ALI Faculty and Staff

ALI staff

Jeremy Slagoski, PhD
Assistant Dean
Phone: 816-235-5399
With a PhD in Foreign Language & ESL Education from the University of Iowa, Jeremy Slagoski has over 20 years’ experience in the field of English language education, teaching and administering programs in Japan, Korea, Russia, and China as well as in Wisconsin, Maryland, Iowa, and Illinois. Dr. Slagoski oversees all administrative and academic functions of the ALI.
Adam Shoemaker
Associate Director / Lecturer
Phone: 816-235-5436
As a student, Adam studied language and culture in Brazil, Chile and Germany, receiving his BA in Spanish and a minor in German from Rockhurst University in 1997. Adam received his MA-TESOL from UMKC and has been with the ALI at UMKC since 1998. Adam has been a guest professor/teacher-trainer at Harbin Medical University in China, Universidade de Caxias do Sul in Brazil, and Taegu Catholic University in South Korea.
Elisa Day
Business Support Specialist II
Phone: 816-235-5435
Elisa has lived and worked throughout the US and in Brussels, Belgium. She has a master’s in Higher Education Administration and in Photojournalism from the University of Missouri and a bachelor’s in Russian from the University of Kansas. Elisa handles ALI’s scholarships and is the person to contact for questions about tuition and fees and other money matters.
Blair Lacy
Academic Advisor
Phone: 816-235-1149
Blair graduated from Missouri State University in 2014 with double majors in Global Studies and French. While an undergrad, she studied abroad for two semesters in Nice, France. After graduating, she picked up everything and moved to Japan to work as an English teacher in two high schools on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She originally only planned to stay one year but fell in love with the country so much, she ended up staying for three!
Chelsey Butts
Student Support Specialist II
Phone: 816-235-5405
Chelsey Butts graduated from the University of Kansas in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in TESOL and a minor in Linguistics. Before joining the ALI, she taught English as a second language at the University of Kansas’ Applied English Center.
Isabela Felipe dos Guimarães
Isabela is an international student from Brazil studying Psychology. Her first experince as an international student was in Canada, where she spent her senior year of high school. That led her to come to the ALI to study English. She loved UMKC so much that she decided to stay for her undergraduate degree. After she graduates, she plans on getting her Master's in Counseling from UMKC.

ALI faculty

Tammy Adams
Phone: 816-235-1186
Before joining the ALI in 2005, Tammy completed her ESL Certification at the University of Texas, Arlington, and she worked with international and immigrant students through non-profit organizations, high schools, and community colleges.
Kate DeBenedetti
Phone: 816-235-5139
Kate holds a Master’s in TESOL from Canterbury Christ Church University in Canterbury, England and an ICELT Certificate (In-Service Certificate in English Language Teaching) from the British Council. She has been teaching at the ALI for many years and has taught basic to advanced students. Prior to teaching at the ALI, Kate taught at the Language School of the University of Guanajuato in Mexico. While there she taught in a variety of university settings, including to English language students and as a teacher trainer in the BA, TESOL program. She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled to several Spanish-speaking countries.
Stephen Holland-Wempe
Phone: 816-235-5438
Steve has 25 years of experience in international education in Latin America, Asia and the United States, conducting teacher trainings, and teaching both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. His specialty area is Cross-Cultural and Diversity Studies, included as well in interdisciplinary Discourse. In addition, he has taught ESOL, Spanish, and French. Of his publications, he is an award winning translator. His Ph.D. studies research focus is Intercultural Transitions between Latin America and the United States.
Clint Hughes
Phone: 816-235-5136
Clint has lived and worked abroad in China and Taiwan for two years, and directed Intrax International Institute for six years before joining the ALI.
Janine O'Shea
Adjunct Instructor
Phone: 816-235-5138
Janine has her B.A in Human Resources from the University of Kansas and a Masters in Business Administration from Rockhurst University. She completed her Masters in TESOL at UMKC in 2012. Janine has been with the ALI since 2010. She has taught in South Korea and has taught in Brazil through the State Department's Partners in Americas program. Prior to working at UMKC, Janine worked for Fortune 100 companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Lucent Technologies, where she was responsible for developing technology solutions for businesses and managing multi-discipline teams.
Michael Turner
Phone: 816-235-5138
Michael Turner graduated from Truman State University in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in English and from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon with a Master’s degree in Linguistics in 1999. Michael’s interests include interlanguage phonology and computer assisted language learning.