Olympic Athlete to Teach Westminster's New ESL Classes
Zuzana Tomas from Slovakia has been hired to help develop the college’s new ESL program
SALT LAKE CITY – An Olympic athlete who is currently competing in Beijing, will begin teaching English as a second language to Chinese students, as well as other foreign students, at Westminster this fall.
Zuzana Tomas, a marathon runner who is competing in this year’s Beijing’s Summer Olympics as part of the Slovakian Olympic team, was recently hired as an adjunct professor by Westminster’s School of Arts and Sciences to teach two of the college’s new English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
Over the past few years, the number of international students at Westminster has increased significantly, due in part to the college’s recent partnership with Nankai University in Beijing, as well as the establishment of programs like the new intercollegiate ski and snowboard team that has attracted students from countries like Norway, Latvia, Italy and France.
This will be the first year that the college has offered ESL classes, and Tomas will be responsible for developing the course curriculum. Additionally, Tomas has been working with a campus committee that is looking to create a comprehensive ESL program at the school.
"I am very excited to start working for Westminster College in the fall,” said Tomas. “As someone who had to learn English as a second language myself, I feel I can really relate to my students' challenges and concerns.”
As both an athlete and an ESL professor, Tomas seems like the perfect fit for Westminster.
“I think Zuzana will be an excellent addition to our Westminster community,” said Dr. Mary Jane Chase, Dean of Westminster’s School of Arts and Sciences. “With her background and skills, she is a great choice to help develop our new ESL curriculum. As an athlete, she will fit in well with our tradition of supporting world-class athletes, like the 40+ students on the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team.”
Tomas was passed up for the 2004 Olympics in Greece, and was recently notified via e-mail that she had been selected for the 2008 games in Beijing. She is only the second woman in Slovakian history to break 2:40 in a marathon. She will compete for this year’s Olympics on Aug. 17.
Westminster is a nationally recognized, comprehensive liberal arts college. With a broad array of graduate and undergraduate programs, Westminster is distinguished by its unique environment for learning. Westminster prepares students for success through active and engaged learning, real world experiences and its vibrant campus community. Westminster’s unique location, adjacent to the Rocky Mountains and to the dynamic city of Salt Lake, further enriches the college experience. For more information visit www.westminstercollege.edu.