Adult Non-Credit Language Course Instructors
Ping Wang, Chinese
Ping Wang was born and raised in China. She has an undergraduate degree in accounting and statistics from Xiamen University in China. She moved to the United States in 1986 and got her master’s degree in math and computer science from State University of New York in 1989. She currently holds a systems analyst position in a local company. Ping is very active in the Northeast Wisconsin Chinese Association. She participates in community events and supports area youth symphony. In her leisure time, Ping enjoys traveling, music and sports, and has great passion for tennis. She also loves teaching Chinese.
Jana Dettlaff, Ph.D., Czech
Jana Dettlaff was born and raised in what is today the Czech Republic. After her college studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, where she gained a master’s degree in English and French, and Ph.D. in English linguistics, she moved to Wisconsin to pursue a teaching career in ESL (English as a second language) and Czech. She has taught at Beloit College (summer intensive Czech language classes), UW Oshkosh (ESL Methods, Linguistics), UW-Green Bay (Foreign Language/ESL Methods, Linguistics) and currently is a full-time ESL instructor at St. Norbert College. She also does occasional English-Czech/Czech-English translations.
Robin Dekker, Dutch
Robin Dekker has a B.A. in Dutch studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has lived and studied in the Netherlands. She is the executive director of the Little Chute Windmill Project, a 501c3 nonprofit organization erecting an authentic Dutch windmill and heritage center in downtown Little Chute, Wis.
Stephanie Lemerond, French
Stephanie Lemerond, originally of France, will lead a lively discussion about French culinary and cinematic traditions while students dine on French food and enjoy a French film.
Founder of France Savant, Stephanie is dedicated to bringing you the best of France. Her expertise ranges from teaching and tutoring, translating, interpreting and travel arrangements. Stephanie also specializes in private tours of France, catering to your specific needs and requests.
Born and raised in Paris, France, she is a true French woman with the Parisian accent, and the feel and understanding of the culture. Stephanie stays in touch with her native country while visiting with her family still located in the Parisian area.
When not working with French-related activities, Stephanie also works at the family business, EuroPharma, a company which develops quality nutritional supplements and is committed to improve the health of America.
In her spare time, Stephanie also enjoys taking care of her horses, hiking abroad, reading and writing. She also wants to be an active citizen in the community and does so by volunteering through local organizations, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as her children’s school.
Mother of two, Stephanie is an active mom who likes to be involved with her children; together they enjoy skiing, camping, horse riding, traveling and more. Her husband, raised in Green Bay, has embraced the culture of France and is also very supportive of her busy lifestyle.
Barbara Baumberger, German
Barbara Baumberger was born, raised and educated in Essen, West Germany. After completing her education in Nuernberg, Germany, in international business and education, she received continuing teacher education training through Berlitz International School of Languages where she taught German for many years. She also taught German to soldiers from the U.S. National Guard unit from Green Bay, and taught for UWGB through their outreach program for adults and children. Married with three children, Barbara moved from Germany to the United States. After working and living in various states and an interesting year in Saudi Arabia, Barbara and her family settled in De Pere. She has been teaching and translating German with St. Norbert College since 1999.
Nikos Efthimiou, Greek
Nikos Efthimiou was born and raised in Athens, Greece. He graduated from an Athens high school in 1987 and moved to Appleton, Wis., in 1993. He graduated from UW Oshkosh in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a minor in international business.
He goes back home often with his American wife and two children. Currently, Nikos is managing a bank office in Kimberly, providing residential and consumer loans to members. He enjoys playing and coaching soccer, loves watching the Green Bay Packers and likes to travel.
Maiko Katie Thao, Hmong
Maiko Katie Thao’s professional experience includes 13 years as a high school counselor with the Green Bay Area Public School District. She is currently a high school counselor at Preble High School. She is one of only four Hmong school counselors in the entire district. In her current position, she is one of seven full-time high school counselors and is responsible for serving ninth-grade through 12th-grade students. Her primary responsibilities include academic support and career advisement for students. She collaborates with parents, teachers and administrators when necessary.
