Meet the Online Language Support Team

Click on an image or name to learn more.


Chantelle Ferguson,
Director of Online Language Support

Chantelle has loved language and culture since she was about five-years-old and learned her first Spanish words from a children’s television show. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s Degree in English, she taught English at a Colombian university, continued to hone her Spanish skills, and studied a bit of German. She currently directs the Online Language Support Department at the Academy of Art University. She also travels, lifts weights, practices yoga, walks, and watches a lot of movies.


Lisa Chou,
Online Language, Support Faculty

Lisa has a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley plus an M.A. in TESOL and a Certificate in Teaching Composition from San Francisco State University. Lisa was born in Taiwan but grew up in California. Lisa has studied abroad at Beijing Normal University in China. She has taught English throughout China, served in AmeriCorps National Service to improve literacy for at-risk youths, and taught onsite and online ESL in Bay Area universities. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys finding hidden spots in the Bay Area with her family.


Alice Clay,
Online Language Support Faculty

Alice attended the University of Minnesota from 1985-1991. She has degrees in Russian Area Studies and Applied Linguistics, Fine Art, and TESL. From 1993 to 2001 she traveled the world and had many wonderful adventures. While living and teaching abroad she furthered her education with a Fine Art apprenticeship in Printmaking in Russia and received a special 2-year cultural visa apprenticeship in Japan. She taught in Athens, Greece; Moscow, Russia; Iizuka and Kanazawa, Japan. In 2001 Alice returned to the USA and started teaching ESL at the Academy of Art University. Her hobbies include traveling off the beaten path, cultural anthropology and languages, yoga, playing the ukelele, printmaking and photography.


Donna Dager,
Online Language Support Faculty

Donna is an online support instructor and an ESL Support instructor. She has an M.A. in Communications Arts from Vermont College and a B.S. in Education from S.U.N.Y. at Cortland, NY. She specializes in computer and video technologies and has been working with ESL students at the Academy in these areas for many years. Previously she worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in teacher training in Montego Bay, Jamaica, then moved to California from her hometown in upstate New York. She likes to read mystery novels, sing, and swim with giant sea turtles in Maui.



Brendan Donahoe,
Online Language Support Faculty

Brendan has worked with students from middle school to graduate school, in the US and overseas. Originally from Hawaii, Brendan’s taught in Korea, Japan, and Morocco as well as Hawaii and Southern California. In addition, he has lived in Switzerland and American Samoa. Brendan has a Bachelor’s in Journalism, a Master of Arts in Teaching ESL, and a Doctorate in Educational Technology. He has a daughter who means the world to him. When he’s not teaching, you can find him visiting museums, going to concerts (pretty much all types of music), going to stand-up comedy shows, working out, and cooking. In short, he’s pretty much like anyone else.







Tezra Jackson,
Online Language Support Faculty

A Southern Louisiana native, Tezra holds a B.A. in English from the University of Akron and a M.A. in Education (TESOL) from Pepperdine University. Her desire for teaching and travel heightened after serving nearly 6 years in the U.S. Army. She has taught abroad in several places such as the Dominican Republic and most recently, Saudi Arabia. The avid traveler also spends her spare time cooking, working out and reading.


Carlo Pellegrini,
Online Language Support Faculty

A native Texan, Carlo has been interested in foreign languages since he began studying French in high school. After earning a B.A. in Italian from the University of Washington, he went on to learn Japanese in Japan and Spanish in Guatemala. In addition to having taught ESL, he has developed websites for professional sports teams, academic institutions, and artists. Carlo likes cooking, going to museums, listening to music, making and drinking coffee, and taking photographs (especially while traveling to new places).







Walter Thoma,
Online Language Support Faculty

Walter has an M.A. in Applied Linguistics (ESL) focused on Computer-Assisted Language Learning from the University of Massachusetts and B.A.'s in Fine Arts and Sociology. He has been at the AAU for 11 years and has been supporting online ESL students while living in Paris and now Brussels for the past 3 years. Besides traveling, Walter enjoys running, skiing, photography, painting, finding unique cafes, cooking and eating international cuisine.