DGEV People

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Meet some of the DGEV Faculty

Mark Anderson

Portrait of Mark AndersonI learned the art of hard work and the ability to appreciate the simple things in life while growing up on a farm in small town Iowa. Both were instilled at a young age and have paid huge dividends throughout my life. I'd certainly say, looking back now, growing up where I did has been a tremendous blessing in so many ways and has really made me the person I am today. It helps having great, supportive parents, a couple brothers and plenty of room to roam, explore and contemplate the mysteries of life!

After many years of struggling to hammer down one specific major, my advisor finally finagled my inordinate amount of credits into a triple major (English, Sociology and Humanities) and a minor  (Spanish) but none of this really gave me much to pursue career-wise, but I had my papers and was officially an Iowa State university Alumnus.

Over the next decade, I found myself facing some serious domestication...the acquisition of a dog, the purchase of a historic 1920's bungalow house in Seminole Heights and successfully maintaining a promising career as a high school teacher and coach in Tampa, Florida. Life was good but the wanderlust inside continued to stir, which meant it was time to travel abroad and immerse myself in other cultures. So that's exactly what I did!

Suddenly, I was living the dream in Gumi, South Korea, for 14 months, where I taught elementary and middle school students in Sang-mo dong. That's all it took and I was completely hooked on the overseas teaching experience. Thus, an opportunity to teach at DGEV seemed like a no-brainer. It was close to my Gumi friends while offering a very different, unique and challenging opportunity to teach a wide array of students from children to adults. At some point, I'm determined to actually complete my Master's degree but no definitive timetable has been set, which explains much of how I live my life and it's continuously served me well!

Brittany Cushenbery

Portrait of Brittany CushenberyGreetings! My Name is Brittany, and I arrived in DGEV September 2012. What a wonderful place this is! I am an English major with a teaching license for primary grades (K-5). I decided to join DGEV because I always wanted to teach abroad, and my university, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, has close ties to the Village. Traveling is also a passionate hobby of mine. I have been all over Europe, Asia, and North America. I look forward to making more great memories at DGEV!

David Hart

Portrait of David HartA native of Seattle, Washington, I have worked at many varied and interesting jobs throughout my life…youth minister, pastor, school administrator, salesman, manager, and, most recently, ESL instructor for eighteen months in Santiago, Chile. I obtained my TESL certificate in June of 2007 from LCCoaching in Los Angeles, California. My interests include music, reading, politics, world history, geography, and sports of all kinds -- especially basketball, soccer and American football.

I am the father of three children and fifteen grandchildren, all living in Wisconsin, USA. I love teaching, and watching people of all ages learn and incorporate that knowledge to increased possibilities in their lives. I am excited about the opportunities of utilizing my teaching and interpersonal skills in South Korea, and learning more about the culture of the Korean people.

Joanne Hart

Portrait of Joanne HartMy name is Jo and I came to Korea with my fiancé, Jon. Before coming to Korea we had spent almost six years living and teaching English in Japan. After that, we moved to New Zealand to study education. I taught Korean college students while living in New Zealand and had the chance to connect with them. They were friendly, communicative and happy to tell me many things about Korean culture. Jon and I loved our experience in Asia and decided to give Korea a try! We researched various schools in Korea before deciding on DGEV. What attracted us to DGEV initially was the support they offered teachers free meals are provided and free shuttle service. We thought this would be an easy transition because DGEV has a lot of Western comforts but at the same time it's still in Korea. We've been here two years now and the experience has been invaluable. We have had the ability to teach Kindergarten, elementary, intermediate, high school, government officials and Korean teachers on a number of different programs. This was great for me because after graduating from teacher's college I wanted to find out what elementary age group I was most passionate about teaching. I love teaching Kindergarten students! Besides being cute, they are very intuitive and I'm surprised by how quickly they pick up English phrases. They are fearless and their energy is contagious. Recently, we broadened our experience by moving into off-campus sponsored housing. This has enriched our cultural experience by having the ability to interact in Korean society on a daily basis. If you are thinking about coming to Korea you will find life is very convenient and comfortable for you here. DGEV is a great stepping stone that allows you to ease into a new culture at your own pace.

Robert Kennedy

Portrait of Robert KennedyI am a 1983 graduate of the University of Virginia (BA English) and have spent most of my life in the Washington, DC area. I worked in the newspaper printing industry for 25 years and began a transition into teaching in 2005 as a writing tutor for Northern Virginia Community College. I tutored elementary school students in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2009 and received my TEFL/TESOL certification the same year.  I wrote features articles for several DC-area newspapers and drew editorial cartoons for The Reston Times and The Takoma Voice. My play A Little Slice of Heaven has been produced by three Maryland community theater groups, and my web comic Hork's Java Joint was briefly in print in comic book form.

Wendy Levy

Portrait of Wendy LevyGreetings! I was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After graduation from high school, I decided to attend college out of state. In 1988, I graduated from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, with a BA in Political Science. A few months later, I enlisted in the U.S. Army to help pay for my Master's Degree. I was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, for two-and-a-half years. My enlistment also included serving in the Desert Shield, Desert Storm War.  After serving in the U.S. Army, my husband and I decided to return to Pennsylvania. For about 18 months, I worked as a social worker for children. Then in 1996, I graduated from St. Joseph's University with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education. For over 15 years, I have been a certified teacher in the states of North Carolina and Georgia. The last 6 years I have taught social studies to students in grades 7th and 8th grade. In 2012, I graduated with a Specialist Degree in Teaching and Learning from Piedmont College. My 16-year-old son is studying abroad in London, England, and we are very proud of his accomplishment!

