Faculty & Staff

Name Extension E-mail Address
James May (Read Bio) ext. 2047 JMay@valenciacollege.edu
Nissa Hopkins (Read Bio) ext. 2501 nhopkins3@valenciacollege.edu
Tatiana Bizon (Read Bio) ext. 2406 tbizon@valenciacollege.edu
Sarah Melanson (Read Bio) ext. 2457 smelanson1@valenciacollege.edu
Name Extension E-mail Address
Christie Pickeral ext. 4092 cpickeral@valenciacollege.edu
Steve Cunningham ext. 4827 scunnningham@valenciacollege.edu
John McFarland ext. 4125 jmcfarland6@valenciacollege.edu
Shawn Pollgreen ext. 4292 spollgre@valenciacollege.edu
Name Extension E-mail Address
Wendy Wish-Bogue ext. 1338 wwishboque@valenciacollege.edu
Richard Sansone (Read Bio) ext. 1383 rsansone@valenciacollege.edu
Jennifer Britton ext. 1470 jbritton@valenciacollege.edu
Aaron Powell ext. 1356 apowell14@valenciacollege.edu
Karen Murray (Read Bio) ext. 1485 kmurray10@valenciacollege.edu
Gina Dalle Molle ext. 1503 gdallemolle@valenciacollege.edu

Professor Biographies:

Nissa Hopkins - East Campus

Hello! I’m Nissa, and though I’m new to Valencia (I started here in August of 2011), I’ve been teaching ESOL and EAP for ten years, some in California, but mostly at Seminole State College. I have an M.S. in TESOL/Edu from Shenandoah University, and a BA in Asian Studies from California State University, Sacramento. I also served in the U.S. Army as a linguist/Japanese interpreter for eight years, and I graduated from the intensive Japanese course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. I was an exchange student to Japan in high school, and I have traveled extensively; these experiences helped propel me into my teaching career. I love languages, other cultures, traveling, trying new and delicious food, yoga, martial arts, reading, and all things geeky. I feel fortunate to do what I truly love as a career!

Tanya Bizon - East Campus

I am Russian. I studied English in a Russian public school for 6 years and in a Russian university for 5 more years. I have an MA in English and Criminal Justice from Russia. When I moved to the US in 1999, I acquired an MA in English from UCF. I am married and have two kids- Anya and Alexander. I enjoy teaching English to ESL students; I love hearing their stories about their countries and experience in the US. I have always had high expectations of myself, and in class I push my students to achieve their maximum and best! I’ve been with Valencia since 2003 and love it. I also love educated people, beautiful things, traveling, and good chocolate!

James May - East Campus

Hi! A native to central Florida, I originally started teaching English as a foreign language while studying abroad in Mexico back in 1991. After studying Spanish literature and Portuguese at the University of Florida, I became a Korean lingust for the U.S. Army. My time in the military also gave me the oportunity to teach EFL in Korea. In 1998, I went back to UF for a masters and a doctorate in multilingual, multicultural education. My writing and research interests include CALL, test development, standard setting, and EAP professional development. I also enjoy learning languages and working with students from varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Sarah Melanson - East Campus

Hi! I'm Sarah, I'm British, and I started my Valencia career in May 2002 at Osceola Campus. I've been here at East Campus since August 2003. Before coming to the US I taught in Oxford, England, and Alicante, Spain. I have an MA in Teaching English for Academic and Specific Purposes from Oxford Brookes University. Before becoming a teacher I worked for ten years as a medical transcriptionist, and I've also spent three years working as a waitress in the German Alps. I have a working knowledge of Spanish, German, and French, and I love music, traveling, and experiencing different cultures.

Richard Sansone - West Campus

Hello, my name is Richard. Please don’t let the formal photo mislead you: I am really a down-to-earth person who really loves teaching here because I believe in Valencia and its students (although I wish they would change the slogan to a better place to finish...because it is!) Although I was originally hired here to teach English to non-natives, I was asked to develop a Portuguese language program in 1990 and have been happy to teach both Portuguese and EAP language classes here ever since. I think about teaching languages as a vehicle for cross-cultural understanding, access and empowerment… so I create a lot of opportunities for my students to enhance both their skills and horizons outside of the classroom. These include projects such as the Valencia Brazilian film festival, EAP career exploration project, summer study and Spring Break in Brazil, etc. I studied at Rollins College as an Undergraduate and completed two Masters Degrees at the University of Arizona thereafter – the first in Latin American Studies (Spanish and Portuguese) and the second in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Before coming to Valencia, I lived and worked in Europe and South America, mostly as academic director for college semester abroad programs, and I speak Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and French.


Karen Murray - West Campus

I started teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) at Valencia in the fall of 2004, and I really enjoy my job. My first experience teaching ESL was at the University of Seville in Spain in 1990, and I've been teaching language (ESL, English for native speakers, and Spanish) since 1985. I spent 3 years in Seville teaching at the university and two colleges, and before coming to Valencia I taught for 10 years at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. My education includes three Master's degrees in various fields of education. I consider myself a lifelong student: I have studied German, Spanish, Italian, and most recently I have been studying Greek. I know how challenging it can be to learn a second language! What I love the most about my job is the opportunity it gives me to meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures. One of my favorite hobbies is traveling, and being in an ESL classroom is a little like traveling around the world!