Faculty

Anna Drexler

Anna Drexler
Director of English as a Second Language
B.A., Coe College
M.F.A., University of Oregon
TESOL Certificate, School for International Training
Email: adrexler@coe.edu

Barbara Drexler

Barbara Drexler
Part-time Instructor, English as a Second Language
B.A., University of Iowa
M.A., University of Iowa
Email: bdrexler@coe.edu

Where have you taught English as a Second Language?
I’ve taught E.S.L. at Coe College, at Kirkwood Community College, and at various universities and  schools in Thailand and Japan.

What classes are you currently teaching in the Intensive English as a Second Language Program?
At Coe, I'm teaching Oral Presentation and Structure. In this class students give short speeches, interview native English speakers, organize their thoughts using logic, and practice using the grammatical structures that they have studied. I like this class because students have opportunities to discuss topics with English speakers, interview Americans, research ideas they’re interested in and present aspects of their majors and cultures to the class.  It’s satisfying to witness the students as they develop confidence using English and expand their range of interests.

What does teaching at Coe mean to you?
It means a chance to develop a supportive situation where students and teachers can interact with each other and discover new ideas from their discussions. Generally, teaching and learning at Coe include receiving individualized attention from the teacher. The teacher is available outside of class to clarify the class. I have seen teachers tweak their curriculum to include the special interests of students in their classes.

What is one of your memorable teaching experiences?
My favorite teaching experiences usually have to do with students' discovering a new idea and pursuing that interest. One moving experience was when two students, who came from countries that did not have a friendly history, became friends. In a presentation at the Culture Show, they explained the stereotypes that they had had about each other's country and discussed how they were able to overcome the stereotypes and understand the other person. Teaching is also memorable when students view events or cultures with new eyes, when students work out the solution to a problem themselves, when students have an "aha!" moment, or when students become so interested in a topic that using English becomes incidental to the ideas they are communicating.

What do you like to do outside of Coe?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. I like to drink tea and chat, take photos and make scrapbooks, read, travel, and canoe.

What book are you currently reading?
Right now I'm reading Jhumpa Lahiri's "Unaccustomed Earth," a book of short stories about people experiencing other cultures, and "Can't We Please Talk about Something More Pleasant," by Roz Chast, a graphic memoir about dealing with ageing parents.

What makes Coe special?
In my opinion, Coe is special because it is possible to get to know your fellow students and your professors very well. The professors are interested in you as a person and as a student. They are available for you to consult if you have questions about something you have read or heard, and to give you direction in your assignments. Classes are generally small, and you may have opportunities to work with and thus make friends with your fellow students.

I love the fact that many people at Coe want to meet and to work with the ESL students. We have had joint projects with students and faculty from a variety of different departments such as education, business administration, and rhetoric. When we ask for volunteers to be interviewed by our students or to be conversation partners, many students and faculty members respond, showing their interest in getting to know international students.

There are lots of clubs and groups available so you can find compatible people and develop new interests. You can even start your own group. You can follow your passion and find friends who will share that passion with you.

What advice would you give to a prospective student at Coe College?
Take responsibility for your learning experience at Coe. Join a club or two, talk to people in the cafeteria and in the library. If someone asks you to go somewhere, go. You are here to learn about American culture, so when there is an opportunity to experience the culture, take advantage of it.

Rodney Main

Rodney Main
Adjunct Instructor and Coordinator, English as a Second Language
B.A., University of Northern Iowa
TESOL Certificate, Eastern Washington University
Email: rmain@coe.edu

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
My favorite class to teach is the TOEIC Topics class. Rather than students memorizing vocabulary through boring rote, everyone is actively involved in class discussion and role play where they are physically able to connect new words with real life situations. It gives me great pleasure to hear students laughing while utilizing their language skills to accomplish task posed to them…all in English!

What is your favorite website?
At the moment, my favorite website is Zillow.com. We plan on moving to another part of Cedar Rapids and it is a lot of fun to fantasize about getting into new digs with my wife and kids. Not too much yard, please, because I get tired of mowing.

