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New full-time coordinator joins
International Teaching Assistant program
February 9, 1998

Catherine Jarvis has been named the first full-time manager of the International Teaching Assistant Program, part of the Institute for Teaching and Learning.

"This is a critically important appointment in the University because it provides a lot of support to the international teaching assistant program, which in turn supports undergraduate instruction," says Keith Barker, director of the Institute for Teaching and Learning. "We want to make sure the program benefits both undergraduates and the international students it serves directly."

Jarvis was chosen after a national search. "Catherine brings the administrative and teaching experience required for this position," says Diane Lillo-Martin, head of the linguistics department and chair of the search committee. "She has a good vision of what the International Teaching Assistants Program could be at UConn by adding to or modifying the existing program."

Formerly assistant coordinator of the international teaching assistants' program at the University of Texas at Austin, Jarvis joined UConn January 1.

"Since this is a relatively new position it will give me an opportunity to have an impact and make it a good program," says Jarvis. "I am greatly impressed by the energy level on campus, the excitement, and the potential for change and growth. I also like the idea that this position is centered on teaching and administration, with a potential for research."

Jarvis hopes to establish greater undergraduate participation in the international teaching assistant program, to improve understanding between students and international teaching assistants and to enhance undergraduate learning.

Jarvis holds a bachelor's degree in Russian and Spanish from the University of Delaware; a master's in Slavic languages and literature and a master's in teaching English as a second language from the University of Wisconsin, and a Ph.D. in Russian linguistics and second language acquisition from the University of Texas, Austin.

Jarvis also has served as an international teaching assistant trainer at the English Language Institute, University of Delaware, and as an English as a second language instructor and testing coordinator at the Intensive English Language Center, University of Nevada, Reno.

Jarvis lived in Japan for three years, where she worked as an English as a foreign language instructor at Tokai University, Hirratsuka. She has also visited England, Hong Kong, Russia, Scotland, Spain, and Ukraine.

"I am familiar with the cultural differences that exist around the world and the problems of international students," she says, "and I enjoy working with people from different cultures and countries."

Usha R. Palaniswami