International Studies & Programs

Home > About > VIPP Faculty

VIPP Faculty

All VIPP instructors are experienced teachers who have been working with international audiences at MSU, as well as abroad. They not only bring knowledge and experience to the classroom, but also mentorship and guidance.

Zeynep Altinsel

IMG_1171.jpgI have been teaching at MSU for the last 26 years. This year has been another rewarding year with my VIPP students who are very enthusiastic about improving their communication skills. We discuss and debate controversial topics in class and hear everyone’s voice.

I graduated from Bosphorus University in Istanbul, Turkey with an English degree, and received my M.A. in TESOL from MSU.

I taught Speaking classes for the International Graduate Assistants at MSU for 25 years,  coordinated language and culture programs for teaching assistants. I presented and shared at the TESOL conferences with colleagues from other US universities. I was also a pronunciation consultant to international faculty at MSU.

In addition to teaching, I offered pronunciation workshops to post-doctoral fellows and graduate students. In language programs I trained American tutors to work with international students.

Currently, I am a language consultant in the Economics department and teach in the VIPP program.


VIP 467 Communication Strategies and Social Discourse 

This English class is designed to help international students overcome linguistic and cultural challenges in professional interactions.  The class addresses the concern of many students about participating in group discussions by increasing their fluency and cultural competency. Classroom discussions on controversial topics will actively engage students and promote learning. Students will also be encouraged to give presentations, participate in debates and lead group discussions.   

VIP 462 Strategic Communication and Debates 

This English speaking class is designed to help international students enhance their critical thinking skills. By participating in debates, group discussions and presentations, students will think critically about social issues and and reflect on values. Classroom discussions will engage students and improve their fluency and cross-cultural competency. 

Ritu Bajaj

2020 Class EMBA Candidate MSU.jpg

Ritu Bajaj

bajajrit(at) |

As a creative thinker and empathetic design strategist, I bring world-class expertise in human-centered design, new product development, and design thinking to solve complex business problems. I blend my skills and diverse knowledge into customer-centric business models, products, and services in the consumer durable goods, manufacturing, and the technology service industries. 

I am a passionate practitioner of design thinking to envision strategic business opportunities and offerings. Throughout my 17 years of professional work experience at Steelcase Learning and Innovation Center, I have collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams to execute research and development projects into innovative products, services, and digital solutions. Over the years, I have demonstrated soft skills such as creative confidence, collaboration, active listening, story-telling, facilitation, system thinking, empathy, and leadership. I have coached several teams in design thinking toolkit from and Illinois Institute of Technology - Institute of Design. I have taught methods and tools from human-centered design, behavioral science, ethnography, user experience, and market research for actionable insights from qualitative research and quantitative data analysis.

Currently, I am an executive MBA candidate at Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University. I graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology - Institute of Design with a Masters of Design. In India, I graduated from TVB School of Habitat Studies with a Diploma in Architecture and Urban Planning. I will be teaching VIP 475 "Design Thinking" course in Spring 2019, VIPP program at MSU.


VIP 475 Design Thinking

Design Thinking uses human-centered mindset and methods to solve problems and create new solutions for the world. The solutions include products, services, environments, systems, and modes of interactions. Design Thinking is a discipline for everyone and can be applied to any complex problem in the business or the society. The process is non-linear, iterative, and requires many learning cycles. It moves back and forth from real to abstract thinking and understanding to making activities. Design Thinking course starts with a specific design challenge and goes through three main phases: Inspiration, Ideation, and Implementation. During the Inspiration phase, you will develop a deeper understanding of people through observing and listening to them, explain their behaviors, pain-points, and needs to the stakeholders. In the Ideation phase, you will work together in a workshop format to translate what you hear from people into frameworks, opportunities, solutions, and prototypes. The Implementation phase, you will begin to realize your solutions through capability assessment, piloting, and creating a pitch. The goal of the design thinking course is to help participants create tangible solutions that are desirable to people, technically feasible, and financially viable. The course will apply the methods from DesignKit and Field Book on Human Centered Design by 

Keith I. Bezant Niblett

keithniblett.jpgAssistant Director, International Relationships & Executive Development Programs
The Eli Broad College of Business

Keith Niblett is the Assistant Director of Executive Development Programs The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. In this role, focusing on Customized and International programs, he is working on whole program design, marketing and sales, teaching and support, continuous improvement and strategic geographic and portfolio development.

