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ITAP Staff

Program Director Heading link


Vandana is a 1.5 generation immigrant born in Nairobi, Kenya. She came to the US when she was six, and most of her childhood was spent in the U.S. Virgin Islands before she moved to the Midwest at sixteen. She graduated from UW Madison with a degree in Zoology and then received her MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL from UIC. She has over 20 years of experience teaching academic English in the Chicago area but has mostly worked in Intensive English programs at various universities, including North Park University, Roosevelt University, Truman College, and UIC. In 2012, she took on a more administrative role when she became coordinator of the International Teaching Assistant Program. In the past seven years, Vandana has lead the development of a new English speaking assessment and expanded the program to include three separate English development courses for current and prospective international teaching assistants. She is an intermediate Punjabi speaker and mid-novice Spanish speaker.

Vandana Loebel  |  ITAP Director

Lecturers Heading link


Megan has a BA in Classics and Italian (Northwestern University), an MA in Classical Literature and Philology (Cornell University), and an MA in Applied Linguistics/TESOL (UIC). She has studied, worked, and traveled extensively in Italy, where she first discovered her love of teaching English and meeting people from around the world. Before joining ITAP in 2018, Megan was an adjunct lecturer for UIC’s Tutorium in Intensive English and for the Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies. She speaks Italian and some Portuguese, and she loves reading in Latin and Ancient Greek. In her free time, she enjoys reading, playing video games, traveling, visiting museums, and spending time with her husband and their dog.

Megan Gier  |  Lecturer

Renée is an educator, polyglot, and traveler from Chicago. She has taught English for nine years in the U.S., Thailand, and Mexico and shows no signs of stopping. Renée is driven by the connections made and cultural knowledge shared in the international classroom, along with helping students reach their goals. Her languages include Spanish, French, and conversational Portuguese, Thai, and Arabic. Her research at UIC surrounds motivation to learn a foreign language as an English speaker.

Renée Brown  |  Adjunct Lecturer

Mirella is originally from Brazil and has been in the USA since 2011. She has an MA in British Literature and a PhD in Applied Linguistics. Mirella has been teaching English for 20 years and has worked and lived in several parts of the world, such as Dubai, China, and South America. She has also worked with several Intensive English Programs in the USA and has been teaching Academic English since 2015 at American universities. Mirella speaks Portuguese and Spanish fluently and is passionate about learning new languages, traveling and meeting people from different cultural backgrounds. In her free time, she likes to read, run, do yoga, and take naps.

Mirella Silva  |  Adjunct Lecturer