Katie is very active in the Hmong communities and considers herself an advocate for her local community. She has a passion to educate others about the Hmong, their history, cultures, values and beliefs. Though born in Long Chieng, Laos, Katie and her family were forced to migrate to the United States when she was only five years old. She has personally experienced the rapid Hmong’s cultural transitions, cultural shock, social anxiety, academic uncertainties and challenges that many Hmong are faced with everyday. Thus, her experience allows her unique insight into the Hmong culture to enlighten and educate others. Her ability to read, write and speak fluently in Hmong provides for rich experiential learning for all.
Laura Smith, Italian
Laura Smith grew up in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. She first ventured overseas to Italy in 2000 during her last semester of college at UW-Madison. Laura studied at Centro Lorenzo De’ Medici in Florence, Italy. After completing a semester that included studying Italian film, television, cuisine and language, she returned to the United States. Laura graduated from UW-Madison with Bachelor of Arts degrees in journalism and communication arts.
After her semester abroad, Italy was forever stamped on her heart, and Laura decided to return in February of 2001. Her professional experiences include interning at the Associated Press Rome bureau. There, she researched stories and wrote wire copy, translated Italian editorials for English newspapers, and performed general administrative work.
Laura also worked for an internationally known film producer as a foreign office assistant. She handled worldwide correspondence in English and Italian, helped plan and organize production of upcoming projects, and assisted in negotiating distribution contracts with global TV networks. Laura is currently a broadcast TV journalist in Green Bay.
Keith Halverson, Norwegian
Keith Halverson graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he studied German and Norwegian and was the assistant to the western language bibliographer at the UW Memorial Library.
He graduated with a B.A. in German, completed student-teaching in German and English as partner languages at the Kennedy Schule in Berlin and taught at preparatory schools (Gymnasien) in Hamburg, Germany, for almost 10 years. He has traveled throughout 23 European countries. Keith earned an M.A. in German from University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, completing course work at the Pädogogische Akadamie in Klagenfurth, Austria. He taught German in Iowa for five years and in Ashwaubenon for 22 years. He has also taught Norwegian classes in adult education. The last two years he taught “Learning in Retirement” classes at UWGB. He presently leads a German conversation class at Dom Caper’s house. Keith is the Norwegian translator for St. Norbert College.
Randy Cornelius, Oneida
Randy Cornelius has been working with the Oneida Nation for 24 years. He’s a graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, where he majored in psychology with a double minor in Native American studies and human development. He’s been an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, case manager, and spiritual advisder for the Oneida Social Services department. For the past 16 years he’s been working for the Oneida Language Revitalization program, for 10 years as an Oneida language and cultural educator, and he currently serves as the Oneida language and cultural archivist.
He has more than 30 years of independent and academic study of the Oneida language and culture with fluent speakers from his community, and continues to work extensively with Iroquoian cultural and spiritual elders and mentors from New York and Canada. He’s been a part of the revitalization and preservation of the Oneida Longhouse where the ancestral political, ceremonial and spiritual ways of the Oneida Nation are being resuscitated. Randy’s a Faithkeeper titleholder for the Bear clan, one of many from the three clans of the Oneida Nation who are invested with the responsibility of ensuring that the traditional ceremonial and spiritual teachings of the Oneida Nation will be forever preserved and practiced.
Malgosia Daugherty, Polish
Malgosia was born in Poland and came to the United States at the age of 23. She graduated from Academy of Economics in Krakow, Poland, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She is a treasurer and an active member of Polish Heritage Society in Green Bay. Malgosia blends her class sessions with a bit of Poland’s history, its culture and plenty of opportunities to practice speaking her native language. Her passion for her homeland and the Polish language keeps her constantly alert as to how she can meet each student’s personal goal for taking the class. She has been teaching for St. Norbert College since the fall of 2008.
Joana D’Arc Rodrigues, Portuguese
Joana was born in Piauí, which is a state in the northeast region of Brazil. She got her teaching associate degree in 1991, and then worked for an elementary school. Having an opportunity to work for a federal bank, she earned a technical degree in accountancy. Joana moved to São Paulo in 1995, where she worked at Johnson & Johnson, and studied architecture and urbanism.