Keith also is Chairman of the Board of a fast growing US National Home Owners Association services company, and a senior Board member of a New York based international manufacturing and marketing company, which has over twenty manufacturing units in every major continent in the world. 

To learn more about Keith, check VIPP's blog




VIP 474:  Leadership through Change and Innovation 


This course will take participants through a journey that will visit many of the organization leadership styles of the last one hundred years, and enable participants to ask the question ‘What is the predominant management style in my organization today?’ Participants will learn to recognize different leadership styles and to make judgments about what is the most appropriate leadership style depending upon the situation and against a backdrop of rapid continuous change. 


Laura Bowman

Bio Photo.jpg

Laura Bowman | bowmanla(at)

I have been involved in language teaching for over 25 years.  I have a MA in German with a Spanish minor from Michigan State University. I have taught both of those languages at Lansing Community College and for homeschoolers in the Lansing area. After raising my family, I returned to MSU to pursue a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language.  I have taught a variety of courses at the MSU English Language Center since 2016, including academic writing, speaking and listening and a U.S. Civics- themed content course.  I began teaching for the VIPP in summer, 2018, and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the students who are enrolled in the program.


VIP 414 Idioms

Native speakers commonly use idioms in both speaking and, to a lesser extent, writing, to add color and interest to their communications. Idioms can be confusing to non-native speakers because they often haven’t studied idioms in their traditional textbooks and English coursework. So, in this course, we will use authentic materials to study the colloquial uses of idioms in their contexts. Additionally, we will explore the connections between the literal and figurative meanings of many common American idioms in order to help students better remember idioms and be able to figure out meanings of new idioms. We will practice idioms through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities within many common American cultural situations.


Todd Bradley

todd bradley side-by-side.jpgInstructor

Central Human Resources' Talent Management Unit at Michigan State University

I am a native of Flint, Michigan and attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating in 1981. I have been certified as an Addictions Counselor through the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Treatment Specialist through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Professionals as well as a Certified Sexual Offender Treatment Specialist through the American College for Forensic Counselors.

Currently I am a Certified Human Resource Specialist through the College of Human Resources and Labor Relations at Michigan State University. I have worked in either behavioral health care or human services for over 32 years. I have been both a program and unit director for the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing. I have also served as a milieu therapist for Borgess Medical Center and a program director for a psychiatric hospital serving adolescent patients.

I was a director of outpatient and residential services for Insight Inc., where I was employed for 17 years. Currently, I am employed by Michigan State University in Central Human Resources' Talent Management unit as an Organization Development Professional and am co-owner of Zoe Life Spa and Salon, and the Yoga and Wellness Center. I am also an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc and serve on the Care Free Medical and the Uplift Our Youth Foundation Boards of Directors.

I am a professional trainer, interventionist, and motivational speaker\and provide workshops in such areas as Workplace Violence Prevention, Cultural Sensitivity, Trauma, No Harassments, Anger Management, Customer Service, Assertion, Positive Thinking, Team Building and Conflict Resolution. I also deliver motivational messages to students, faculty, and parents from various school systems on Substance Abuse Prevention, No Bullying, Goal Setting and Positive Parenting.


VIP 488: Personnel Training & Development

I teach foundational human resources classes that address training and personal development which fit under the umbrella of Talent Management, such as basic knowledge of organization behavior, professional development, systems, data collection, networking, communication, assessment, and reporting are explored.


