Teachers and Staff


Thomas Upton, Ph.D - Director

Jordan Gusich - Assistant Director for Academic Affairs

Cindy Carr - Assistant Director for Student Affairs


Katherine Barrus has been teaching English since 2013. She has a Master's degree in TESOL & Applied Linguistics and has previously taught at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates as well as Indiana University's Intensive English Program. Katherine enjoys reading, hiking, playing video games, and spending time with her husband and cat.

Kate Brinkmeyer has been teaching at PIE since 2017. She holds a Master’s degree in English Studies and Communication as well as a TESOL Certification. Her specialization is in advanced-level academic writing. Kate has studied Spanish, French, and Japanese, and she hopes to learn conversational Russian or Chinese. When she’s not teaching, Kate enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, and hopes to one day publish a science fiction novel.

Carrie Brodnik has been an instructor at PIE since 2015. She's been teaching English and working with international students of all ages for over 20 years.  Carrie has a Master's degree in Language Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring national parks with her husband and children.

Cynthia Carr helped develop the PIE and has taught from the first session in 2015. She holds a Master’s degree in English with a concentration in TESOL and a certificate in Teaching Writing. Cindy has lived abroad in Venezuela, Germany, and Norway and has studied Spanish, German, and Norwegian. She enjoys learning about other languages and cultures, hiking, and gardening.

Lauren Carter has been teaching at the PIE since 2016. She graduated in 2016 with a Master's in English with concentrations in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. She studies Spanish and Japanese and hopes to begin studying Arabic soon. Lauren's favorite subject to teach at the PIE is writing. She enjoys playing the piano, reading books on history and science, and walking her dog, Shezza.

Jordan Gusich helped develop the PIE from the beginning. He has been teaching English since 2006 in all corners of the world, including Ukraine, Serbia, Korea, China, and Arkansas. Jordan is passionate about helping students and working with teachers. When he isn’t at the PIE, he likes to play basketball at the gym and go on adventures with his wife and son. 

Kendall Ludwig has been teaching at the PIE since 2015. He holds a CELTA certification and is pursuing a Master's degree in TESOL. He has taught English abroad in Korea, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Kendall is also a folk musician who plays guitar, lap dulcimer, and sings in two bands: an alt-country band called Antenna Man and The Yellow Kites with his wife Erina.

Mimoza Rista-Dema has been teaching at the PIE since 2016. She holds a Master’s degree in TESOL and Applied Linguistics and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University in Bloomington. She specializes in the teaching of grammar, reading, and writing and is interested in discourse analysis. Mimoza has taught in Albania and, in addition to speaking Albanian, she has some proficiency in Russian, Serbian, and Croatian.

Raeeka Sadri

Brenna Shepherd has been teaching at the PIE since 2016, when she moved to Indiana from California. She holds a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics with a concentration in TESOL and specializes in reading and academic writing. Brenna has studied Spanish, German, and Portuguese and has lived in Spain and traveled in China, Germany, and other parts of Europe. She enjoys travel, gardening, and cooking.


Tutors and Class Assistants

  • Sarah Grace Fraser
  • Erin Miller

Regional Assistants

  • Elif Ekser - Turkey
  • Daisy Xian - China

International Peer Mentors for 2016/17:

  • Jingru "Ruth" Qu from China
  • Morrent "Mor" Thang from Myanmar




"I really like the atmosphere at IUPUI for its sense of brotherhood and its devotion to helping students."

Eyad, Saudi Arabia