Choose your direction at Gadsden State! Apply Now!

Gadsden State Community College

Alabama Language Institute




Elise Harbin has taught English to international students for almost 20 years. During her career, she has taught in Japan and Brazil, studied more than five different languages and worked with students from over 90 different countries and from the ages of 12 to 70. In 2011, she received the Brenda Crowe Exceptional Achievement in Teaching Award from Gadsden State and  received an Alabama Community College System Award of Excellence as part of the Class of 2011 Chancellor’s Awards. She has an MA-TESOL degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

"I love that as I teach and help students I can learn so much because each student brings his or her own culture, experience and knowledge to the classroom."


Alexis McLean has a Master of Arts (M.A.) in ESL Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).  She has over a decade of experience living and working abroad, as well as experience working as a Program Manager for international students visiting UAB.  A lover of international travel and cultural exchange, she has lived in Dakar, Senegal and London, UK and is fluent in French and Spanish.  Her favorite courses to teach are Speaking/Listening and Grammar.

“My favorite aspect of my job is that every day presents a new set of challenges.  Each student brings a unique background and set of skills to the classroom, and it’s fun to help them connect with English.”


Melia Barnhill earned a Master of Arts degree in English from Western Kentucky University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Murray State University.  She has been teaching for 24 years and has taught full time in the English Department at Gadsden State for the last 22.

“The best part of my career is teaching a subject I love to students who truly want to learn.  I have been very fortunate to work with students from diverse backgrounds over the years, and I truly appreciate the fact that my students teach me as much as I teach them.”


Ron Bagby received his Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in English from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of Houston.  Born and raised in the German-Italian influenced southernmost state of Brazil, he came to the United States at the age of eighteen and found his second home in ALI.


"After more than thirty years of teaching over nine thousand ESL students, I still feel that everyday is a fresh, new experience in an atmosphere of unequaled job satisfaction and continuous enlightenment of the benefits that international exchanges provide for this world."  



Patti Wilborn has a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in TESOL from the University of Alabama as well as a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in German Literature and Language from the University of South Carolina. She has taught English in the Slovak Republic and Brazil. Her favorite courses to teach are grammar and conversation.

"My interest in learning language and exploring other cultures has brought me to the profession of teaching English to non-native speakers. For me, being a good teacher means approaching the classroom as a place where I not only teach students English, but also learn from the knowledge and experiences that students bring with them.


Ashton Gray, Language Lab Assistant


Brian Jones, Language Lab Assistant