You are here: Home / subnav / Faculty/Staff / Faculty


Münire Bozdemir

Münire Bozdemir

  • Adjunct Teaching Faculty
  • Student Center Coordinator
Isaac Bretz

Isaac Bretz

  • Adjunct Teaching Faculty
Jackie Gianico

Jackie Gianico

  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Associate Director of Academics
More about Jackie Gianico...

Jackie Gianico has been teaching since 2006 and joined the IECP faculty in 2012 after having previously worked for the program as a teaching assistant. She has been IECP Academic Coordinator since 2013. Originally from New York, Jackie earned an M.A. in Italian from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to having taught at the intensive English programs of New York University and Columbia University prior to moving to State College, Jackie has also worked as a product developer and editor for Kaplan’s English Programs in New York City. She is interested in improving teacher practices by investigating the intersection of pedagogy and performance as it relates to the study and practice of improvisational theatre, or improv.  Outside of the IECP, Jackie enjoys acting, singing, and painting, and she often brings her experience with theatre, improv and art into the classroom.


Selected presentations:

  • Gianico, J.M. (2019, January). Yes, and: Using improv in the IEP classroom. Teaching tip presented at EnglishUSA Professional Development Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2019, January). Assessment and feedback in oral communication classes: Using Adobe Spark videos. Teaching tip presented at EnglishUSA Professional Development Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2017, October). IEP students take debate cues from Hamilton: An American Musical. Teaching tip presented at the meeting of Three Rivers TESOL, Pittsburgh, PA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2016, April). Pushing the boundaries of oral placement exams: assessing interactional competence. Presentation at the annual meeting of TESOL, Baltimore, MD.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2015, November). In vivo and online activities: aural explorations not oral presentations. Paper presented at the annual meeting of NYS TESOL, White Plains, NY.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2014, March). Real and hypothetical voicing as displays of interactional competence in a lesson on informal register in a post-secondary ESL class. American Association of Applied Linguistics American Association of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Portland, OR.
  • Gianico, J.M. & Jadlocki, M. (2012, March). Instructors’ hypothetical discourse and gesture as models of potential thought and talk. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Boston, MA.
  • Gianico, J.M. (2011, March). Hypothetical quotation and gesture in the demonstration of teacher talk and thought by an ITA. American Associaiton of Applied Linguistics, Annual Conference; Chicago, IL.
Minjin Kim

Minjin Kim

  • Graduate Assistant Lecturer
More about Minjin Kim...

Minjin Kim is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. Her major research interests encompass second/foreign language writing, discourse analysis, and corpus linguistics. She enjoys analyzing L2 learners’ language output. She has over ten years of teaching experience in various language institutes and schools. She taught English grammar, writing, and reading to K12 students, and also instructed how to analyze linguistic data with language analysis tools to university students. She also worked as a translator and interpreter in several different fields. She is now teaching Academic Literacies 140 and Grammar & Writing Skills 140 in Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) as a teaching assistant.


Minjin Kim & Sun-Young Oh. (2019). Three Korean EFL middle school students’ use of online resources in L2 writing. Korean Journal of Applied Linguistics, 35(4), 75-103.

Jason Litzenberg

Jason Litzenberg

  • Director of the Intensive English Communication Program
  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
(814) 865-5711
More about Jason Litzenberg...

Jason Litzenberg has a PhD in Applied Linguistics & ESL from Georgia State University.  He has over 20 years experience teaching English and applied linguistics in Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Ecuador, and the United States.  In addition to teaching, Jason has also served as a teacher trainer, mentoring practicum students and guiding new teachers through the processes of developing lesson plans that address the curricula and course outcomes of the program.  Jason served as Director of the English Language Program at Yachay Tech, a sciences and technology university in the Andes Mountains of northern Ecuador, from 2014-16.  Since 2016, Jason has been at the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) at The Pennsylvania State University. 


Selected publications:

  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. “‘Official language for intercultural ties’: Cultural concessions and strategic roles of Ecuadorian Kichwa in developing institutional identities”. Linguistic Landscapes, 4(2), 153-77.
  • 2016. Lindemann, S., Campbell, M., Litzenberg, J., and Subtirelu, N. “Explicit and implicit training for improving native English speakers’ comprehension of nonnative speech”. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 2(1), 93-107.
  • 2014. Litzenberg, J. “Pre-service teacher perspectives towards pedagogical uses of non-native and native speech samples”. International Journal of Applied Linguistics. 24, n/a. doi: 10.1111/ijal.12084
  • 2014. Lindemann, S., Litzenberg, J., and Subtirelu, N. “Problematizing the dependence on L1 norms in L2 pronunciation teaching: Attitudes toward second-language pronunciation” In: Moyer, A. & Levis, J. (eds) Social Influences in L2 Pronunciation (pp. 171-94), De Gruyter Mouton.


