Wilkes University

ESL Instructor Bios

NiezgodaDr. Kimberly Niezgoda, Program Coordinator and Instructor
ESL 501: Approaches to Teaching Second Languages
ESL 504 Intercultural Communication for Language Teachers

Dr. Niezgoda established the Intensive English Program at Wilkes University in June 2006. She began coordinating the master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages (TESOL) in December 2009. She has an earned doctorate in Higher Education Administration, with research focused on the impact of international students on Higher Education Institutions. She came to Wilkes after working for two years teaching K-12 English as a Second language for Luzerne Intermediate Unit. Prior to her time teaching K-12 ESL, Dr. Niezgoda worked four years in Japan, where she served as an assistant professor of English. In 1999, Dr. Niezgoda earned her M.A. in English as a Second Language from the University of Hawaii. Her research, "Pragmatic and Grammatical Awareness: A Function of the Learning Environment?" was published by Cambridge University Press (2001). Dr. Niezgoda also spent three years serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Olomouc, Czech Republic, and spent a total of five years training Czech students to be K-12 English teachers as a member of the English as a foreign language (EFL) department at Palacky University in Olomouc. She is fluent in the Czech language.

Contact Dr. Niezgoda at (570) 408-4170 or via e-mail at kimberly.niezgoda@wilkes.edu.

AntonettiEduardo Antonetti, Instructor
ESL 503: Second Language Assessment
ESL 505: Second Language Acquisition
ESL 507: Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition

Eduardo Antonetti was born and raised in Puerto Rico where he learned English as a second language. Eduardo holds a B.A. in philosophy and psychology from Georgetown University, an M.S.T. in secondary education from New School University, and an M.S. in educational leadership from Wilkes University. He also completed a TESOL and bilingual education certificate program at Fordham University and has presented at professional conferences regarding the assessment of bilingual students and English learners.

Eduardo has been a public school educator since 1996. He worked as a TESOL and bilingual educator with adolescent and adult immigrant students in New York City and also taught high school social studies in New York and Pennsylvania for fourteen years. Before joining the faculty at Wilkes University in 2005, Eduardo taught graduate TESOL courses at Misericordia University. Eduardo served as a middle school assistant principal from 2010 - 2015 and is now Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for the Mid Valley School District.

Contact Eduardo at eduardo.antonetti@wilkes.edu

DigregorioDaniela DiGregorio, Ph.D. Instructor
ESL 502: Language Concepts for Second Language Learning and Teaching
ESL 512: ESL Teaching and Evaluation Theory

Daniela DiGregorio, Ph.D., is originally from the Czech Republic, where she obtained B.A. and M.A. degrees in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL). She taught EFL to Czech high school students for four years and organized educational trips to London. After moving to the United States, Dr. DiGregorio pursued an M.A. degree and ESL certification at Marywood University. Dr. DiGregorio was working as an ESL curriculum specialist and program coordinator at Northeast Intermediate Unit 19 for eight years. Currently, she teaches part-time at Wilkes University. In December 2009, she obtained her Ph.D. in composition and teaching English to speakers of other languages from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation focused on the second language acquisition of internationally adopted children from Russia. Dr. DiGregorio has presented at national and international conferences on topics of second language acquisition, assessment, ESL teaching methods and accommodations for English language learners. She is fluent in Czech and English and speaks Russian and Spanish at an intermediate level.

Contact Dr. DiGregorio at daniela.digregorio@wilkes.edu

Michele Mascia. Instructor
ESL 503: Second Language Assessment

Michele Mascia earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Certification for Secondary Education with a Minor in Spanish from Thiel College, Greenville, PA with studies in Valencia, Spain. Later she earned her Master's Degree in Education Specializing in ESL and ESL Program Specialist certification through a joint program between the University of Turabo, Gurabo, PR and Penn State, Lehigh Valley, PA. She is an ESL Specialist at Pocono Mountain teaching grades 7-12 for over 11 years as well as the district's ESL Department Head. The Adult ESL program she teaches won the 13th Annual Excellence in Education Award from the Colonial Intermediate Unit, and from the 2012 PA Rural and Small School with Penn State College of Education, the program received the Building Community through Rural Education Award. She is also a National Writing Project Fellow.

FeatroDr. Susan Featro, Instructor
ESL 506: Teaching the Four Skills: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking
ESL 509: Computer-Assisted Language Learning

Susan Featro earned B.A. in German and in music from Lycoming College and earned her M.Ed. in teaching and curriculum from Penn State University. Susan has also completed Penn State's ESL certificate program. She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Wilkes University, specializing in Instructional Technology. Susan is certified to teach K-12 ESL, German and music in Pennsylvania and has taught all three subjects at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. Susan currently teaches K-12 ESL in the Tamaqua Area School District. Susan has published a research study in The Teacher Trainer, and her writing has also been featured in the National Gallery of Writing. She is active in presenting at national and international research conferences. She is fluent in German.

Contact Susan at susan.featro@wilkes.edu

Melissa Myers, Instructor
ESL 508: Second Language Program Development

Melissa Myers earned a B.S. in elementary education, with a concentration in reading, from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. She completed the honors program by presenting her thesis on "Guided Reading, A Balanced Approach to Literacy Instruction". She earned her M.S. in educational leadership from Wilkes University with K-12 principal certification and has completed an ESL certificate program at King's College. Melissa taught at Essex Primary School, London, England, where there were over 40 languages or dialects spoken by students. She received the Colonial Intermediate Unit's 2007 Excellence in Education Award for her efforts in co-establishing and sustaining an award winning ESL parent outreach program, in addition to other grants intended for instructional purposes.

Melissa served as ESL Department Head for Pocono Mountain school district and presented at numerous professional conferences about program development, ELL accommodations, and ELLs and the special education identification process. Most recently, she participated on the Pennsylvania Department of Education ELL Overlay development committee, and currently is a Dean of Students in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District.

Contact Melissa at melissa.myers@wilkes.edu