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Meet Our Staff

Christina Quartararo, Executive Director

Christina Quartararo has been working with English language learners as a teacher and administrator since 2003. She has taught ESL to diverse groups of students in both colleges and universities and community-based programs.  Christina is actively involved with TESOL International Association, serving at various times as the Intensive English Programs Interest Section newsletter editor; a member-at large for the Higher Education Interest Section; and a member of the Professional Development Committee. She holds a B.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from Stony Brook University and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Queens College, City University of New York.

Sue Peterson, Associate Director

Sue Peterson has worked in the TESOL field for over twenty years and has been an ESL teacher, program administrator, workshop leader, textbook author, curriculum developer, and teacher trainer. In addition to the United States, her work has taken her to Mexico and China. She served for four years as the editor of New York State TESOL’s online newsletter, Dialogue and is the co-author of Prism: Listening and Speaking, Intro published by Cambridge University Press and Writing Power Book 3 and Book 4, published by Pearson Education.  She holds an M.A. in TESOL from Hunter College, City University of New York. Her interests include materials writing, curriculum design, and technology.

Karen Gilmartin, Assistant Director

Karen Gilmartin has been working with English language learners since 1996. In 1997 she moved to Inuyama, Japan to work with the Ministry of Education and that city’s Native English Teacher curriculum writing team. Upon her return to the States, she went to work as a language school director. Over the past ten years, Karen has presented workshops and poster sessions at national and local professional conferences. Other assignments in the international education field include immigration and government regulation compliance officer; teacher trainer; and speech and accent reduction coach. She has traveled extensively and worked in several overseas locations including Malaysia, Israel, and Hong Kong.

Camille Embus Perez, Senior Language Educator

Camille has been at St. John’s University since 2011, working as both an instructor and administrator for The Language Connection and as an adjunct professor for the credit ESL program. Before working at St. John’s, she taught in West Africa as an elementary teacher for 2 1/2 years, which is where her passion for working in the ESL field began. She holds a B.S in Elementary Education from The University of Tennessee and an M.S. in TESOL from St. John’s University.

Eugenie Smiddy, Senior Language Educator

Genie has been at St. John’s University since 2014, first as an instructor and then in her current role as an administrator at the Manhattan campus. Before coming to St. John’s, she tutored undergraduate and graduate students in academic writing at the Hunter College Writing Center prior to becoming one of its supervisors, while also teaching freshman composition and introduction to literature courses. Her work at Hunter prompted her desire to become more thoroughly involved in higher education, specifically to assist ESL students in developing their academic language abilities. She holds a B.A. in Art History and an M.A. in TESOL from Hunter College.

Tiecher Adams, Secretary

Tiecher Adams has been working at St. John’s University since 2004. She began working at the Intensive English Program (IEP), and was instrumental in the transition from that program to The Language Connection in 2010.  Tiecher works closely with administrators and faculty and provides support and assistance to students at all stages—from application through completion of the program. She holds a B.S. in Toxicology from St. John’s University.