Who is playing on your iPod?
What is an iPod? Oh, I know! I guess if I had one, I would be listening to Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash, Led Zeppelin, or Bell Biv DeVoe. Actually, if I had an iPod I’m sure that my daughter would confiscate it and fill it with songs about ducks and Little Bunny Foo Foo.

What do you do outside of class?
I bought an empty lot here in town for gardening. If the weather is bad, I'll be inside the house doing home improvements. I'm currently working on finishing a second room in the basement. Come Spring, it will be lights and ceiling fans for each bedroom. The list of projects never ends.

What is the best getaway location, local or abroad?
I honestly don't think I've been to the best getaway location. I'm a beach kind of guy so I would say locally Coralville Lake. The best getaway I've experienced abroad was on the beaches of Nha Tran in Vietnam. That was way relaxing.

What is your favorite thing about Coe?
My favorite thing about Coe is the sense of community that comes with working here. I enjoy seeing my students around campus and attending some of the many activities available here. I attended a large university and the level of involvement was nothing compared to what a student can get here at Coe College. People look after one another and I have a definite sense of belonging.

What makes Coe stand out from other schools?
Typically, especially in the Midwest, liberal arts colleges are located in small communities that seem to be somewhat remote in their location. While there is nothing wrong with this, it seems that being situated in a metropolitan area like Cedar Rapids offers so much more to students. Students are with walking distance to downtown and can experience a myriad of cultural activities they just can't get elsewhere. Whether this was planned or just luck, it really gives students a lot of choices.

Kathy Welsh

Kathy Welsh
Instructor in English as a Second Language
B.A., University of Iowa (Asian Languages and Literature)
M.A., University of Iowa (Japanese Pedagogy)
Iowa State Teacher's License for Japanese and ESL
Email: kwelsh@coe.edu

What is your favorite class to teach and why?
This is a tough question because I love different aspects about all of my classes. I love to teach Pronunciation because it lends itself to lots of student interaction and games. We also have Speaking Center Consultants as helpers in our classroom and this adds to the merriment. Also, I love to teach Reading/Writing studies because I get to hear so many perspectives and opinions on topics such as gender issues, racism, ethics, religion, etc. It is really a great opportunity to watch a student's self-discovery as they contemplate such significant topics. Teaching Oral Presentations is also a joy  because I learn so much from the students on topics ranging from how to choose the best clementine, how to travel with an electric wheel chair, the development of the electric car in Japan etc.

What do you do outside of class?
My husband and I participate in ballroom dancing; we belong to two local clubs and enjoy getting out with our friends. In addition to that, we garden and study languages. Currently, I am working on Italian and he is working on his Chinese Characters. Of course, I am always brushing up on my Japanese Kanji. In addition, my kids are both heavily involved in music so I am often attending jazz, orchestra, and choir concerts.

What is the best getaway location, local or abroad?
Rome, Italy and Leech Lake, MN. My favorite place in Rome is the Giancolo, where I can enjoy amazing views of Rome's skyline while  Respighi s "Pines of Rome Rome" plays in my mind. It is a great park out of the center of Rome with statues of Giuseppe and Anita Gharibaldi, the cannon the is fired at noon daily, a live puppet theater, the vendors etc. Leech Lake is where my family goes for extended family vacations. It is just so much fun to see each other and hang out while our kids plan water balloon attacks and other pranks. Being in nature and to be able to bike the Paul Bunyan trail, fish on the lake, and visit the Headwaters of the Mississippi River are some of my favorite things to do up there.

What is your favorite Coe Tradition?
At the beginning of the year, I love to hear the ringing of the bell by the freshman and international students. It's a great reminder of the journey I am about to embark on with the students here at Coe. In the fall, the Cultural Show is my favorite. I love to see the students outside of the classroom showcasing their amazing talents. The students really come together to perform an amazing show that has included giant calligraphy, an eating contest, synchronized glow-stick dancing, musical talents etc.

What makes Coe stand out from other schools?
Coe College stands out because of the personal touch from the faculty and staff. They really care about the students here and put their needs first. Students here spend time interacting and collaborating with a faculty that is  genuinely interested in the students' pursuits.