Meet Our Team
Faculty Development Director
Marian comes to us from The George Lucas Educational Foundation where she was the Assistant Director of Outreach. She helped author several online professional development modules. She has presented at educational conferences, both nationally and internationally. Marian has a BS in Elementary Education from Oregon State University, an MA in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language, and an MA in Educational/Instructional Technologies, both from San Francisco State University.
Senior Lead Faculty Developer
Jennifer Russell is the Senior Lead Faculty Developer and has worked at the Academy since 2001. She has taught, tutored, and written curriculum at Project FIRST (UC Berkeley), Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz (Germany), Mills College, San Jose State, and Concordia Language Villages, where she also trained and supervised new teachers. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and an MA in Teaching ESL from the Monterey Institute with an emphasis in Language Program Administration.
Faculty Developer/ New Faculty Advisor
Natasha first trained teachers for the Peace Corps in West Africa, after her own stint as an English teacher in western Morocco. She holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language and Composition from San Francisco State University, and has authored an ESL textbook, Northstar, which is now going into its third edition. Natasha has worked at the Academy since 1995, as an ESL instructor and as the founding director of the ARC before becoming a Faculty Developer. She collaborated with Charlene Modena, Graduate Director of Sculpture, to develop the New Faculty Orientation online for new Academy teachers.
P. Rachel Levin
P. Rachel Levin discovered the thrill of teaching while working as a museum educator. The task: Get senior citizens talking about contemporary art. Her passion took root as a Spanish-English bilingual elementary school teacher in economically fragile urban neighborhoods in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Since then she has devoted her career to teaching, tutoring, developing curriculum, and facilitating professional development. Currently, as a faculty developer at the Academy of Art University, she works alongside instructors to develop creative approaches to teaching art and design. Before joining the Academy in 2006, she created curriculum, presentations, and workshops for organizations, such as The New York Times College Program, the Center for Media Literacy, The Just Think Foundation, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has two master degrees, the most recent from University of California Santa Cruz in Cultural Anthropology. A self-described Question Machine, she integrates her passion for ideas with an enduring dedication to teaching and learning. Rachel thinks good teaching is harder than rocket science.
Scot Crisp splits his energies between his love of acting and teaching. He has a BA in Theater and an MA in TESOL. He has acted on stages on both coasts and in Europe, and taught in San Francisco, Paris, and Prague. For the last 10 years, he has moved into teacher training. Scot has taught several courses at Sonoma State University and joined Academy of Art University as a language support instructor. Outside of teaching, he acts in a group he co-founded in 1999. You can hear many productions through www.oneact.org.
Molly comes to Faculty Development with ten years of teaching experience. Having taught ESL, Spanish, and Technology in the Bay Area, Japan, and Costa Rica, she is passionate about actively engaging students in learning, and is enjoying her role supporting Academy instructors as they expand their skills in the classroom. Molly earned her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the School for International Training in Vermont, and is grateful to have found colleagues here, at home in California, who share her vision of teaching.
Tony worked as a program coordinator for nine years, where he was responsible for the hiring, training, supervising, and professional development of the teaching staff. He also taught ESL at the Academy of Art, Jewish Vocational Services, and the American Language Institute for 15 years. He holds BA in Art (painting) and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language from San Francisco State University.
Vanessa joined the Academy of Art University faculty in 1997. She has taught in both university and high school settings as well as trained teachers at San Francisco State University. She currently wears two hats: one as a Faculty Developer and the other as a Language Support person in the ESL department. Vanessa graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in French, Spanish and German and has an MA from SFSU in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She feels privileged to work with a wonderful group of committed and talented colleagues.