Amy Butler

Amy Butler

Amy Butler

Tel. (517) 884- 2179

I earned my M.B.A. with concentrations in International Business and Management of Information Systems, as well as a B.A in biology from Oakland University (Michigan). 

I have served in leadership roles in energy, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and innovation. I have also mentored and coached entrepreneurs launching and growing their international businesses in energy, medical health, and information technology.  I have also partnered and collaborated with universities, governments, and corporations in advancing research to provide solutions to industry challenges.   

I have traveled internationally to multiple countries on trade and educational missions and been an invited international speaker on energy, entrepreneurship and sustainable economic development.  I am excited to be a part of the VIPP program where I can leverage my background to enhance the educational experiences of our international visiting professionals.

Outside of work I enjoy planting flowers and playing golf. I also volunteer in assisting entrepreneurs grow their businesses and am a certified health coach.  

Erika Butler

Erika Side-by-Side.jpgAdjunct Professor
College of Business
International Studies and Programs

I am proud to be a part of the VIPP program at Michigan State University. Like you, I came to MSU as a foreign student. However, the minute I drove in to our campus, I knew this is where I belonged. Since then, I have earned four degrees from MSU; a BA in English Literature, an MA in Organizational Communication, an MA in Educational Psychology, and a PhD in Telecommunication. Since 1994, I have been teaching at MSU in various departments on campus.

In addition to my work at VIPP, I also serve as an adjunct professor in the Eli Broad College of Business. The courses I have taught over the years focus on business, technology, and globalization. Prior to teaching at MSU, I was a professional in the IT world, where I specialized in developing business solutions through the use of new technologies. At General Motors/Electronic Data Systems, I evaluated, designed and implemented computing solutions in manufacturing and was involved in many aspects of supply chain management, purchasing, and quality control.

My research has focused on how communication technologies influence interpersonal behavior. My personal interests are diversity, cultural customs, cooking, and international business. I speak English, Dutch, German, and French and I love to go dancing with my husband.

Side-By-Side Erika Class.jpgCourses

VIP 462: Cross Cultural Business Communication

As the workforce becomes more mobile and our business partners increasingly are abroad, managers are finding they must seek out or develop human talent that can consistently function successfully in a variety of cross-cultural circumstances. Those individuals who can function successfully in these circumstances are said to have high Cultural Intelligence (CQ). This six-week course will focus on developing your Cultural Intelligence and your cross-cultural communication skills in order to enhance your ability to interact in teams globally. CQ is the capability to effectively perform in culturally diverse situations. CQ is increasingly becoming a critical skill that enhances employee, manager, and organizational effectiveness in cross-cultural settings. During this course you will attend lectures to enhance your cultural knowledge and communication skills. You will participate in a variety of exercises and discussions during these lectures to practice recognizing and capitalizing on cultural considerations in the business environment.

VIP 483: Organizational Behavior

This course assumes that students are working professionals who have some academic and personal experience with organizations and how they function. The course will review classic western-based organizational behavior theory from a macro and micro perspective. We will review theories of motivation in the work environment and how organizational design influences these processes. We will also review leadership, decision-making and power theories. This course will be a condensed form of a master's level foundational course in Organizational Behavior.

Xiaoqing Chen

Academic Specialist and Program Coordinator

Visiting International Professional Program


I am an academic specialist and program coordinator at VIPP of MSU. I received my Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from the Program of Second Language Studies of Michigan State University. Part of my responsibility is to provide academic advice for VIPP participants. I am also teaching a course Instructed Foreign Language Teaching for those who are specialized in foreign language teaching and research.  I am interested in doing research on conversational interaction, with a focus on the effect of corrective feedback on foreign/second language learning and the factors affecting the effect of corrective feedback. I am also interested in learner individual differences in language aptitude, working memory, and learner belief. 


