Staff Spotlight: Ahu Moser Chosen as Member of APC

May 1st, 2018

Our very own Assistant Director of Programs (Classroom), Ahu Moser, joined LCMC in July of 2015. Many of our teachers and students recognize Ahu as our former Intake and Assessment Specialist, but her extensive leadership has been so valuable to LCMC that she is now in charge of the ESL Classroom program.

Ahu was recently chosen by the TESOL International Association to be a member of their Awards Professional Council (APC), a prestigious position that influences decisions and recognition for different TESOL programs around the world. TESOL is an international association of professionals advancing the quality of English language teaching through professional development, research, standards, and advocacy. The members of its APC apply and are appointed by the Executive Committee through a very competitive application process. We are so proud to call her our very own, and if you haven’t met Ahu yet, we’re happy to spotlight her here to introduce you!

What does being selected as an APC member for the TESOL International Association mean to you?
Being selected will allow me to volunteer, and to grow professionally and to work with experts in the field. I will be working with 8 other members to coordinate activities related to the adjudication of applications for TESOL awards and grants. I am going to serve as a coordinator to develop and implement a process as an award reviewer for the Albert H. Marckwardt Travel Grants.

Can you tell us a little bit about your early life in Turkey, if/how it shaped your work in TESOL, and about your experience learning English as a second language?
I was born and raised in Istanbul in a small family that had lived in Istanbul for 5 generations. My mother was a housewife with a middle school education and my father was a civil engineer. My parents moved a lot without me. They left me with my grandmother each time they moved to a different neighborhood, and I was so mad at them! Later in life, though, I realized it was because that they did not want me to have to change schools.

Growing up in Turkey in the 1980’s, I was somehow fascinated by different languages, especially by English. I remember trying to translate everything to English, without even knowing what English was. When I did so badly in math that I embarrassed my engineer father with my low grades, he thought it was time for me to try a new subject to be successful, and that subject was English. I so loved learning a new language that I would put my brother in a room to torture him by teaching him English! Who would have thought that I would get into a university in the United States to get my master’s degree in teaching English as a second language?

When did you know you wanted to work in adult education and ESOL?
I was an English teacher at a private university back home. When I moved to the States as a graduate student, I did not have a work permit. When I got my work permit, all I wanted was to teach. I never wanted any other job. I still feel blessed that my husband never put a pressure on me to find any other job. I still had to go through all the hassles a new immigrant to this new country has, but through thick and thin, and hard work and dedication, I am grateful for the opportunities that came to my way as an adult ESL teacher and administrator.

How did you come to work for LCMC?
I was the Intake Assessment Specialist at Montgomery College, and I was looking for finding a job closer to where I live. Out of the blue, I got an email from [LCMC Director of Programs] Christine Neil, whom I have known for so many years. She asked me if I would be interested in applying for the Intake Assessment position at LCMC, and that was it. This is how my journey at LCMC started!

What do you hope to accomplish as a member of the APC?
I hope to read and review grant applications and award travel grants to graduate students. My fellow council members are amazingly educated in this field, and I hope to learn from them.

What has been your proudest moment in your time at LCMC?
Each day I help a student or guide a teacher to better serve the needs of our students is a proud moment. If I have to be specific, I was so proud of the job that we did when we helped two brothers to attain their GED diplomas and to get housing.

What do you hope to see for the future of LCMC’s Classroom program?
LCMC’s classroom program has policies and procedures in place which allow us to work smoothly and swiftly. We have wonderful students who are determined, and our instructors are the best for their never-ending energy and dedication to our students. I hope that we will continue to offer classes to the majority who need our services, and I hope to be able to offer quality professional development opportunities to the staff so that our students could benefit from their teachers in a meaningful way.