About Us

Translations

The Maui Language Institute (MLI) is an accredited English as a Second Language program that is part of the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC). UHMC is one of 10 campuses in the University of Hawaii system and offers both 2 and 4-year degree programs. The Maui Language Institute offers 4 different programs for individuals and groups: the Intensive English Program, the SAM (Study Abroad on Maui) Program, Short-Term Programs, and Rainbow Studies.

Faculty and Staff

Kumu Keli‘i Taua Susan Briggs Meghan Sophia Misako Fukuchi
Kumu Kapono Kamauna Becky Picher Rhyn Davies Pedro Faingnaert
Derek Snyder Rick Scheideman Jesse Ryan Fisher
Ian Edmondson Emi Young Toshie Outlaw-Spruell

Faculty
Kumu Keli‘i Taua

Kumu Keli‘i Taua
PhD Philosophy

Keli‘i Taua is a respected Kumu Hula, musician, composer and Hawaiian Cultural Specialist. He has been involved with Hawaiian youth as an educator with the Hawai‘i Department of Education for many years. Kumu has been teaching with the Maui Language Institute since 2003, both in the Intensive English and Rainbow Studies programs. Hawaiian Studies is an integral part of the Maui Language Institute content-based learning program which connects language and culture.

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Kumu Kapono Kamauna

Kumu Kapono Kamauna
Master Hula Teacher and Performer

Kapono hails from Maui where he graduated from Baldwin High School and studied Hawaiian Studies and liberal arts at the university level. He graduated as a Kumu Hula in 2001 after nine years of study under Kumu Keli‘i Tau‘a. He has taught Hawaiian Studies and hula at Haleakala Waldorf School, Maui Waena Intermediate School and Baldwin High School. He is the vice president of the Polynesian Tahiti Fete and can be seen in performance as a chanter and dancer at the Old Lahaina Luau.

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Derek Snyder

Derek Snyder
BA (Anthropology, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo), MA (English as a Second Language, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa)

Derek began his career as an ESL professional by teaching English in Japan. After returning from Japan, Derek pursued a Master‘s degree in ESL at the University of Hawai‘i - Manoa. His graduate studies were focused on content-based curriculum development for the ESL students. Since 2001, Derek has taught ESL extensively across many campuses in the University of Hawai‘i system.

Derek is an instructor for the Second Language Studies Department at the UH-Center on Maui as well as an instructor in the English Department for UHMC. In his free time, Derek enjoys spending time with his family, playing golf, and watching sports.

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Ian Edmondson

Ian Edmondson
BS (Secondary Ed., Michigan State University), MA (Creative Writing, Western Michigan University)

In addition to teaching at MLI, Ian teaches developmental English and creative writing at UH Maui College where he has been an instructor for the past four years. He previously taught full-time at an award winning middle school in Michigan. Before pursuing teaching and graduate studies, Ian was a member of the U.S. Ski Team. He competed in the acrobatic snow sport of freestyle skiing on the international World Cup tour for twelve years. He also ran his own ski camps and coached many young competitors from Japan, Europe, and North America. In Hawaii Ian enjoys all kinds of outdoor activities and is also an artist specializing in ceramic sculpture.

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Susan Briggs

Susan Briggs - Guest Faculty
BA (California State University), BBS (Weber State College) MEd (University of Hawaii, Manoa), PhD (University of Hawaii, Manoa)

Susan has an extensive teaching career in ESL both in Hawaii and on the US mainland. Prior to joining the faculty at the Maui Language Institute, Susan was an instructor and administrator with the Pasadena City College where she also supervised and coordinated all operations in the ESL multimedia lab. During her doctorate degree, Susan specialized in Higher Education Administration and conducted her research in The Impact of Video Disc Computer Assisted Instruction on College Students Studying English as a Second Language. Susan is currently the Coordinator of the ESL program at Pasedena College in Los Angeles.

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Becky Picher

Becky Picher
BSc, MEd

Becky holds a Master's degree in Education, specializing in second language pedagogy. Her educational experience includes ten years of teaching French, French as a Second Language and English as Second Language in both British Columbia and Québec, Canada. Becky is also a 200h registered Yoga Alliance Hatha/Kripalu teacher since 2006 and continues her journey through studies with wonderful yoga teachers worldwide. A former competitive alpine skier, she now enjoys practicing her passion: surfing the waves of Maui.

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Rick Scheideman

Rick Scheideman
Ed.D. (Psychology and Counseling, University of Northern Colorado), M.A. (Theology, Denver Seminary)

As an academic and as a performer, Rick's professional career includes university teaching in psychology, counseling, literature, theology, and theatre. Rick returned to Maui from Colombia, SA where he taught ESL in a bilingual school. As a performer he both directs and acts in the theatre, and tours one-man shows. Musically, he sings and plays flute and guitar. He enjoys writing. Mountaineering, skiing, sailing, swimming, the challenging ocean of Maui, and the discovery of Tai Chi keep his heart pumping and the body moving.

