Faculty and Staff

Meg Cooney, Director

Meg Cooney holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.Ed. in teaching English to speakers of other languages from Boston University. She has been teaching English as a second language in a variety of schools and programs since 1986, and has been in ESL program development and administration at the University of Bridgeport since 1993. She has traveled to Mexico, Canada, Great Britian, Spain, Italy, Greece, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China and Jordan and lived for periods of time in Great Britain, India, and Nepal.

“It’s so interesting trying to understand how to help students learn a language and it’s completely satisfying seeing students from different countries becoming friends with each other and building connections throughout the world. My goal for ELI is that teachers have high expectations for students and give them lots of support in reaching their goals and that students, teachers, and staff enjoy the time we have together and learn from each other.”
E-mail Prof.Cooney at esl@bridgeport.edu.

Jennie Farnell, Assistant Director

Jennie Farnell holds a MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of New England, Armidale, Australia. She has been teaching ESL / EFL for 16 years to all levels and ages of students, from the wilds of Japanese junior high school to slightly tamer American university students. She has worked in program administration since 2010, where she specializes in professional development, curriculum design, and student advising. Her passion, other than teaching, is teacher training and development and teaching students with special needs.

“I wasn’t a particularly good student in school because I was always bored. My goal in the classroom is to create opportunities for students to learn the material in ways they find personally meaningful. I believe that all students can do amazing things when engaged and curious and that one of my responsibilities as a teacher is to provide conditions which stimulate personalized learning. Part of the joy of teaching EFL/ESL is in seeing students from so many different cultures and learning environments collaborate, engage, and produce in a second language.”

E-mail Prof. Farnell at jfarnell@bridgeport.edu

Steven M. Rashba, Senior Instructor

Steven Rashba has taught English as a second language and Business English since 1991. He has also had a successful career in private business, most recently as Vice President of a stock broker/dealer firm. He holds a Bachelor’s in economics and languages,  a professional designation  in Risk  Management/Financing (ARM) through the American Institute, and a certificate in Supervisory Management (SM).

He has served as an instructor, activities coordinator, and program coordinator in English language programs and lived in Israel for two years, becoming fluent in Hebrew. He has also studied French, Spanish, and Arabic.

He brings to the classroom a love of teaching, a sense of humor, and great concern for the individual needs of his students. All his students know that their success is his goal.

“I particularly love teaching here because I see people become close friends with students from different countries. What a great place to learn! I love my job because I have the opportunity to meet and help people from all over the world. I really enjoy watching students get more and more comfortable with English and with their student lives here.”

E-mail Prof. Rashba at stevenr@bridgeport.edu.

Karen L. Howling, Senior Instructor

Prof. Howling has 25 years teaching college age students English as a foreign or second language in the United States and in the Middle East. She has a Master’s degree in applied linguistics from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in counseling education from Portland State University. She is fluent in German as she studied and worked in southern Germany. Having lived in the Middle East for 18 years, she has had the opportunity to travel throughout that region of the world plus Europe and the Far East. Prof. Howling’s affection for her students is obvious and her classes are extremely well planned and creative.

“I enjoy watching students from different countries communicate with one another in English. It is exciting to see them learn about each other’s culture and build long-lasting friendships. It is gratifying to see the faces of students when they realize they “can do it” – they can form those sentences, they can write those essays, and they can debate controversial topics.”
E-mail Prof. Howling at khowling@bridgeport.edu.