MA Alumni Spotlight: Marcel Daniels

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What are you doing these days?
I am currently working as an English Language Lecturer at the American Language Institute (ALI) at NYU Shanghai, NYU’s most recent international language center providing English as a foreign language instruction for academic and professional purposes. As a faculty member, I design and teach courses and handle standard related administrative responsibilities. I am also the coordinator of our professional English program, which involves proposing and developing Business English related courses, establishing partnerships in the professional community, and advising the adjunct faculty teaching courses within my division of the ALI.
What do you enjoy the most about your current job/studies?
As this is the first academic year of our program at NYU Shanghai, we are building from the ground up. The responsibility and challenge of being the first to design the curriculum, hire instructors, and set the general direction of the program is an exciting opportunity and one of the major reasons I was attracted to this position.
How did the Department of Applied Linguistics/ESL prepare you for this?
Having been a graduate student, graduate teaching assistant, and visiting lecturer within the department, the many years of being able to learn from and observe the outstanding faculty best prepared me for my current position. Being able to “talk shop” with my former instructors and new colleagues granted me access to a trove of insight which spanned across almost every aspect of language instruction and research imaginable. I came to my new position full of confidence and capability.
What are your long term goals?
I plan on extending my international experience further while continuing my research within the areas of pronunciation/phonology and teacher training. I hope to gradually shift the focus of my teaching from second language learners to teachers and publish some books based on my research and experience across the years.
What do you miss most about GSU?
I earned both my undergraduate and master’s degree GSU – the school has been a part of my life for many years. I think what I miss the most about GSU is bearing witness to the change and evolution of the school – both in physical expansion and program-wise. I’ve seen many buildings go up and down, parcels of land acquired, and programs develop during my time and am aware of some of the upcoming plans. I miss being able to see the day-to-day development of the university and the new benefits they afford the next generation of students, faculty, and staff.
What advice would you give current UG/MA/PhD students based on your experiences?
I would advise current Panthers to spend more time with their fellow classmates and maintain close connections. Collaborate, exchange ideas, and network with people in your program and others. If you are offered the opportunity to do some field related work, participate in a project, or assist a professor with some research, you should take advantage for both the experience and the opportunity to learn first hand from others. All work is experience. Time is an extremely valuable commodity, especially for graduate students, but experience reigns supreme.