VIP 857: Instructed Foreign Language Learning

The audience of this course is mainly foreign language teachers who intend to familiarize themselves with theories concerning their teaching practice and who are interested in doing research on second language acquisition. In this course, foreign language teaching will be broken down into an array of its components, including input, output, corrective feedback, learner attention, individual differences such as motivation and working memory, and so forth. Then we will tap into the theories underpinning each of these components, such as Input Hypothesis, Output Hypothesis, Noticing Hypothesis, Interaction Hypothesis, etc. In so doing, we will be familiarized with not only the ways that justify how a foreign language is taught, but also the factors that affect the learning of a foreign language. This process is intertwined with the analysis of a number of influential empirical studies in this line of research that throw light on how we develop research question, design experiment, collect and analyze data, and interpret research findings. Equipped with knowledge and skill in this area, students will come up with their own research topics and do research in groups on the next phases of their program. 

Rachael Gates

002.jpgRachael Gates | gatesrk(at) 

am an American-born soprano who enjoys singing in eight languages. I have sung in Germany, Russia, Italy and throughout the United States. I am also a public speaker and in demand for vocal health presentations based on my book, The Owner’s Manual to the Voice: A Guide for Singers and Other Professional Voice Users (Oxford). I enjoy working with anyone relying heavily on their voice for a paycheck - including singers, broadcasters, actors, politicians, coaches, preachers, teachers, and medical clinicians. I have taught at Northwestern University, The Hartt School of Music, Yale University, Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. I am a Disney Teaching Artist, I belong to the Performing Arts Medical Association, and I am the voice specialist for the College Music Society Committee on Musicians’ Health. My degrees in music performance are from Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and The Ohio State University, where I pioneered a Singing Health Specialization at The OSU Medical Center with laryngologist L. Arick Forrest, MD and Kerrie Obert CCC-SLP. My focuses are vocal performance, vocal pedagogy, singing and speaking health, language diction, stage movement, acting, and directing.

I find it very gratifying to work across cultures and disciplines and share performance skills with those wanting to improve their enunciation, vocal quality, stage presence, confidence, and ability to communicate effectively! 


VIP 685 Public Speaking

This low-pressure series of workshops will equip you with the skills and tools needed to present yourself as believable and compelling public speaker of English.  All will participate in fun improvisations, short presentations, and discussions in a comfortable setting.  Presentations will be around 5-7 minutes long and should take about an hour outside of class time to prepare.  Our time together will be both practical and creative as we practice techniques to overcome stage fright, learn to use body language and eye contact to our advantage, and develop our voice’s potential for effective delivery.  I will be video and/or audio recording everyone’s work to track progress.  Please be prepare to have fun, be a little silly, and take minor risks.

Ingrid Gharai

ingrid side-by-side.jpgInstructor
International Studies & Programs

Growing up in a bilingual, bi-cultural German-American family, I have been fascinated from an early age by different languages and cultures. This set the trajectory for my life and career. I graduated from Michigan State University with my BA in English and German and a secondary teaching certificate.

During and after my student years, I had opportunities to travel extensively throughout Europe and parts of Asia. I decided that one way to meld my passion for travel with my love of teaching was to return to MSU for an MA in TESOL. After completing this degree, I spent a wonderful and unforgettable year teaching English as a Foreign Language at Ferdowsi University in Mashad, Iran. After returning to the United States, I continued my career in Seattle, WA where I taught in the Institute for Intercultural Learning and Hamilton Middle School.

In 1996, I was happy to be able to return to my mid-Michigan roots. Since my return, I have taught at Lansing Community College and the A+ English Language School, a part of Okemos Community Education. In 2008 I experienced another homecoming of sorts when I had the good fortune of joining the faculty of VIPP; teaching, in fact, in the very same building in which I worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant while getting my Master Degree.

In my free time, I enjoy reading a wide variety of materials, both fiction and non-fiction and staying physically fit by doing step aerobics and exploring some of Michigan's many beautiful hiking trails and shorelines.

