Faculty & Staff

Our highly qualified, experienced, and caring teachers and staff have lived, worked, and taught all over the world. They will teach you the academic and inter-cultural communication skills you need to be successful and will help you to adjust to your new life in America.


Faculty members hold graduate degrees in TESL, English, linguistics or related fields and have extensive experience teaching English as a second language. Many have taught, worked and traveled abroad. Therefore, they understand the challenges of living and studying in a foreign language and country. We all enjoy learning about other cultures and want to make the students' experiences exciting, comfortable, and enriching.


Faculty & staff

Shelley Etzine - Director

Shelley Etzine, Associate Director, is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, where she graduated with a BA in English Literature and a post-graduate degree in Personnel Management, and Training. Shelley is a passionate advocate for the arts in education and worked in marketing at renowned Market Theater in Johannesburg after getting a a degree in Arts Administration from the City University in London. She received her MA in TESOL from the New School in New York. In addition to her administrative role, Shelley teaches two classes and has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 1991. Shelley has live and studied abroad, so she has first-hand experience of the challenges international students face adjusting to life in a new culture.


Maria Blanca - Program Coordinator

Maria Blanca received her M.A. in Intercultural Communication as well as a certificate in TESOL from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in 2015. During graduate school she worked as conference coordinator and taught German at UMBC.  She got her B.A. in Education at University of Erfurt in Germany where she is originally from. When she is not in the office or teaching, she enjoys to travel, sing, dance and cook.


Anne Colgan - English Teacher Specialist

Anne Colgan was born in Malaysia, raised on a farm near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and now makes Baltimore home base.  She has a bachelor’s in English lit from the University of Maryland College Park and a master’s in TESL from Ohio University. A second-generation Peace Corps volunteer, Anne grew up hearing stories about her parents’ overseas adventures and has always been fascinated with exotic people and places. She did her Peace Corps service in Yemen, where she learned just enough Arabic to buy qat in the local suq in Old Sana’a.  She has also taught in Sudan. In 1993 the ELC was kind enough to give her a teaching job, and she’s been happily rooted here ever since.


Ronnie Tornow - English Teacher Specialist

Ronnie Tornow has been teaching English for 16 years in both Germany and The United States. She received her B.A. in German and Education with a minor in history from Penn State University in 2001, and her M.A.Ed. in Adult Education and Training from Phoenix University in 2009. She joined Towson ELC in May 2010. Her interests include languages, cultures, traveling abroad, outdoor actives, horseback riding, reading, and being creative. 


 Mark McTague - English Teacher Specialist

Mark McTague received his M.A. In TESL from the University of Hawaii in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990. He has spent over six years in Korea, where his wife comes from, and they have three grown children. He has been teaching ESL since 1974, the past twenty years here at Towson University. When he's not teaching, he loves to read, work in his garden, and write. It’s a quiet life.” 


 Denise Link-Farajali - English Teacher Specialist

 A born teacher, Denise Link-Farajali has been creating a "family" of every class she teaches at TU for the last 14 years by joyfully infusing humor and music throughout.  She earned her Ed.M. in Foreign Language Instruction (ESL and French) at SUNY Buffalo after receiving her B.A. in French and International Relations at the University of Rochester. Teaching ESL now for nearly 35 years, her passions include decorating, fashion, cooking, travel, and precious moments with her amazing foreign-born husband!


 Anna Shin - English Teacher Specialist

 Anna Shin was born and raised in Korea. Her passion for language learning led her to pursue the path of teaching English. Upon receiving her M.A. in TESOL in 2012 from Anaheim University, she joined ELC in Towson University in 2014. Other than torturing her students, she loves traveling around the world, reading good books, and playing with her dog and her cat.


Lyle Nash - English Teacher Specialist 

Lyle Nash received his Ph.D. in Spanish Language and Literature from Rutgers University in 2008. He spent nearly two decades overseas, in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, working as a translator, interpreter, ESL teacher, English professor and even stevedore. He previously taught undergraduate courses in Latin American Literature, and has been teaching ESL since 1986. He has been at Towson University since 2006. When he's not teaching, he loves to read, keep bees and work on his crumbling 1835 row house.


 Sara Rose - English Teacher Specialist

 Sara Rose, after high school, decided to travel abroad to experience a different part of the world. Her journey took her to Copenhagen, Denmark, where she studied, lived and worked for twenty years. In 1981, she received her M.Ed. from Blaagaard Teacher College, specializing in English and religion. Since earning her degree, she has taught English, worked with refugees and immigrants, and directed an ESL program. She has also been vice-president and president of Maryland TESOL (an ESL professional organization) In addition to teaching and traveling, Sara loves literature, music, films, and above all, her family. 410-704-2552 Enrollment Services Building, Room 328.


 Sara Ebrahim - Student Worker

 Sara Ebrahim originally from Iran.  I came to the United States since 2011. before coming to the United States t I have lived in Cyprus for two and half years, where I finish my high school. My major is Family and Human Services with a special track in Services to Children and Youth. Also, I work at the ELC as a student assistance. when I am not studying or working, I would love to explore places and travel with my family and friends.


 Italo De Dea - Graduate Design Assistant

 Italo De Dea was born in Brazil, where he graduated in Design with focused in digital interfaces. He came to study at ELC in 2014, and now Italo is doing his MFA in Towson University and works at ELC as a graduate assistant. When he is not at ELC office, he loves to appreciate nature and to be involved in his art projects process.