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Emi Young

Emi Young
BA (Asian Studies, UC Berkeley), Multiple Subject Teaching Credential (San Francisco State University), ESL Certification (UC Santa Cruz)

Emi is a San Francisco native but is at one with her new home on Maui. For as long as she can remember, she was in the middle of different cultures, growing up on her city block with kids from Irish Catholic, German Jewish, Chinese, Greek, and Italian and Latin heritages. She attended U.C. Berkeley, where she studied Japanese history, and later, went back for her teaching credential. Subsequently, she went corporate training in a Fortune 500 company in Silicon Valley and doubled as an English language program manager. For the last ten years she has been teaching adults in English as a Second Language and Career Development classes in Union City, California, followed by a decade of teaching at the New Haven Adult School.

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Megan Sophia

Meghan Sophia
(BA, University of Colorado – Boulder)

Meghan Sophia graduated with a degree in English from the University of Colorado – Boulder, where she also studied educational theory and pedagogy. She is also certified in second language acquisition and theory. Meghan is an avid traveller and has lived in Canada, Japan and the US mainland. During her high school years on Maui, she tutored homeless children in the Uluwai'i program, and while attending university, taught in the "I Have a Dream Foundation." Meghan and her science fair partner were recipients of multiple US Psychology Association Awards throughout the years, as well as a Grand Award in the Psychology division at ISEF (International Science and Engineering Fair), for their research on racial and gender discrimination. They also represented Hawaii at the US National Youth Science Camp in Virginia and Washington, DC. Meghan is a sports enthusiast and grew up figure skating, paddling, and playing water polo. Her current interests include swimming, cliff jumping, and Craig Ferguson's dry humor.

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Rhyn Davies

Rhyn Davies
(BA, University of Washington, MS, University of Tennessee)

Rhyn Davies has a BA in Linguistics and an MS in Information Science. She taught English in Japan for three years and works as an information manager for a Pacific regional biological informatics program. This job let her travel all over the Pacific, and Rhyn really enjoyed visiting new countries and learning about new cultures. She is happy to join MLI and return to teaching, while also continuing to meet people from all over the world.

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Jesse Ryan Fisher

Jesse Ryan Fisher
(BA, Japanese, University of Hawai'i- Mānoa and Maui campuses)

Jesse is a Baldwin High School graduate where he was extensively involved in theatre. When he completed his university education, he spent two years teaching English in the "JET Program" on the beautiful remote island of Tsushima. There, he lead English conversation clubs and acted in Japanese community theater.  He believes strongly in cultural exchange, and has participated in the "Year in Kobe, Japan Study Abroad Program," and "The Hawaii-Okinawa Student Exchange Program."  In his spare time, he plays guitar in local rock bands and enjoys stand up comedy.

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Staff

Toshie Outlaw-Spruell

Toshie Outlaw-Spruell - Student Services Specialist
AA (Japanese Literature)

Toshie graduated from Onomichi Junior College in Japan with a degree in Japanese Literature. Before moving to Maui, she spent over 10 years in private English school administration. She also holds certifications in Teaching English as a Second Language to Children and Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language. Since 1998, she has designed and implemented English language curricula for children that have been used extensively in day care centers, community centers, elementary schools and private language institutions in Hiroshima, Japan. She enjoys reading, painting, hiking and water sports.

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Misako Fukuchi

Misako Fukuchi
BA (Psychology, University of Rissyo)

Misako was born and raised in Japan and has a Bachelor's degree in the Psychology from Rissyo University. In January 2009, Misako studied English at the University of Hawaii - Manoa NICE program. She was married in Oahu, then moved to Maui and transferred to the Maui Language Institute (MLI). She is currently a student of MLI and UHMC, and the student assistant at MLI. Her interests include cooking and golf.

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Pedro Faingnaert

Pedro Faingnaert
(AA, University of Hawaii Maui College)

Pedro is originally from Belgium, but he spent his childhood years in Brazil. He obtained an Associates of Arts in Liberal Arts from the University of Hawaii Maui College. Currently, he is an undergraduate student through the University of Hawaii Manoa's Interdisciplinary Program where he intends to learn additional skills to contribute to his career at the Maui Language Institute. While in Belgium, he studied Teaching English as a Second Language, and in 2012 has received a certificate in TESL. He also has received a Malama Aina Certificate from the Kamehameha Schools. Throughout his professional career he has worked in many industries, such as train transportation and tourism where he excelled at implementing training programs for both corporate and community settings. His travel around the world has earned Pedro the ability to speak several languages fluently, including Dutch, Portuguese, and French. In his spare time, he loves trying international cuisines, being in nature, watching films, and studying the wonders of languages.

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