Intensive English Faculty

Kim Oliver, Coordinator, Intensive English Program, Professor
Office: Highland, 1429
Phone: 512-223-7458   Email:

Kim Oliver has an M.A. in English/Teaching English as a Foreign Language from San Francisco State University.  She has taught in four universities, five community colleges and three private universities, worked in four different countries, speaks four languages and has visited over 35 countries!   She loves languages and teaching and is very excited about this new program!

Dr. Shannon Bailey, Department Chair, Professor
Office: Highland Campus, Room 2346
Phone: 512-223–7452

Shannon Bailey has a Ph.D. in educational psychology, a Master’s in applied linguistics/TESOL, and a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been an ESL/EFL teacher for more than 35 years, 19 of them at ACC, and is the chair of the ESOL department. Shannon has lived and worked in Vietnam, Peru, Germany, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. She speaks German and Spanish, and her interests are skiing, surfing, camping, reading, and singing. She has two daughters and two very happy, spoiled dogs

 Nagham Awadallah,

Nagham Awadallah holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC) — one in Teaching English as a Second Language and the other in Linguistics. She received the Mary A. Hussey award for excellence in ESL teaching from UIUC. In addition to her teaching service at UIUC, she has taught English in Palestine at various institutions.  She is also fluent in French and Arabic. She is currently an adjunct faculty member in both the English and ESOL departments at Austin Community College and a very proud mother of two.

Sarah  Jesser,

Sarah Jesser loves teaching English, talking with foreigners, traveling, and learning languages.  She studied Spanish at the University of Richmond and received her Master of Arts in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin.  She’s a self-confessed “grammar geek” and enjoys a good pun (or even a bad one).  Sarah has taught at ACC since 2016.  When she’s not working, she likes to study French, cook, play with her two daughters and two guinea pigs, and go to Zumba.

Jennifer King,

Jennifer has been teaching ESL in Central Texas since 2003 in a variety of community programs as well as the Texas State University Intensive English Program.  She is currently teaching in ACC’s Adult Education Department as well as the ESOL Department.  She became fascinated with the way languages work while taking linguistics classes as an undergrad at UT and eventually earned an MA in Adult Education & ESL from Texas State University.  When she isn’t teaching, she spends her free time reading, doing yoga, and ballroom dancing whenever she gets a chance.

Fatima Khan,

I have a BA in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in TESOL from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. I’ve been teaching ESL for around fifteen years. I’ve worked in Illinois, Bangladesh, Oman, the UAE, Virginia, and now Texas. I’m very excited to be a part of the new IEP at Austin Community College.

Candan Serbest,

I  started my career as an FLE instructor  in Turkey. After completing the Master’s program, I  came to Austin to pursue a degree in Communications at UT. After two semesters, I  had to get a maternity  leave . After having two kids, it was hard to be a full time student, so I chose ACC to get a graphic design degree. I  worked as a freelance designer prior to devoting my career to English language learners at ACC. Needless to say, it is my passion to work as an English instructor and learn so much from my students’ countries, their cultures and languages.

Dr. Sharon Simpson,

Sharon Simpson has a doctorate in higher education leadership and master’s degrees in both TESOL and nutrition.  She has taught in three universities, including one in South Korea where she lived for nearly six years.  She has also taught at four Texas community colleges, including ACC.  In addition, Dr. Simpson works as a freelance English language trainer for individuals and corporations.  She has conducted, presented, and published research in South Korea and the United States. Dr. Simpson is a native English speaker with basic Spanish and Korean language proficiency.  She enjoys getting to know her students, streamlining tasks, and improving her teaching skills. She is most thankful for her son and and her faith.

Gerhardt Gast,

Gerhardt received his BA in ESOL and English Literature From Hawaii Pacific University and completed  graduate coursework for a degree in Second Language Acquisition. He also completed his coursework in Composition and Rhetoric From the University of Hawaii.  He has been teaching at Austin Community College since 2001. He enjoys photography, scuba diving, playing guitar, and camping.

Michelle Crabtree,

Michelle earned her B.A. in Spanish from the University of North Texas and her M.A. in TESOL from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taught English as a second/foreign language in Daejeon, South Korea, Dallas, Texas, and Austin, Texas. She enjoys working with students from all over the world and from all walks of life. In Austin, she has taught at the International High School, private language schools, and at several ACC campuses. Michelle teaches all levels and all disciplines within the ESOL department, but she especially enjoys grammar, pronunciation, and writing. Outside of teaching and curriculum development, she is spending time with her dog and cat, swing dancing with her all-female collegiate shag troupe, or trying to learn Catalan. She tutors at the ACCelerator Mondays and Wednesday from 4-8 and Saturdays 1-5.

Kathleen Naksone,

Kathleen earned her B.A. in History from the University of Texas at Austin and her M.A. in TESOL from the University of Birmingham in England.  She has taught for over 33 years, including 15 years at ACC, 2 years at Texas State University and 16 years in Japan at various private and public universities. Kathleen has 2 kids in college and 2 cats.  During her free time, she enjoys working on mosaic and stained glass pieces, cooking, walking and working on her house. She feels blessed to have a job she truly loves and always looks forward to meeting new students!

Julia Maffei,

Julia Maffei loves teaching and has been teaching English to people from other countries for over 25 years. Her students have been of all levels and all nationalities. She earned her Master’s in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas in 2005 and has been an ESOL instructor at Austin Community College since 2007. She is also an English tutor at the ACC East View Learning Lab.  Her favorite subjects to teach are grammar and writing, but she enjoys teaching reading and oral communication, too.  Originally from California, she has lived in Texas for 50 years, 38 of those in Austin.  She lives in East Austin with her husband and her cats.

Danna Byrom,

Danna has been an ESOL teacher for 20 years. Before coming to Austin Community College in 2006, she taught in Ecuador, The Czech Republic, The Alamo College District, Incarnate Word University, and UNAM in San Antonio. She earned her undergraduate and post graduate master’s degrees from The University of Texas in Austin and The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. In her free time, she enjoys photography, making jewelry, sewing, and watching foreign movies.

Sarah Poff,

Sarah received her B.A. in Italian and Spanish and her M.A. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas. For her graduate-level studies, her specialization was in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults. She has been teaching ESL since her graduation from UT in 1997. For five of those years, she was an ESL Instructor and Teacher Trainer in Prague. She returned from the Czech Republic to teach for the Intensive English Language Institute at The University of North Texas. After 8 years in Denton, she decided it was time to return to her beloved Austin. She has happily been teaching at ACC since 2016. When she has free time, she loves to explore Austin restaurants and get out in nature. She is also an ESOL tutor in the Highland Learning Lab on Monday – Thursday, so come see her for extra help in your classes 🙂

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