In September 2007, Joana moved to Wisconsin because her husband was transferred from PCMC Brazil to PCMC USA. This was a huge change and challenge in her life because she didn’t speak any English. It made her believe that it is possible to learn a language when you are determined and persistent.
It has been a great experience since she has learned another language and culture. Joana is married and has a 13-year-old son.
Joana and her family have met very friendly people, and they like living in America. She is excited and passionate to teach her mother language to others.
Russian and Ukrainian
Oksana Kobzar-Schweiner, Russian and Ukrainian
Oksana is a certified foreign languages and ESL instructor in the state of Wisconsin. She is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and English languages. Her teaching degree was obtained at the Pedagogical University in Ukraine majoring in Ukrainian language and literature and English language. After moving to the United States, she began to work as a Russian interpreter for Green Bay Public Schools. Currently, she works at the Howard-Suamico School District as an ESL teacher and an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She is passionate about other cultures and languages, and is open to share about her own culture and traditions.
Ann Blainski is a certified American Sign Language teacher. She has degrees in sign-language interpreting, teaching American Sign Language, special education and elementary education. She earned a master’s degree in the art of education from Marian University. Ann has been interpreting for the deaf community for more than 20 years. She has worked for the Green Bay Public School District in a variety of positions since 1992. She currently teaches American Sign Language at Southwest High School
Hamida Ismael, Somali
Fleeing Somalia’s civil war, Hamida Amarreh came to the United States 12 years ago.
Since then, she has obtained a bachelor of arts from the Ohio State University, a master’s degree in French literature and a graduate certificate in gender and women studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also certified in conflict management and crisis intervention in addition to her certification in interpreting four languages (English, Arabic, Somali and French). In July 2011, she moved to Green Bay with her two children and works today for the Green Bay School District.
Crystal Dory, Spanish
Crystal Dory received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her undergraduate years she studied abroad in Granada, Spain. After graduation, she traveled extensively through Mexico, Central America and Brazil for nine months. When she returned, she completed her master’s degree and teaching certification through Concordia University. She has taught Spanish 1, 2 and 3 at Notre Dame Academy for the past four years and currently teaches levels 3 and 4. She has taught Spanish levels 1 through advanced, as well as a year-long Spanish on-site course at a local company in Green Bay for St. Norbert Language Services. Most recently she has been trained in the International Baccalaureate program for Spanish.
Jeffery Gumz, Spanish
Jeff grew up in rural north central Wisconsin and graduated from Colby High School in 1988. He graduated from UW Oshkosh in 1992 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a minor in Spanish. He spent 1992-94 in the cloud forests of eastern Ecuador working with sheep and guinea pig farmers as a Peace Corps volunteer. He taught ESL and Spanish in Haysville, Kansas, while earning a master’s degree in education from Wichita State University from 1995-99. He has taught Spanish for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay and St. Norbert College. He’s been a teacher at historic Green Bay East High School since 1999, where he began as a bilingual social studies teacher. Currently, he teaches government/economics, psychology and AP psychology. In his free time, Jeff enjoys reading, taking long walks and visiting his wife’s family in México. Jeff resides in the town of Scott with his wife and two sons.
Jen Holtebeck, Spanish
Jen Holtebeck graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish education. She has nine years of experience teaching high school and middle school Spanish, levels I-IV, and has traveled in Mexico and Spain. Jen is currently a stay-at-home mom in De Pere, where she lives with her husband and two daughters, when she’s not teaching Spanish at St. Norbert.
Chris Robokoff, Spanish
Chris Robokoff received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and history from Ripon College and a master's degree in curriculum and instruction from UW-Milwaukee. She taught for 10 years at St. Joseph Academy in Green Bay and for the last 26 years at Green Bay East High. She has taught levels 1 through 5 and Spanish for Spanish Speakers. She studied at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid as part of her undergraduate degree and has led several student trips to Spain and Mexico. She enjoys reading, gardening, travel and spending time with her family.