I bring my enthusiasm as a proud Spartan and native Michigander to the classroom. My aim is to give VIPP participants the language skills and cultural knowledge they need to make the most of their time at MSU and to make their experience in this country an enriching, enjoyable, and memorable one.


VIP 415: Conversation

In this course, we will explore conversation strategies and verbal cues that Native American English speakers use to politely: initiate, maintain and end a conversation, change subjects, organize and clarify ideas, check for and confirm understanding, etc. in both formal and informal situations. We will also investigate various aspects of contemporary American culture such as customs related to socializing, holidays and special occasions, and we will use newspaper articles, political cartoons and other materials as springboards for discussions on current events and other topics such as careers and the workplace, crime, parenting, the environment, and trends in society. If there is special student interest in the subject, the unit on crime will be accompanied with a class field trip to the Ingham County Jail.

Sandra Hou

IMG_9691.jpgSandra Hou grew up in Taiwan and graduated with a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Soochow University, Taipei.  In 1997, she moved to Michigan to attend Central Michigan University. She holds an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).  Prior to joining VIPP in 2019, she has taught ESL (English as a Second Language) at Central Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University as a graduate student. She is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Lansing Community College as well as an adjunct instructor at MSU’s English Language Center. 

In addition to langue teaching and culture sharing, she deeply cares about animal rights and environmental issues.  In her free time, she enjoys being a homebody spending quiet time with her family. 




VIP 414: Idioms


Native speakers commonly use idioms in both speaking and to a lesser extent writing to add color and interest to their communications. Idioms can be confusing to non-native speakers because they often haven’t studied idioms in their traditional textbooks and English coursework. So, in this course, we will use authentic materials to study the colloquial uses of idioms in their contexts. Additionally, we will explore the connections between the literal and figurative meanings of many common American idioms in order to help students better remember idioms and be able to figure out the meanings of new idioms. We will practice idioms through listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities within many common American cultural situations.  


Kiwon Kang

kiwon side-by-side.jpgAssistant Professor

I am mainly responsible for designing, developing, and implementing training and workshop programs for professionals in many sectors (such as finance, economic policy, international relations, government, education, packaging, etc.) and from various countries (including Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and others). As an academic advisor, I have been in charge of the academic oversight of programs and curricula.

I received my Ph.D. in economics at Michigan State University in 2002. My fields of interest are public finance, global economic analysis, open economy macroeconomics, computational general equilibrium (CGE) analysis. My notable publications include "International Ramifications of U.S. Tax-Policy Changes" in the Journal of Policy Modeling (2003), and "Asymmetries and Tariff-Tax Reforms in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation" in the Journal of Economic Asymmetries (2007).

Since I joined VIPP, I have been enjoying multitasking. Besides my major responsibilities as an academic advisor/coordinator, I have been teaching basic microeconomics and macroeconomics courses for undergraduate students in the Department of Economics, and also teaching applied economics courses for international professionals. I am leading the Council on Korean Studies, which was established in the Asian Studies Center to promote Korean studies and programs at Michigan State University.

I have been enjoying Michigan life for more than 20 years, even the cold weather and snow. I am so crazy about MSU football and basketball. I was lucky to see both the 2000 NCAA Basketball National Championship and the 2014 NCAA Football 100th Rose Bowl Championship. I hope to see another championship win very soon. Go Green! Go White!

Anna Kortemeyer

sonja photo.png

Anna Kortemeyer

I’m proud to be a long-time Michigan resident after coming to the Lansing area to pursue graduate studies at MSU. My degrees are in music (MM and DMA) and in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL). I’ve been a performing and teaching violinist for more than twenty years in and around Chicago, Maryland, Colorado and Lansing.

