engin ayvaz

Engin Ayvaz
E-mail: eayvaz@tnstate.edu
Phone: +1(615)963-6750

Engin has worked at higher education institutions as an ESL/EFL instructor, leader and consultant for more than 20 years and is currently the Director of Intensive English Center at Tennessee State University. Prior to that, he served as the Director of School of Foreign Languages at Yasar University in Izmir-Turkey for 12 years and successfully led the IEP to receive its Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA) accreditation in 2011 and reaccreditation in 2016.  Engin was a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Boston University and a visiting Fulbright fellow at the English Language Studies Department at M.I.T. He  served as a CEA Commissioner for the 2014-16 term and was the 2017 Chair of the CEA Commission. He currently serves on the Executive Board of EnglishUSA (the American Association of Intensive English Programs). In Turkey, he led a task force charged to establish the Accreditation Board for Language Education (DEDAK).  On its 50th Anniversary, TESOL International Association recognized Engin as one of the 30 emerging leaders who will shape the future of both the association and the profession for years to come.  His work focuses on quality and excellence in language teaching and international higher education. Engin is married and has two sons. He is a keen traveler and an avid cook who loves to try international cuisines.


Vladimir Betancur B., M.Ed.
E-mail:  vbedoya@tnstate.edu
Phone: +1(615)963-6434

Vladimir is the Coordinator for the Intensive English Center at Tennessee State University, where he enthusiastically develops programs, plans events and organizes excursions for international students. He comes from Medellin, Colombia, where he finished his B.A. on Education at Luis Amigó University (LAU) and served for over 12 years as an EFL Instructor at various leading schools.  In Fall 2015 Vladimir enrolled in Tennessee State University to complete his Master’s Degree on Educational Leadership and graduated in May 2017 with a perfect GPA. Soon after graduation, he joined the Intensive English Center to be the Coordinator. Vladimir is married and has a daughter. He loves to travel, listen to music, and share quality time with his family and friends.


Amber Worrick
ESL Instructor
E-mail:  aworrick@tnstate.edu
Phone: +1(615)963-6911

Amber has dedicated her professional life to a multitude of progressive educational programs through curriculum development, teaching, and research. She has designed language-based curriculum for various ages and backgrounds and has taught at the university level both in the Us and abroad. Her research experience is in the areas of language acquisition, language assessment, and methodologies surrounding language for functional use. She holds a Masters of Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University.

janice williams

Janice M. Williams, BSDH, MS
ESL Instructor
E-mail:  jwilliams128@tnstate.edu
Phone: +1(615)963-5839

Janice is an Assistant Professor in the Dental Hygiene Department and an Instructor in the Intensive English Center at Tennessee State University.  She has a Master’s in Dental Hygiene Degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA and has been teaching for many years.  She is a tenured professor and is on several university committees as part of her commitment to service.  Janice teaches several dental hygiene and continuing education courses to students and professionals.  In 2011, she and several of her students traveled with two other student groups to South Africa where she taught a study abroad course.  She received her TESL Certification from the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute in 2013 and had the wonderful pleasure of teaching English to refugee students from many different countries.  Currently, she enjoys teaching English to her students and learning about their rich cultures.

margarita professional final

Margarita Kurtz
ESL Instructor
E-mail:  mkurtz@tnstate.edu
Phone: +1(615)963-6911

A native New Yorker, Margarita is an ESL instructor at Tennessee State University in the Intensive English Center (IEC). She holds a BA in Literature from SUNY Purchase and earned her Masters in ESL from the University of Memphis in 2018. She was a graduate assistant and also taught for Intensive English for Internationals. She also was a recipient of a TEFL scholarship and successfully completed a TEFL certificate in Pilsen, Czech Republic in July 2018. For three years, she worked as an Academic Tutor for Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis. In New York City, Margarita volunteered as a Conversation Partner at the International Center, taught ESL for Berlitz and for Queens Community House. In addition to teaching, Margarita has been a staff and freelance editor and established an online editorial business called Four Eyes Edit. Margarita loves reading, creative writing, riding her bicycle, and playing guitar. She has written experimental travel memoir pieces based on her identity as the daughter of Mexican and Greek immigrants. She likes to write fiction and creative nonfiction in her spare time.