American Language & Culture Institute at CSU, Chico

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American Language and Culture Institute ~ ALCI Chico

Regional & Continuing Education
California State University, Chico
400 West First Street
Chico, California USA 95929-0250

• E-mail: alci@csuchico.edu

• Telephone: 530-898-6821

• Fax: 530-898-5668

Our Faculty & Staff

William Dantona, Director

ALCI Director William DantonaWilliam Dantona has been the Director of the American Language and Culture Institute, at California State University (CSU) Chico, since 2006. He has nearly 20 years of experience working with international students and professionals—always with the central goal of promoting peace and prosperity through purposeful engagement across cultures.

Dantona is International Studies adjunct faculty in the International Literatures, Languages and Cultures department at CSU, Chico and has also taught Communications in Business in the CSU, Chico College of Business. In support of the intensive English program field, he sits on the executive board of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (English USA) as Past President.

Prior to his CSU, Chico affiliation, Dantona was full-time language specialist at the University of Pennsylvania’s English Language Programs where he coordinated the Summer Institute for International Business Students pre-MBA program.

Before UPENN, Dantona was at the School for International Training (SIT) and World Learning for Business (WLfB) where he had been serving as an academic preparation and corporate language trainer as well as a workforce language proficiency consultant. He has conducted language training for graduate-level international students as well high-potential executives from international corporate and governmental entities, including ABN-AMRO Bank, JPMorgan-Chase, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, McKinsey Consultants Group, KEPCO, Toyota, Goldman-Sachs and Proctor & Gamble.

William has also been engaged in secondary and post-secondary instruction (University of Puerto Rico, Greenfield Community College, Massachusetts) and graduate-level teacher-training research in both US and international settings. After completing coursework and a two-year research program in Nepal, William earned his M.A.T. from SIT in 1998. He completed the Wharton School of Business Management Program in 2004. He now makes his home in Chico, California with his wife, and two daughters.

Chris Brands, Academic Coordinator & ESL Instructor

Chris Brands is ALCI's Academic Coordinator and ESL InstructorPrior to working at ALCI Chico, Chris lived in Paris and taught ESL at a language institute while she earned her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) Certificate from Rutgers University. Her professional career also includes work as a Vocational ESL instructor in the San Francisco Bay area, as she taught English to international employees at Yahoo, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco Systems.

Chris earned her B.A. in Liberal Studies, with a minor in French, and an M.A. in Teaching International Languages (TESOL), with a minor in linguistics, from California State University, Chico.

Chris’s passion for teaching international students stems from her love of languages and fascination with world cultures. Her mother is a French teacher, and when Chris was a child, her mother received a Fulbright fellowship to teach in France. Chris spent her third grade year in France going to a French school. There she was able to acquire another language and engage in another culture. From that time on, her life has been full of multiple languages and travel.

Chris adores teaching international students because she feels like she learns just as much from them as they do from her.

Edmée Mohnike, ALCI Student Services Coordinator

Edmée Mohnike is the ALCI Student Services CoordinatorA native of France, Edmée Mohnike grew up in the Lorraine region and later moved to Paris to receive her degree in communications. She first studied in the U.S. at the age of 16, and has since enjoyed helping students from around the world study abroad at public universities and private language schools including ACCENT and Advancia in Paris. She has also managed international events for the U.S. Embassy in France, and for the international accounting firm Ernst & Young.

As ALCI’s Student Services Coordinator, Edmée can assist you with your program registration, your visa, health and safety concerns, and the logistics of getting acclimated in a new country. Northern California and Chico have a lot to offer - from incredible natural beauty to an engaged arts community - Edmée’s here to help you discover our area through a variety of social events and local activities. She can help you find the resources you need to become more autonomous and comfortable during your stay in Chico.

Edmée first visited Chico in 2008, and quickly fell in love with its relaxed lifestyle and friendly population. In 2012 she married a California native and made Chico her home. She’s a “foodie” who enjoys finding new ways to prepare classic French dishes with local California ingredients, and a fan of music as either a spectator or performer at local live music events.

Recreation Counselors and Student Staff

The ALCI Chico program benefits from the hard work of our student recreational counselors and staff. This team of CSU, Chico student assistants help out in the ALCI office and serve as recreation leaders and advisors to the ALCI students. Rec leaders provide general assistance to our students through peer-support and facilitate structured learning and leisure activities. We encourage you to meet our rec leaders and get involved with the many activities we have planned.

Kezia Paghunie, ALCI Recreation LeaderKezia Paghunie is from Antioch, California, which is located 40 minutes northeast of San Francisco. She began her studies at Chico State in 2014 and is majoring in Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management with the intent of working in the event and technology industry. Kezia became a part of ALCI in 2015 and has been a recreation counselor for almost 2 years. As a recreation counselor, Kezia loves helping international students get immersed in the American culture and enjoys planning events where students can make new friends and create new memories to bring home with them. When Kezia is not at school or working, she loves to hike, do yoga, try new foods, travel, and volunteer for different events and non-profit organizations.

Sierra Storm, ALCI Recreation LeaderSierra Storm is from Eureka, Humboldt County, California. She began her studies at Chico State in 2016, majoring in Business Management, with the intention of holding a management position within a company. Sierra joined ALCI in August, 2017 as the ALCI United Soccer co-coach and just recently became a recreation counselor in December as well. As a recreation counselor, she helps the international students feel at home and at ease in Chico. She enjoys learning about new cultures and languages from students all around the world. Sierra is currently a member of Phi Chi Theta, a business organization that brings students with all different backgrounds together to focus on building a strong future of opportunities. Through this Sierra found her passion to hopefully study abroad in the future to learn about business models abroad. Sierra’s hobbies include playing soccer, exercising, hiking, exploring in nature, and meeting new people!

Paige Roberts is from Placerville, California, which is located between Lake Tahoe and Sacramento. She began her studies at Chico State in 2016 and is working on a masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She intends to eventually open her own counseling practice where she works with children and couples. Paige became a part of ALCI in 2016 and has been a student assistant for almost 2 years. Paige is excited to point students in the right direction and assist ALCI students in feeling welcome and a part of the Chico community. She runs the Conversation Partner Program, where domestic students are matched with ALCI students and get to make friendships that last a lifetime. On her free time, Paige enjoys riding her horse, painting, exercising, hiking, and being outdoors. 

Navpreet Atwal is from San Jose, California located in the
beautiful South Bay, and has attended Chico State since 2012. She joined
the ALCI staff September, 2012 as a student assistant. Her daily duties
include processing applications, answering phone calls, and assisting
students in questions or concerns they may have. Navpreet plans to
graduate from Chico State with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become
a nurse practitioner. When she is not in the ALCI office or studying
for a class, Navpreet likes to spend time reading, cooking,
volunteering, and chatting with friends. Navpreet is fluent in Punjabi,
Hindi, Spanish, and English. She hopes to one day travel the world,
putting her knowledge and experience to use!
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