In addition to teaching with VIPP, I am an instructor with MSU's English Language Center. My interests in the field of Language Teaching and Learning include English for Academic Purposes (EAP) curriculum development, community ESL programs, Pragmatics and Writing. My professional projects and presentations have investigated multi-level diversity within community ESL programs, and topics related to Academic Discourse and Pragmatics.

In addition to my work as a music and language instructor, I have also served as a community ESL program Director and have worked in curriculum development. I enjoy making and sharing music, volunteering, learning about cultures, spending time with family and friends, and traveling within Michigan and overseas.

Ian Leighton

Ian.jpgIan Leighton
International Studies & Programs

My name is Ian Leighton, and I am a new instructor at VIPP. I began teaching here in May 2015. I have a BA in Anthropology from Wayne State University in Detroit. I also have an MA in TESOL from Eastern Michigan University. I taught for years in Michigan and Colorado and taught for 14 years in Korea. I taught briefly at VIPP in the summer of 2007. Most recently, I taught at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, Korea from 2003-2013 (성균관대학교 成均館大學校).

I've had a great experience working at VIPP. Having worked here in 2007 helped me decide to move back to the Lansing area so I could work here again. I find the students to be very eager to learn and the other instructors and staff very cooperative and helpful.

Together, VIPP has one of the best learning atmospheres I have ever been a part of.

I mostly teach Presentations / Public Speaking, but I hope to teach a wider range of classes in the near future.


VIP 485B Public Speaking

The overall aim of this class is to develop your ability to present academic material in English, and to do this with confidence. Specifically this means that you will practice developing your presentation from a simple idea through to a valuable, informative and interesting talk. We will study and practice various types of presentations; do activities to overcome stage-fright; study body language, proper voice projection and usage, eye contact, posture, using visual aids, and of course, we will practice presenting a great deal with several short (3-5 minute) presentations. These presentations are designed to be light and fun. They should not require too much outside preparation time. Though, they will take some time. My philosophy is that students need to practice a lot, as opposed to studying about presentations in a book. However, we will use sections of a book at times. Though you may be an experienced presenter / teacher, there is always more that you can learn. Perhaps you've been presenting almost every day of your professional life. By studying and with guidance, you can learn to become a more dynamic presenter. You can work on skills you may have never thought of before: voice projection, eye contact, where to stand when working with a visual aid, etc. This class is designed for students who have been presenting for much of their lives, but need to boost their skill level a bit and become a more vibrant presenter.

Ruth Mendel

Ruth Mendel side-by-side.jpgInstructor
International Studies & Programs

I have taught in the VIPP since 2007. I have a law degree from Yale Law School (1984) and a Master's degree in TESOL from MSU (2007). In addition to teaching in the VIPP, I have taught at the University of Michigan in the summer intensive program for incoming international graduate students for four years, taught in the English Language Center for two years, and currently work as a private instructor and editor through my tutoring and editing services business, RMELI. As an instructor at VIPP, I have taught Conversational English, the Writing Process, Idioms, and Communication Skills. For more information, please visit my website,


VIP 417: Academic and Professional Writing

This course focuses on areas of writing that are important in academic and professional writing and can pose difficulties for second language speakers. Topics covered in the course include email writing, data commentary (how we discuss data), cross-cultural issues in second language writing, process descriptions, problem-solution texts, reported speech, use of the conditional tense in writing, and common patterns of errors in second language writing.

As this is a writing class, students who sign up for the class should expect to write. Writing will take the form of both in-class free writing assignments and short assignments. There will be no long paper or presentation required for the class; instead there will be 4-5 short (approximately 1 page) assignments. Students will receive extensive individualized feedback on both in-class writing exercises and written homework to help them improve writing.