Selected presentations:

  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). A story, tool, and proposal: Developing a guise-based attitudes study of the linguistic landscape. Applied Linguistics Roundtable, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • 2018. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). I’m a native speaker.  So what?. Centro Ecuatoriano-Norteamericano (CEN), Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Plenary). The 21st century dilemma of being a native speaker of English. COPEI 8th International Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Plenary). Linguistic landscapes as a pedagogical tool: Imagining the opportunities. COPEI 8th International Congress, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J., Decker, K., Shatkin, L., and Williams, C. (Panel discussion). The parallel development of two Ecuadorian language programs. TESOL. Seattle, WA.
  • 2017. Litzenberg, J. (Presenter). Developing sociolinguistic awareness through linguistic landscapes. Applied Linguistics Roundtable, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. and Avila Herrera, S. (Co-presenter).  Student perspectives towards international English: Insights from an Ecuadorian EFL needs analysis.  AAAL.  Orlando, FL.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Visual Semiotics in the Branding of a Glocal Institutional Identity.  AAAL.  Orlando, FL.
  • 2016.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Preparing teachers (to prepare students) for successful communication.  IA-TEFL.  Birmingham, England.
  • 2014.  Litzenberg, J. (Presenter).  Reconceptualizing proficiency for lingua franca communication.  AAAL.  Portland, OR.


Ty Liu

Ty Liu

  • Adjunct Teaching Faculty
Alex Magnuson

Alex Magnuson

  • Graduate Assistant Faculty
More about Alex Magnuson...

Alex Magnuson is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in Applied Linguistics at Penn State University. His current research interests include how different types of practice, within a Skill Acquisition theoretical framework, can enhance L2 performance. Prior to his research at PSU, he taught in a variety of schools, levels, and contexts including: university-level academic writing and SLA theory, high school English (grades 7-12), TESOL K-12, and EFL. Since 2009, he has taught in Ohio, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Tokushima, Japan. Alex has been affiliated with the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) since 2016 as both a teaching assistant and an adjunct instructor.


Selected Publications:

Magnuson, A. K. (2019, February 2019). Review: Language Acquisition: Ćurčić (2018). [Review of the book Explaining differences in adult second language learning: The role of language input characteristics and learners' cognitive aptitudes by M. Ćurčić]. Linguist List, 30.566, Retrieved from

Magnuson, A. K., McManus, K., & Marsden, E. (2019). Using tailored input-based instruction to improve second language oral production. OASIS Summary of McManus & Marsden (2019) in The Modern Language Journal.


Selected Conference Presentations:

Magnuson, A. K. (2020, October). Testing the skill-specificity hypothesis: Comprehension practice in L2 German. Paper accepted at the Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

Schreibeisen, S. C. & Magnuson, A. K. (2020, April). “I was terrified beyond belief!” How epistemic stance and believability is indexed in televised paranormal encounters. Scheduled paper presentation at the Popular Culture Association National Conference, Philadelphia, PA. (Conference cancelled)

Magnuson, A. K. (2018, March). Moving on from failure: Competing narratives of the Nintendo Switch’s potential success. Paper presented at the Popular Culture Association National Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Magnuson, A. K. (2017, November). The Donald’s Discourse: An analysis of the grammatical complexity and related structures within Donald Trump’s debate performance. Paper presented at the APLNG Roundtable, University Park, PA.

Nikki Mattson

Nikki Mattson

  • Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives
  • Associate Teaching Professor of Applied Linguistics
  • Faculty Associate, The Global Engagement Community
(814) 863-8134
More about Nikki Mattson...

Nikki Mattson has been a faculty member at the Intensive English Communications Program (IECP) at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) since 2009. She currently serves as the Coordinator of Strategic Initiatives for the IECP in addition to being an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics. She holds her M.A. in Linguistics and a Certificate of Graduate Study in TESOL from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a DELF (diplôme d'études en langue française) from Université Marc Bloch, Strasbourg, France. Nikki is dedicated to supporting campus internationalization efforts as well as global engagement in the classroom, on campus, and beyond. Nikki is a co-founder and advisor for the PSU Special Living Option, the Global Engagement Community. She also serves as the University Park Campus Coordinator for PSU’s Experiential Digital Global Engagement (EDGE) Program. Her research interests include intensive English program oral placement test validation, evaluating computer-assisted language learning (CALL) usage in second language (L2) classrooms, and internationalization in higher education.

Selected recent scholarship:

• Cherkassov, D., Mattson, N., and Childs, S. (2020, September). The mentoring process: Enriching professional growth for English language teachers and teacher educators. Presentation at the 9th ICBCB: Global Trends and Values in Education, Virtual Conference, Kaskelen, Kazakhstan.

• Minkoya, V., & Mattson, N. (2018, November). Blogging together with different motivations: Exploring IEP classroom activity systems. Paper presented at TESOL NY, Albany, NY.

• Mattson, N. (2018). Reporting on a University Class Observation: IEP Student-Created Videos. Presentation at the TESOL 2018 International Convention, Chicago, IL.

• Kimura, D., Mattson, N. and Amory, M. (2017). A Conversation Analytic Approach to Oral Placement Test Validation: Attending to Vertical and Horizontal Comparisons. TESOL Journal. doi:10.1002/tesj.335

• Mattson, N., Sudaholc, S. (2017). Interpreting Student Feedback About A CALL Program Through Activity Theory. Presentation at the TESOL 2017 International Convention, Seattle, WA.

James Thayer

  • Adjunct Teaching Faculty