Staff and Faculty

Staff and Faculty

Staff

Patrick O’Rourke, Ed.D.

Pat currently serves as the Director of the California State University, Long Beach Language Training Center Initiative. As a 22-year Army veteran, he served in a variety of assignments as a special operations officer, China foreign area officer, associate dean and operations officer at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, and Professor of Military Science at the University of Southern California. In 2011, he and several foreign language faculty piloted the CSULB Language Training Center initiative. Dr. O’Rourke previously served as the director of veterans affairs at the Office of the Chancellor of the California State University system from 2013 to 2018.

José Brassea, M.A.

José is the CSULB LTC Assistant Program Director overseeing enrollment management, assessment, and general operations of the program. He is a Navy Veteran who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics from CSULB. José speaks Spanish fluently and is interested in legal, medical, and financial translation and interpretation. He has been a contractor at Google through an agency to provide Spanish expertise. His previous consulting in translation and interpretation has included law professors, law firms, and film documentaries. José received his Master of Arts in Linguistics from the CSULB Linguistics program in 2021.

Ann Kinsey, M.P.A.

Ann is the CSULB Language Training Center Initiative Administrative and Financial Specialist. She has worked on the Language Training Center since 2013. Since that time, Ann has provided critical support for all administrative and financial transactions with the Office of the Dean, the CSULB Foundation, and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. As a campus employee, she has also worked in the Economics department, the Communication Studies department, and is currently working for the Academic Senate as an Administrative Analyst and Assistant to the Chair. Ann holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Communication and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration.  

 

Faculty

Dr. Ruixi Ai

Dr. Ruixi “Ressy” Ai received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in June 2006. After that, he served as a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University for half a year while doing his post doc research. He joined Defense Language Institute (Foreign Language Center) as an Assistant Professor in Spring 2007. Dr. Ai worked there for two years before he joined California State University at Long Beach in Fall 2009. He is currently the Associate Professor and Director for the Chinese Studies Program at CSULB.

Dr. Shahrzad Zahedi

Dr. Shahrzad Zahedi is currently teaching French language courses as Adjunct and Associate Faculty at Palomar and MiraCosta Community Colleges. She received her Ph.D. in French Studies from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 2009. Her thesis title was “Women Healers Crossing Gender Role Boundaries in Old French Narrative.” She has more than 12 years of experience teaching face-to-face, and hybrid courses. In addition to continuing to teach at various community colleges in the San Diego and Los Angeles counties, Dr. Shahrzad Zahedi has taught all levels of the French language for various private companies on a contract basis. She has also recently translated the deceased author, researcher, and Professor Marcel Hénaff’s book La ville qui vient from French to Persian. Dr. Zahedi’s true passion is teaching the French language to college students. She makes it her goal to be there for students and guide them on their path to master the language.

Ms. Dina Mokhnatkin, M.A.

Dina is a Professor of Russian Language Studies and the Director of the Russian Language and Culture immersion program STARTALK at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She is a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, with extensive experience in teaching all levels of Russian language, literature, culture, and civilization courses in both Russia and the United States.  Professor Mokhnatkin received her degrees in Russian Language, Literature and Culture from the State University in Leningrad, Russia and was a research fellow in Art and Architecture at the St. Petersburg Museum of History as well as lecturer in the methodology of teaching Russian as a second language at the State Pedagogical Institute in St. Petersburg.  For the past ten years, Professor Mokhnatkin has been the Director of the SLI Russian Immersion Program and the STARTALK program at CSUN.  In addition, she has been the head of a study abroad program for students in Russia for the past seven years, organizing and coordinating an agreement between California State University, Northridge, and the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow, Russia. Under her leadership, the program has become coveted throughout the United States and known for its focus, structure, and unprecedented results in achieving fluency in the Russian language.  Alumni of the program have gone on to employ the Russian language in their future endeavors, from translating at the Russian Winter Olympics in Sochi to working in environmental research at Lake Baikal to teaching English in Russia at the University level while on Fullbright Scholarship. Professor Mokhnatkin’s passion has been in the field of methodology of teaching the Russian language for non-native speakers. Dina Mokhnatkin’s goal is to present and teach language in a manner that broadens students’ knowledge while simultaneously deepening their understanding of the cultural richness of Russia and its influence on the world today.

Mr. Carlos Mayerstein, M.A.

Carlos is a Spanish instructor at the CSULB Language Training Center. recent graduate of CSULB’s Spanish master’s program, he received BA in international relations and history from Universidad de las Américas Puebla, México. Besides his experience as lecturer of undergraduate online and face-to-face Spanish courses aCSULB, he worked for over 3 years as one-on-one tutor on campus. He combines communicative and task-based pedagogical approaches to enhance his students linguistic aptitudes whilcultivating their knowledge about diversSpanishspeaking cultures. He has also worked as a translator. His areas of research have included the transatlantic slave trade in the 18th century and female representation in Latin American literature.  

Ms. Liya Ao, M.A.

Liya is a native Chinese Mandarin speaker who received her degree in Chinese pedagogy from CSULB. Her area of interest was Chinese dystopian literature. Ms. Ao has taught Chinese language courses as Adjunct faculty at Cypress College Dual Enrollment Program. She is currently teaching Chinese language at CSULB. Ms. Ao has been an instructional assistant at the CSULB LTC intensive course since 2017 and has taught the online Chinese mentor program since 2018. She has translated Chinese documentaries for English speaking audiences and worked as a news editor for World Journal for two years. She is currently working on furthering her abilities by pursuing a higher degree in Chinese Linguistics and Literature. Her passion lies in Chinese language instruction. Her goal is to provide the world a better understanding of the Chinese language, people, and culture.