Sinem Mollaoglu-Scott

Sinem Mollaoglu-Scott, PhD, LEED AP, CGP
Associate Prof. of Construction Management
School of Planning, Design, and Construction

I am an Associate Professor at the Construction Management Program in the School of Planning, Design, and Construction at the Michigan State University. I received my Ph.D. degree from Penn State, Architectural Engineering with my dissertation on high performance green building delivery. I have been working at MSU as a faculty member since 2008. I have been teaching Construction Project Scheduling at undergraduate level and Green and Energy Efficient Building Delivery and Integrated Project Delivery courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Through research, teaching, and service, my vision is to contribute to the improvement of project delivery via improvements in interdisciplinary networks and team integration.

VIPP Course: Project Management

This course is designed to introduce participants to project management. Through this course, participants will gain understanding of the stages during the life cycle of a project. The course will teach the tools and practices of project management related to planning, estimating, scheduling, monitoring, and controlling. Participants will also learn about the behavioral aspects of project management such as managing conflicts, negotiations, and creating integrative team.

Michael Rip

International Studies & Programs

Michael Rip is the Founding Director of the Program in Healthcare Administration (Broad College of Business), and previously the Founding Director of the Program in Public Health (College of Human Medicine). Dr. Rip was on the faculty of the Department of Community Health at the University of Cape Town Medical School, South Africa, for seven years. After obtaining his Ph.D. in spatial epidemiology and medical geography at Michigan State University (MSU) in 1991, he spent 16 years on the faculty of the Department of Epidemiology (MSU). There he developed graduate and undergraduate degree programs and courses in public health and epidemiology, most notably EPI-390 – Disease in Society: An Introduction to Public Health and Epidemiology, and the Specialization in Global Public Health and Epidemiology. He also assisted in the creation of the Department of Epidemiology in the early 1990s and was the Director of the Graduate Program until 2007. Dr. Rip’s undergraduate and postgraduate teaching interests include: critical thinking and innovation, population health, and epidemiology. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, intelligence analysis and food fraud, bringing strategic intelligence analysis to the healthcare industry (e.g., healthcare fraud), the regionalization of healthcare programs, and achieving High Reliability in Organizations (HRO) by leveraging critical reasoning and systems thinking to minimize error/reduce harm, are some of his research interests.


Teresa Svec

teresa svec side-by-side.jpgAssistant Professor
English Language Center

I am an assistant professor at MSU and teach the courses Legal Research and General Research Methodology for VIPP. I also instruct foreign-educated lawyers in the American Legal System Program at Michigan State University College of Law. I have taught English as a Second Language for the MSU English Language Center since 2012. Prior to teaching for the ELC, I worked as a policy advisor for the nonprofit organization Disability Network. I earned my juris doctorate from MSU Law in 2008, hold a B.A. in Linguistics from Michigan State University, and am a member of the State Bar of Michigan. 

To learn more about me, check our VIPP's blog post about me

Side-By-Side Teresa Svec.jpgCourses

VIP 858: General Research Methodology

This course will introduce participants to research methodologies used in conducting scholarly research. Participants will learn to distinguish between scholarly and popular sources, locate research materials electronically and in print, search online databases, and evaluate sources. Participants will practice developing a research question, creating a research plan, locating materials, and describing research findings in writing.

VIP 863: Legal Research

This course is designed to introduce participants to U.S. legal research techniques and analysis. Through this course, participants will gain understanding of the U.S. legal system, including statutory law and case law. This course will teach legal research strategies, including how to locate appropriate sources of authority, how to read and analyze case law, and how to organize research findings. Participants will also learn to identify the types of legal documents used in the U.S., and will learn how to present a legal argument in writing.

E. David Wong

Associate Professor
Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education
Ph.D., Stanford University

David Wong is an associate professor of educational psychology and educational technology. He is especially interested in the potential for learning that comes when students from different cultures interact. He is the leader of several study abroad programs and conducts research related to students' experiences in those programs. His areas of interest also include: intercultural experience and learning, global education, science education and educational philosophy.


Areas of Expertise:

  • Educational Psychology
  • International and Comparative Education
  • Motivation
  • Teacher Education, Learning, and Policy
  • Urban Education
  • Science Education