Meet the ELI Staff
Rhonda Seidman, Executive Director
I have been the Director of Pine Manor College English Language Institute (ELI) since its inception in 1996. During this time, I have had the good fortune of meeting thousands of students from all over the world and celebrating their accomplishments. Prior to starting up ELI, I had 14 years of experience teaching and directing language schools in the Boston area. I earned my Master's Degree in Education from Harvard University and received a Certificate of Spanish Studies at the University of Mexico in Mexico City. I have traveled extensively throughout the world and have a strong affinity for learning about other cultures. I hold on to the value that by understanding, respecting, and appreciating each others cultures, we can achieve a more just and peaceful world. This is the guiding mission of our program.
After working at other schools, studying, and traveling outside of the US, I came on to start up ELI because I thought Pine Manor College was the ideal location to study English. It is located on a beautiful campus just minutes away from the vibrant center of Boston. The personal, friendly, and supportive community makes students feel at home and part of a family. Students have the opportunity to audit classes during the academic year, participate in on-campus events, and practice English with students and staff from the United States. Even the shuttle drivers sing with the students!
Our commitment is to provide you with the highest quality English classes as we help you to reach your academic, professional, and personal goals. The ELI staff understands the challenges that international students confront when they study and live outside of their home country and are always willing to assist you.
Students have told me that their experience here has been: 'unforgettable', 'invaluable', 'best experience of my life', 'priceless'.
We are confident that you will be highly successful in your studies with us, and that we can offer you an excellent educational, social, and cultural experience. We hope that you will choose to study at ELI. You will have enjoyable memories that will last a lifetime.
We look forward to warmly welcoming you to our program!
Janna Spinazola, ELI Marketing and Sales Director
For the past ten years, I have been fortunate to help international and domestic undergraduate-bound students attend language programs at ELI and undergraduate programs at PMC. Before Pine Manor, I worked at a Boston-area language institute, where I organized community activities for international exchange students. I am passionate about study abroad programs as it promotes peace through intercultural understanding.
From living abroad in Spain and travelling to several countries, I am very sensitive to the incoming students’ experience.
Here at ELI, we take excellent care of our students. It’s the perfect place to study English. Students are immersed in a multicultural setting, enjoy personal attention from staff, and live on a beautiful campus. The world class city of Boston is full of opportunities and you can access the beaches, mountains, and New York City easily.
Contact me so I can help you learn more about PMC ELI. I hope to meet you soon!
Dan Bohrs, ELI Program Director
I have moved around a lot in my lifetime, even living in Japan for a total of 3 years (one as a student and two as a teacher many years later). There have been many times in my life when I’ve been an outsider in a strange place, so I understand what it feels like for you to travel and live in a new place. It’s a real challenge to leave behind everyone that you know and love in order to experience something new. At the same time, it’s very exciting!
As a student in Japan, I went through many difficult times and had bouts of homesickness and culture shock. In the end, however, I became a stronger person and learned about what kind of power I have as a person. Later, I went back to Japan to teach English and to continue studying Japanese. Again, it was a challenge to work there, but I learned skills that I have used ever since and continue to use at ELI. As I travelled home, I spent 4 ½ months travelling through Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and India. It was the greatest experience of my life!! Nothing can take the place of meeting new people in new places to help a person grow in patience, confidence, and in human understanding.
I have been living in the Boston area for 15 years, so this is now my home. It’s an exciting city with a cosmopolitan feel without being too overwhelming. Meeting people from around the world here at ELI and also in Boston connects me to the world outside and reminds me every day of my own struggles, experiences, and values. I hope to meet you soon so that I can count you as one of my many international friends!
Cynthia O’Neil, Academic Coordinator
I received my BA in Spanish. I worked for many years in the corporate world. Then in early 2001, I found a different path and started working with the Russian immigrant community. After 9-11, I felt it was vital to understand one another on a global scale. In the spring of 2005, I joined ELI as a tutor and then as a teacher. I became Lead Teacher in 2007 working with the Academic Director, and then in 2009 became Academic Coordinator.
“What I love about ELI is the vitality and diversity of points of view from all students. The school energizes me as a teacher and as a human being.”
I understand the struggles of language acquisition. I bring a love of language, and a supportive and upbeat personality to the students to help make the process more enjoyable.
Being on a small diverse college campus, ELI offers students many opportunities to use English outside the classroom in a real but safe environment.
Michelle Yong, Financial Coordinator
I am Korean American. I graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Management and Accounting. I learn everyday about different cultures from different countries, and it’s very interesting and exciting.
As a mother of a teenage daughter, listening and watching young students helps me to understand the young generation.
I have a chance to speak Korean (more than ever). I really enjoy working with young international students.
Joseph Lemme, ELI Instructor
I love teaching English to the ELI's very diverse student community. I am always interested to hear my students' reactions to life in the United States and favorite things about life in their home countries. I enjoy the mini United Nations that form in my classes. As a student currently completing his Master's degree at Boston College, I know gaining admission into a United States' university is not easy. Every day, I am inspired by my students' drive to succeed as college students in the US.
I have experienced two week long immersion trips to El Salvador that made me feel as if I belonged to the Salvadoran communities I visited. I hope you experience the same feeling at the ELI. I grew up in the Boston area; Boston is my home. I know you will say the same thing after your stay with us.
Bobby Thompson, Coordinator of Residence Life
Welcome to the English Language Insititute at Pine Manor Colege. My name is Bobby Thompson and I am the Housing Coordinator here at E.L.I. I graduated from Boston College with a Degree in Accounting and I am a former professional soccer player for the New England Revolution in the MLS (the top professional league in the United States). My experiences as a soccer player and as a soccer coach have led me to have many opportunities to travel and play with athletes from all around the world. This has given me such a wonderful appreciation of all cultures, and and I love working at E.L.I. for that reason. It is such an amzing opportunity to work so closely with so many people from different countries, and I look forward to meeting new students all the time. And if you are a student interested in improving your English and having a great time while doing it, then I hope to see you here soon!