigrant and international students. His calling in life is to attend to the intersectional needs of students and helping them break through linguistic, academic, and social barriers. Mike started working with USF international students in September 2018 and is determined to have a global impact on the entire University of St. Francis community.

Please contact Mike for information about:

  • English Language for Academic Purposes
  • Language support for new and current USF students
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Academic support and advisement for international students
  • International student services and events
  • Cultural transition and social adaptation in the U.S.
  • Academic/College Writing for international students
  • Short-term intensive English language programming or cultural exchanges
  • Inter-departmental collaboration

Lisa Barrett
ESL Teacher, English Language for Academic Purposes
Phone: 1-815-740-3441

Lisa, an Illinois native, is a passionate and dedicated ESL instructor. Lisa received a B.A. degree in English writing from Elmhurst College and went on to pursue an M.A.E.D in Adult Education and Curriculum from the University of Phoenix. Since finishing her M.A., Lisa has been diligently teaching in the ESL field, covering topics from basic English acquisition to advanced academic English courses like American literature or Business English. With over six years direct teaching experience, Lisa likes to challenge her students and incorporate technology into every class she teaches. In fact, when not working inside the classroom, Lisa teaches ESL students from around the world online for Rosetta Stone as an English Coach. Lisa’s motto is to make each learning experience engaging, enjoyable, and memorable. Lisa is also dedicated to professional development for herself and her colleagues, currently serving as Illinois TESOL’s publicity chair. In her free time, Lisa enjoys traveling, reading, and cuddling on the couch with her husband and cats.

Dustin French
ESL Teacher, English Language for Academic Purposes
Phone: 1-815-740-3441

Dustin earned his Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2011. He began his teaching career at World Relief Chicago where he taught survival English to immigrants and refugees. A native of the Philippines, he enjoys immersing himself in other cultures, learning other languages, and sharing his heritage with others. He is currently learning the Thai language because one day he plans to live in Thailand. His teaching philosophy is based on teacher-student communication where students should never suffer in silence; he highly encourages students to ask questions all the time. When he is not teaching or preparing for classes, Dustin spends his time playing on Facebook and Tumblr. He also enjoys going to the cinemas despite the rising cost of entertainment.

female headshot

Fernanda Sandoval
International Programs Office Student Worker

Fernanda, born in Mexico but raised in Illinois, is the International Program’s student worker. She is heavily involved on campus: she is the Vice-President of Diversity for the Student Government Association; is a member of Alpha Psi Lambda, the first co-ed fraternity on campus; and additionally, is an active member within several honor societies and committees. She is a psychology undergraduate with a minor in social work and is an ambitious advocate for diversity. Fernanda is very enthusiastic about making sure students of all backgrounds feel welcomed and find their place at USF.

male headshot

Felix Frimpong
Graduate Assistant, International Programs Office

Felix Frimpong, an international student from Ghana, graduated with a B.Sc. Computer Science from the University of Ghana. As an undergraduate student, he worked with the Career and Placement Center as a peer counselor in his university. Due to his approachable personality, students felt comfortable discussing anything with him. Felix enjoys meeting new people and hanging out with friends and family. He worked In Subah Info Solutions as a software developer and later with Gartner UK as an IT consultant. Felix is currently pursuing an MBA in Business Analytics here in USF, which will be a great way for him to help shape the business community in Ghana. Felix firmly believes that interacting with people from all cultures is the easiest way to acquire 21st century skills. He is currently the Graduate Assistant at the International Programs Office and hopes to help international students easily integrate into the USF family.