LarryDirector of Language Programs
For several years Larry was a reporter on international affairs for a Japanese television station, where he hosted his own series. He came to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii, but took leave to join the Economics Department of Shinshu University in order to conduct research on youth employment for a Ph.D. in political science. There, he was granted an audience with Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan to discuss the results of his research, which was subsequently published. Having been thoroughly immersed in the language and culture of another country, Larry is sensitive to the difficulties that students face while living in America and learning English. As director of English programs at Academia, he strives to continue developing courses that meet the varied interests of our diverse student body.
Bob has a B.A. degree from Illinois Benedictine University and M.A.’s from Northern Illinois University and the University of Connecticut. He is currently enrolled in a graduate program in Serious Game Design at Michigan State University. He taught English as a Second Language to international students at Michigan State University, the University of Connecticut, and Montana State University. He also held an instructor position in university English departments in China and Lebanon, as well as serving as training director for a German company. In the past, he has been fluent in German and Chinese.
Bob has been published in academic journals and is currently interested in how students learn online in 3D worlds. In his free time he enjoys photography, tennis, hiking, traveling, and eating Chinese cooking, cooked wonderfully by his wife.
Hailing from the Ozark hills of Missouri, Casey has come a long way to be at Academia Language School. In 2007, he left his small town to see the world. After a journey through East Asia, he decided to put his love for languages into good use. So in 2009, he studied at the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan, the same place his grandparents had called home for 60 years, and then graduated with a B.A. in English as a Second Language from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2011. Casey speaks Japanese, German, and wants to learn Korean, Italian, and many more. In his downtime, he enjoys writing and singing the blues on both piano and guitar, travelling, collecting records, vintage clothes, and other antiques.
I grew up in New York studying and speaking languages. We over 200 languages in the city. My love for communication led me to start writing at the age of nine. By age of twenty, I was a freelance professional journalist in Manhattan. I wrote about Graffitti Art. Besise being writer, I am also a businessman. As an account executive for various corporations, I use the English language for business both in its' printed and spoken forms. I have spent the last two decades teaching at various educational institutions. For example, I've worked at The City University of New York (CUNY) and taught at Fairleigh Dickenson Univerity (FDU) in New Jersey. At FDU, beside teaching English as a Second Language, I also taught classes in Hisory and Philosophy. I always try to create a postive learning enivorment in all of my classes to foster greater learning by my students.
John is a Hawaiian language specialist with a lot of experience in translating, teaching and editing. He co-authored, along with Dr. Rubellite Johnson, Na Inoa Hoku, which is a catalogue of the constellations seen and named by Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. He has done research and worked on many important projects for cultural groups. His B.A. from the University of Hawaii is in Asian Studies, and his M.A. is in Pacific Island Studies. He was in the US Navy, which included three tours in Vietnam. John speaks German, French, Hawaiian, Tagalog and Tahitian.
John is known at Academia for his ukulele and guitar skills, and has designed English courses with Hawaiian musical themes.
Kevin was born and raised in Hawaii. After graduating from Kalani High School, he entered the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He received a B.A. in English as a Second Language in 1992, and a M.A. in the same field in 2003. He has taught English as a Second Language for 20 years. In his free time Kevin likes to play chess, read and spend time relaxing with his dog. Kevin also loves the ocean and star gazing and frequently doe both.
As our longest tenured teacher, Kimberly has enjoyed meeting and mentoring hundreds of students who have passed through Academia. Now a new Mom with two young boys, Kimberly teaches part time. Her experience and understanding of students clearly shows in the popularity of her classes.
Madga came to the Hawaiian Islands well trained for teaching French and Spanish. A native speaker of both, she is a graduate of schools in France with diplomas in French, Business and Spanish. She has a B.A. in Education from Boston University, and has studied Spanish and English in continuing education programs at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While living in Boston, she taught in language schools and worked in the French Department of the University of Massachusetts. In Hawaii, she has taught French for the Alliance Francaise of Hawaii and the YWCA of Honolulu before founding Academia. .
Michael live in the Boston, Massuchusetts area his whole life, until of July of 2012 when he moved the nearly 6,000 mile to Honolulu. Michael earned his undergraduate degree in Acting and Psycology at Emerson College--he wanted to be a movie star like Harrison Ford. After a while he changed his mind, but was unsure what to do next. He took a job as a professional dog walker in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. He enjoyed spending his days outside, getting lots of exercise and being with dogs(he was allergic to them as a child). After several years of doing this, Michael went back to school to explore his curiosity about teaching. He earned his Master's degree in teaching English as a Second Language from Simmons College. He speaks some Spanish, and is curious about learning Japanese and German. He taught 5th through 8th graders at a middle school in Massachusetts, but has found that he enjoys working with adult students here in Hawaii. He loved experiencing his first winter without snow or ice. His favorite things to do in his spare time is watch movies, especially onew with superhereos, monsters, or spaceships.
