Ms. Ricci Atherton (ELI Director)
A Texas native, Ricci Atherton received her Bachelor of Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University in Secondary Education with majors in German and French. She attended Albert Ludwig Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany, the University of Houston, and Texas A&M to complete a Master of Arts in German along with a Master of Science in Computer Science. After teaching English at Hoelderlin Gymnasium in Heidelberg, Germany, she served as an instructor of German at Stephen F. Austin University and at Brookhaven College as well as a GRE/GMAT preparation instructor at University of Texas at Dallas. Moving to California in 1997, she spent the next 9 years teaching English, French, and German in the Saddleback Valley Unified School District, completing an ESL certification at UCLA. In 2005 she began her career at SFA coordinating the ESL program, watching it grow to a four level program. Along with a love for teaching languages, her interests include cross-cultural communication and program administration.
Ms. Heather Catton (ESL Instructor)
Ms. Catton loves both learning and teaching languages. She has a Master of Art degree in French Language and Literature and a Master of Art degree in International Studies (Southeast Asia) - both from Ohio University! She also completed a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language sequence) certificate from Ohio University, which is designed to prepare individuals who are planning to teach English overseas. She taught Elementary French at Ohio University, English conversation at Feng Chia University in Taichung, Taiwan, and has been teaching ESL at Stephen F. Austin State University since February 2009. She has spent time learning several languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Indonesian, and Spanish, so she understands the challenges of mastering a new language. Ms. Catton has also had the opportunity to travel, live, study and work overseas, including Tunisia, France, Indonesia, China, and Southern Africa.
Ms. Oresta Felts (ESL Instructor)
Ms. Felts originally comes from Ukraine where she got her Bachelor's degree in Translation Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language at Ivan Franko National University in Lviv. She received her Master of Arts degree in Communication from Western Illinois University. She worked at Western Illinois University since 2007 both teaching English learners and coordinating the program, and taught speech communication at a community college. Ms. Felts started working at SFA in August 2010 as an ESL instructor and coordinator of international programs. She has always had a passion for languages and human communication. She really enjoys teaching English and interacting with international students.