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English Language Programs Panel on Empowering Compassionate ELT Professionals

English Language Programs is a proud sponsor of the 2023 BELPaF Virtual Symposium.

​Join us virtually on Saturday, July 22, at 1:00 pm ET for a​ dynamic panel discussion hosted by the Office of English Language Programs on Empowering Compassionate ELT Professionals featuring current participants, program alumni, and Department of State staff. Mark your calendars for this unique event, and click here to register. Read more about the panelists below. We look forward to seeing you there! 


Walter Henderson

An advocate of educational development, U.S. public diplomacy, and mutual understanding through cultural exchange, Walter Henderson has assisted U.S. Embassies worldwide in delivering curriculum design, needs analyses, instructional materials, teacher training programs, and plenary addresses. His accomplishments include successful collaborations with numerous ministries of education, bilateral commissions, and foreign educational institutions. Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State, Henderson has performed as Senior English Language Fellow with the Ministry of Public Education of Mexico and the Fulbright Commission of Ecuador and has acted as English Language Specialist with assignments to Saudi Arabia, Northern Mexico, Panama, Chile, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic. Henderson also directed educational development programs with USAID in Egypt and the Ministries of Education and Labor in the United Arab Emirates. He has made significant contributions to ELT publishing in the roles of publisher, author, and editor as well.

Ollie Rashid

For ten years, Ollie Rashid has taught English language learners in the United States, Spain, and several African countries. She is currently an assistant professor at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington, Kentucky, where she also coordinates the ESL program. Rashid is the incoming vice-president of Kentucky TESOL. From 2017 to 2019, she was an English Language Fellow in Conakry, Guinea where she taught at the University of Kofi Annan and completed impactful Embassy-based projects.

Before becoming an ESL professional, Rashid worked in the technology arena for fifteen years. She completed undergraduate studies at the University of Mississippi and earned an MA in TESOL and an MBA in management information systems from the University of Memphis. An advocate of professional development among language practitioners, Rashid has presented at international and regional TESOL conferences. 

Bethany Vanderhorst

 Bethany Ruth Vanderhorst is an English Instructor in Alicante, Spain and a Virtual Educator who has worked with pre-service teachers in Agadir, El Jadida, and Tangier, Morocco. Before Bethany became an English Instructor she graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in International Studies and explored different careers. In 2015, she took a leap of chance and moved to Madrid, Spain to receive her TEFL and start her teaching career. Over the past eight years, Bethany has taught at schools, academies, and homes as well as earned a Master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education. Another accomplishment for her occurred in 2021 when Bethany became a VELF with English Language Programs and had the opportunity to instruct Moroccan pre-service teachers in the course, “Professional Ethics and Values in Education. In the following year, she taught Moroccan pre-service teachers, “Intercultural Awareness” and in the winter and spring of 2023 she taught Moroccan pre-service teachers, “TEFL Methods”. Bethany’s involvement with English Language Programs presented her the opportunity to attend TESOL International Convention Portland where she met numerous colleagues and ESL teachers from around the world. At the convention, she spoke about being an African American woman teaching English abroad and how to integrate Intercultural Awareness into each lesson. In the future, Bethany hopes to work in a capacity where she can bridge cultural gaps in and out of the classroom through life changing immersive activities.

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This is a program of the U.S. Department of State, administered by Georgetown University, Center for Intercultural Education and Development.

All decisions related to participant terms (including candidate review, selection, funding, suspension, revocation, and termination) and all criteria related thereto are made and established by the U.S. Department of State.