Meet the IEP Staff

  Karin Sandler-Program Director

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Ms. Karin Sandler serves as the director of the Intensive English Program where she leads the IEP team in its mission to provide high-quality English language instruction to non-native English speakers seeking academic preparation, professional development, or personal enrichment.She is responsible for the direction and operation of the IEP and works closely with the Admissions department to  ensure that students have a successful transition into their academic programs upon completion of the IEP.

Ms.Sandler received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Masters of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language/Bilingual Education both from Georgetown University. In her previous position, she was the associate director of the English Language Institute at Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia where she managed the day-to-day operations of the Intensive English Program (IEP) in addition to teaching in the program. She has taught all academic skill areas and proficiency levels to students from all over the world. She also had the opportunity to live and work in Japan first as an assistant  language teacher in the Japan Exchange Teaching Program and then as the academic coordinator for a new IEP created by Georgetown University in partnership with Osaka International University.She enjoys travelling, learning languages, and trying new foods.


Catherine MaddenCatherine Madden-Associate Director 

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Ms.Catherine Madden serves the Intensive English Program as the associate director and is a proud member of the NC State Wolfpack.  She has worked in the field of ESL as a teacher and program administrator for more than 25 years. Ms.Madden holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and culture from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree in education (TESOL) from Boston University. Before moving to North Carolina, Ms.Madden worked with the English & Certificates Program for Internationals at the University of California-Irvine as the director of academic affairs. Once in North Carolina, Ms. Madden held the position of ESL coordinator for the Durham Public Schools and later served as an ESL program coordinator Wa Tech’s Basic Skills Program. In the classroom, she has had the privilege of teaching all aspects of English language learning to all types of language learners from bilingual elementary children and university bound students to Business English for executives.One of her most interesting experiences was being selected to tutor the Chinese actor, Jet Li. Mrs. Madden works with TESOL as a reviewer for TESOLS proposals and recently selected as a finalist for the NC State 2012 Award for Excellence.                      



Jennifer Brown-Student Adviser/Tutoring CoordinatorJen222222

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Ms.Jennifer Brown is the student advisor/academic coaching coordinator for the Intensive English Program. She was raised in Lynchburg, Virginia and moved to Raleigh, NC in 1996 to pursue her bachelor’s degree at North Carolina State University.  In 2004, Ms. Brown moved to Spain and earned an advanced Spanish as a Second Language bilingual diploma from the University of Salamanca. She worked as a translator/interpreter in Santander, Spain for various international companies as well as the Cantabrian court system. In 2005, after becoming TESOL/TEFL certified, Ms. Brown began her exciting and diverse teaching career. During her six years in Spain, she taught and/or tutored world-renowned research physicians, business executives and professional athletes, as well as various members of the Ballet Nacional de Madrid.


Yaz Irving22222Yazmeen Irving-Office Manager

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Ms. Yazmeen Irving is the office manager/bookkeeper for the Intensive English Program. She is originally  from New York City, NY and moved to North Carolina in 2000. Ms. Yazmeen Irving graduated from Peace college in 2011 with her bachelor’s in business administration with a focus on leadership. She is currently studying to get into law school and is a big advocate for social justice. 

Ahmed Selim photoAhmed Selim-KAUST Gifted Student Program Coordinator

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Mr. Selim has a Master of Arts in English from UNC Charlotte where he focused on integrating rhetoricial strategies into the ESL/EFL classroom. He has extensive experience as both a teacher and administrator in intensive English programs and foundation programs. After having spent over a decade living and working in the Middle East for Sabanci University(Istanbul), United Arab Emirates University and Qatar University, Mr. Selim has retrurned to Raleigh with his family. At Qatar University, he founded the university's Writing Community, a virtual writing center, in addition to directing the university's first film festival and developing and producing video content for the university's YouTube channel. An avid writer/filmmaker, Mr. Selim is also the co-founder and director of FILMS for World Peace.

 Anita J. Ghajar-SelimAnita Ghajar-Selim-Student Services Coordinator

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Ms. Anita J. Ghajar-Selim is the Student Services Coordinator and an instructor at the IEP. Ms. Ghajar-Selim has a bachelor’s degree in French language and a master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language. She has taught English for more than 21 years in 4 different countries to more than 30 nations. She moved back to Raleigh, North Carolina after 12 years of travelling and teaching abroad. She passionately worked as a faculty, teacher trainer, IELTS official examiner, and the head of the Writing Lab at Qatar University in the past few years. She started at the IEP by teaching writing and has fallen in love with the program since. She speaks Persian, English, some French, and some Arabic, and can sign a bit in ASL. Her hobbies are travelling, learning different languages, reading, creating ESL materials, meeting people from all over the world, and experimenting with different recipes.