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

International Development and Regional & Continuing Education Programs
Faculty of International Studies

William Dantona has more than 25 years of experience working with international students and professionals—always with the central goal of promoting peace and prosperity through purposeful engagement across cultures. At California State University (CSU) Chico, Dantona is International Studies faculty in the International Literatures, Languages and Cultures department. Dantona also serves as the Director of International Development in the Office of the Vice President for University Advancement and directs International Programs in Regional & Continuing Education which includes the American Language and Culture Institute (ALCI), Faculty-led Study Abroad and self-support international programs.

Previously, Dantona served as the Director of ALCI from 2006 to 2017 and has also taught Communications in Business in the CSU, Chico College of Business. In support of the intensive English program field, he has had a seat on the executive board of the American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP) and is a 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

Prior 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

A 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 is 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.

Alisa Plath, Administrative Coordinator

Alisa joined the ALCI team in March 2018, shortly after moving to Chico from Sonoma County, California. She received a B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Mills College in Oakland, California, and an M.A. in International Development from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. During her time as a college student, she spent three semesters studying abroad in the Netherlands, Italy, and Thailand, and traveled extensively during that time. The opportunity to travel and explore the world as a part of her education cemented Alisa’s love of exploring new cultures and she believes it can be a powerful addition to classroom learning. Working at ALCI is an opportunity for her to help facilitate that for international students looking for similar experiences in the United States. Prior to starting at ALCI, Alisa worked and volunteered in a variety of nonprofit organizations both in the United States and abroad.

In her free time, Alisa is an avid hiker and backpacker. After completing a 700-mile solo backpacking trip on the east coast of the United States in 2015, she is committed to exploring more of her home country and looks forward to having many more outdoor adventures in the future. She also spends her time working in the garden and taking her dog out on adventures.

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.

Lauren Meichtry is a local from Chico, California. She has studied at Chico State since 2017, majoring in visual communication studies. Lauren joined ALCI in 2018 as a recreation counselor, helping international students feel at home and expanding their experience in American culture. Lauren is also involved in ETS, a campus club that supports low-income and first generation students, and volunteers her weekends with the Tiny House Club, a campus group that advocates and builds temporary housing for the homeless. Lauren’s experiences have helped her to discover a desire to study abroad and choose a career that gives back to the community. In her free time she enjoys trying new things, making art, watching movies, and meeting new people.

Julie Gentle is from Humboldt County located at the very top of California. She started studying here at Chico State in 2016 and is majoring in Communication Studies. Julie became a part of ALCI in 2018 as a recreation counselor. She went through a similar program as ALCI when she studied abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico for three months in 2015. She has a passion for learning about different cultures. On her free time Julie enjoys exploring Bidwell Park, camping, hanging out with friends and going to concerts.

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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