Paul became interested in teaching English as a second language while getting his degree in Asian studies at the University of Hawaii. As a student, he worked in the New Intensive Course in English (NICE) program at the University of Hawaii. He then taught at a subsidiary of Gakken in Ginza, Japan for five years. Paul was trained with the Berlitz language program, which, like Academia, focuses on interactive learning.
Quintin taught ESL at the University of Hawaii's NICE program (New Intensive Course in English), and in the Adult Education Division of the Hawaii Board of Education. He spent 11 years in Japan in various teaching capacities, including private lessons for business executives. He taught classes at Toyo University and Yamawaki Junior College, and had an assistant professorship in the Liberal Arts faculty at Saitama National University. His B.A. is from Magdalene College in Cambridge, England, where he majored in modern languages (French, German and Spanish). After receiving his degree, he taught EFL at various language schools in Madrid, Spain.
Robin has had an enriching experience teaching nearly everyone under the sun. He has been a preschool teacher, a Title One teacher, has taught Special Education and ESL at McKinley and Kaimuki Community Schools for Adults in Hawaii. He has taught English at various language schools in Hiroshima, Saitama, and Tokyo, Japan, including businesses, kindergartens, intermediate schools, junior and senior high schools. He has taught at the University of Tsukuba in Ibaraki, and at many of the research institues in Tsukuba Science City. He has a B.A. in History from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and a Masters Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Southern Queensland in Toowomba, Australia.
Sean spent many years in Japan, teaching English to both adults and children in Tokuyama, Chiba, Tokyo, and Kawasaki. He has also been a sports instructor in Saipan. Sean is originally from Kansas, where he received a B.A. in General Studies from the University of Kansas.
Tina was born and raised in Hawaii. She moved to Southern California to study at Cal State Northridge, where she received a BA in English with a minor in TESL. She first became interested in teaching ESL while living in Southern California and learning Spanish. She then working with students from the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve their English and Language Arts skills, through the Federal program “No Child Left Behind.” While she learned a lot in California, she is very happy to be home again.
In her free time, Tina likes to hang out with her family, most of whom live here on Oahu or on the Big Island. She also likes cooking in general, and baking in particular. Her favorite dish to bake is pineapple up-side-down cake. She also enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and gardening.
The product of an East-meets-West romance, Valerie was born in Thailand and grew up in the Bay Area, in Hawaiʻi, and in Texas, finishing high school in Belgium. She considers herself fortunate to have been raised in a multicultural household, where customs and languages mixed, merged, and sometimes clashed -- a microcosm of the global flux of people and ideas. She has a B.A. in Linguistics and an M.A. in TESOL from San Jose State University. Pronunciation is her particular area of language interest.
Ryan is the Director and Owner of Academia. He loves his “job” and strongly believes in Academia’s mission of contributing to the improvement of cross-cultural communication and understanding. Prior to joining Academia, Ryan worked in the fields of finance and management advisory. In various capacities, he has helped guide high-growth companies from start up through IPO.
Ryan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Economics, and a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering. He is conversant in Spanish, is learning Japanese, and always appreciates informal lessons in all world languages from Academia students and teachers!
YumiDirector of Operations
Yumi has an associate’s degrees from the Tokaigakuen Women’s College of Nagoya, Japan in Japanese literature, and an Accounting degree from the Grant McEwan Community College in Edmonton, Canada. She studied at Grant McEwan as a recipient of the Aaron Michael Memorial Scholarship, and graduated with First Class Standing.
Yumi is fluent in English and Japanese, and has done considerable translation work. She has taught both English and Japanese in public junior high schools, and English at the Evergreen English School in Kochi-city Japan.
Karen graduated from the University of Hawaii's Shidler College of Business with degrees in International Business and in Finance. During the Fall semester of 2007, she studied abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. She was born and raised on Oahu, and is bi-lingual in written and spoken Korean. In her spare time, Karen loves to listen to music, watch movies, and read.
DavidFront Office Assistant
After travelling the world in search of personal insight – meditating with holy men in the temples of India, walking the Amazon jungle with traditional healers, frolicking with monkeys in the mountains of Japan, and traversing parts of the Swiss Alps, among other things - David decided to settle down in Hawaii. Coming from New York City, he has been able to easily adjust his pace to fit the laid back style of the islands. He holds a B.A. in Japanese Language from the University of Hawaii, and also fluently speaks Spanish. His hobbies include surfing, stand up paddle boarding, free diving, climbing trees, painting, yoga, meditation, gardening, and exploring.
BretFront Office Assistant
Bret was born and raised in Kansas. While at community college he studied in Seville, Spain for a semester. After Spain he came to Hawaii to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa to study Political Science and Speech. He has lived in Hawaii for 4 years. Next year he hopes to teach English in Japan and his career aspiration is to do diplomatic work. Bret enjoys the outdoor activities that Hawaii has to offer including hiking and going to the beach.