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Meet our Faculty

We asked our student assistant to interview all of our faculty members and write what she thought was the most interesting. Read on to find out what she learned!

Julie Mowrer, Director

Julie Mowrer, Director

Hometown
Santa Rosa, California
How did you become interested in teaching ESL?
I studied Spanish in Ecuador when I was a college student and realized how hard it was! After I graduated from college, I decided to combine my love of English with my love of traveling and become an ESL teacher.
What is special about studying at UH Hilo?
UH Hilo is a really special place - the class sizes are small so students really get to know their instructors and the natural environment of the island is an amazing living learning laboratory. Researchers come from all over the world to study the ocean life, the stars from Maunakea, the rain forest and the volcano. In addition, the community is really welcoming to international students. The most common comment I hear from students is that people are so kind!

Laurel Luth, Instructor

Laurel Luth, Instructor

Hometown
Des Moines, Iowa
What is your favorite part about teaching?
I enjoy meeting new students and learning who they are and what their interests are. I always learn something new from my students! I also love to create lessons that are innovative and draw from events happening around me in the community to create themes for my lessons.
What is something about you that most people don't know?
I used to have a motorcycle license and ride a Kawasaki Ninja!

Ann Gleason, Instructor

Ann Gleason, Instructor

Hometown
I was born in Rochester, New York but grew up in Tokyo, Japan until I was 15 years old.
How did you become interested in teaching ESL?
Because I grew up in another culture, I became really interested in other cultures and languages. I returned to Japan after I finished college and realized that the only jobs for Americans were teaching English. I really enjoyed teaching and eventually came to Hawai╩╗i to earn my Master's degree in teaching ESL.
What do you enjoy doing on weekends?
I play the violin, so I enjoy playing in a band on weekends or listening to loud rock music!

William Howell, Instructor

William Howell, Instructor

Hometown
Maple Valley, Washington (close to Seattle)
How did you become interested in teaching ESL?
I was studying aikido and training with the Tokyo Riot Police and I really enjoyed the last part of the course which was about teaching techniques. I also really liked how they would show the end product first and then break the movements down and work backward to teach us how to do it. Now I do this with my students.
What is something about yourself that most people don't know?
I enjoy running marathons and just finished a 100-mile run this year! I also enjoy karaoke and am an "okay singer" with country songs and Nat King Cole.

Lillian Garcia, Instructor

Lillian Garcia

Hometown
Lakewood, CA
How did you become interested in teaching ESL?
My mother was an ESL teacher and she loved her job. As soon as I started teaching ESL, I understood why she loved it because it was so wonderful to learn about different cultures and to see the students grow and improve their English so that they could really follow their dreams. It's such a privilege to share a small part of their lives.
What is something about yourself that most people don't know?
I am an expert at Mexican cooking, such as homemade tortillas and tamales, and I love to share what I make with others!