Donald Moreno

Portrait of Donald MorenoDonald (Don) E. Moreno is a former musician and logistician who accepted retirement after serving 27 years in an active duty status with the United States Army and North Carolina Army National Guard. During this time, he completed assignments with the 82nd Airborne Division Band at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, the 2nd Infantry Division Band in South Korea and the 440th Army Band at Morrisville, North Carolina. While serving with these distinguished musical organizations, he performed concerts across the continental United States to include Texas, New York, Florida, South Carolina and Alabama. Subsequent musical tours included good will performances in Casablanca, Kingdom of Morocco, and Costa Rica. Born on March 20, 1956, Donald and his four brothers and one sister, grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina in Cumberland County.  His mother and stepfather have long worked in various industries in the Fayetteville-Fort Bragg area and have entered retirement themselves recently.

Donald attended public elementary school in the Cumberland County school district and began his college career at the private Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After studying music privately for two years at Methodist University, he auditioned for and was accepted into the Army Band Program. Performance venues included various community festivals, institutions and audiences as assignments were given to include public schools, colleges and civic auditoriums as concert schedules permitted.

While assigned to the Republic of South Korea, Donald began study in the humanities through the University of Maryland.  Here he began study in the cultural heritage of the Korean people and their subsequent struggles to establish and maintain cultural identity through the difficulties of war and oppression imposed by larger and wealthier neighbors. He determined that much of the success was not only through the determination of the Korean people but supported by vigorous institutions including the educational institutions. The importance of the educational institutions to the support and maintenance of society and culture became clearer.  Donald study included work with faculty members from the University of Seoul. During this time his passion for learning was nourished.  Further, insight into cultural differences and potential pathways to cooperation was gained and the similarities of the educational processes and pedagogy in an international environment were examined.

In addition to a passion for education and learning, Donald's interest in instrumental and vocal music is maintained through performing in community groups and personal enjoyment. His performances in the community venue have included concerts with the Triangle Clarinet Choir, Fayetteville Community Band and the Cumberland County and Fayetteville Community Choruses.  He believes that through empowering and activating the imagination, along with providing appropriate resources, knowledge construction is enabled and realized. As well, the love, desire and need for learning is recognized. Donald acknowledges the necessity and responsibility to transmit acquired knowledge to subsequent generations.

Suzanne Nikiel

Portrait of Suzanne NickielMy name is Suzanne Nikiel. I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. I went to Villa Maria Academy High School, have a BA in Art History from Canisius College, and completed an MS in Adult Education from Buffalo State College in 2002. I did my internship in 2001 at Mr. Rogers at WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although I worked for over 20 years at Erie County Department of Social Services in various roles, I always wanted to teach. I took early retirement in 2002, so I could do just that.

After taking the ESL teacher training course through Oxford Seminars in 2006, I signed up for an English summer camp in Poland to teach over 100 fifteen-year-olds in Tzcew. I know that I will enjoy teaching students in Korea as well.

The common thread that runs through my life is that I usually seek endeavors where I can use my voice, i.e. choir, singing and playing guitar, karaoke, sales, interviewing, training, teaching, and learning Spanish and Italian. I also enjoy trying to hone my motor skills at computers, golf, and hiking. Here in Korea, I am learning about the culture, the country, and creative ways to teach to their children.

What excites me? I like going to museums, interior design, Asian food, dogs, and any movie with Edward Norton. My bucket list is to travel the orient, travel to England and Italy, join toastmasters, go to the Kentucky Derby, and make more friends. Although I have lived in Kansas City, MO in 1977, I have traveled to 25 out of the 50 states. I am an Aries born on April 19th and was born in the year of the dragon. My philosophy in life is “Don’t limit yourself or you’ll miss an opportunity”.

George Seno

Portrait of George SenoI was raised in Denver, Colorado, in a traditional Italian-American household. Education runs in my family: my Dad was an elementary school teacher/principal, as is my sister. Mom was a speech pathologist. I attended Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, but upon graduation set my sights on the bright lights of Los Angeles. I soon fell in love with the beach and all that California had to offer, and ended up working in the game show biz for fourteen years (No Whammies! Big Money, Can I Buy A Vowel Vanna?). Then a series of mergers and acquisitions in Hollywood left me feeling like it was time to go back home and play some golf with my Dad, so back to Denver I went. I worked as the Aide to the Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and in the House Majority Press Office. From there I went to Chipotle Mexican Grille where I worked in the corporate marketing department until I left to care for my elderly parents. Earlier this year I was talking with a friend who taught at DGEV three years ago, and I decided that it sounded like something I would really enjoy. I drove to Colorado Springs to meet the folks at UCCS, and a few interviews and several rounds of paperwork later, here I am! Outside of work I like to play golf and beach volleyball, as well as ride my little Honda XR 250 (which I sadly had to leave back home!).