Paul Aoki
Principal Investigator

Paul Aoki is a native of Seattle and is Director of the University of Washington Language Learning Center which works collaboratively with more than fifty language programs that are offered at the UW. His PhD is in theoretical linguistics and has been able to study a half-dozen languages from around the world including German, Japanese, French, and Russian. Before coming to work at the UW in 1988, he worked for the federal government on a variety of joint agency projects focused on language pedagogy, assessment, maintenance, and technology. Over the past 25 years at the UW, he has been Principal Investigator on over a dozen grants and contracts ranging from Bangla to Farsi to Russian totaling over $1.5M. He considers himself very fortunate to work with an exceptionally talented and collaborative team of experts for the third summer Startalk Russian programs for teachers and students at the UW.

Michele Aoki
Startalk Program Consultant on Integration and Innovation

Dr. Michele Anciaux Aoki, World Languages Program Supervisor for the State of Washington, has a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics and taught Russian at the University of Washington for a number of years. For the past dozen years she has been actively involved in the planning, implementing, and evaluating of K-12 language immersion pror since 2008, she has served as World Languages Program Supervisor at the Washington State Office of Public Insruction, where she provides world language support to 295 public school districts and professional development for world language teachers across the state. During that time she has worked with the Professional Educator Standards Board on the implementation of new state tests for teachers to earn world language endorsements, and with the State Board of Education and Washington State School Directors Association on developing and implementing a model policy and procedure for Competency-Based Credits to award high school credits to students with demonstrated language proficiency. In 2009, Dr. Michele Aoki worked with the ACE STARTALK project on teacher preparation for planning and implementing curricula aligned to STARTALK goals in Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. In 2011, she was the Program Director for the UW Russian STARTALK Teacher and Student Programs and in 2012, Program Director for the Teacher Program.

Veronika Egorova
Teacher and Student Programs Director

Veronika has recently graduated from the UW Slavic Department with a Ph.D. in Slavic Linguistics. In addition to her Ph.D. she was one of the first graduate students to earn Graduate Certificate in Second and Foreign Teaching. A Russian native speaker, she is an experienced teacher who has taught Russian in both the US and Russia. She has worked with different age groups and program intensity levels. She taught a number of Russian and Slavic linguistics courses, coordinated an intensive summer program at UW, as well as taught at Smolny College in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Veronika’s excellent organizational skills allow her to juggle multiple commitments while making each one a priority. She is easily accessible and willing to listen to any concerns. In the Sochi, Russia, Exploration seminar, she was both teaching Russian and dealing with administrative tasks. In 2012, she participated in the Heritage Language Research Institute at UCLA. That year she also helped to lead ‘STEM and Heritage Speakers’ workshop in the WAFLT conference in the fall 2012 and was accepted to present at 2013 ACTFL conference on how to build a successful language program with a strong STEM component through collaboration with community resources and museums.
Veronika also participated in all three UW STARTALK programs in 2011, 2012 and 2013. During STARTALK 2012, she was a participant of the Teacher Program as well as taught the use of technology in Teacher and Student Programs. In 2013, she was the Program Director for the UW Russian STARTALK Teacher Program.

Vinton Eberly
Teacher Program Lead Instructor

Vinton Eberly has taught Russian in a number of settings, and currently teaches Russian at Central Valley High School in Spokane Valley, WA. He also teaches English Language Development classes to immigrant students and serves as an ELD specialist for the district. His Russian teaching experience includes both high school and adult interest evening classes in Russian. He previously taught in a distance learning via satellite setting, with students ranging from Alaska to Arizona. He holds a B.A. in Russian Language and Linguistics from the University of Washington and a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University.
Vinton also teaches an ELL methodology class as an adjunct instructor for Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. He served on the committees that developed Washington State’s new West E exams for Designated World Languages and Bilingual ELL endorsements. He has served on numerous ELD committees at the state level and has presented on a number of ELD topics at state conferences.
Vinton has participated in several exchange programs for American Russian teachers in Russia, most recently in 2010 as a member of the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad through the CREES program at the University of Michigan. He was a participant of the 2012 teacher program of the University of Washington’s Russian STARTALK Program

Svetlana Abramova
Student Program Lead Instructor

A native speaker of Russian. Svetlana Abramova received her Ph.D. in Russian Language and Methodology from the Moscow State Pedagogical University. She is an experienced teacher, who has taught Russian to both native and non-native Russian students in Russia and the USA. For more than ten years she has worked as a teacher with high school students specializing in physics and mathematics, which sets high requirements on students’ competence in wide range of social registers of Russian, including the academic style. Her teaching practice, as well as her research interests, are specifically oriented to learner-centered pedagogical techniques, such as research projects in Russian language, which are the main subject of her Ph.D. thesis and a monograph, published by the major Russian educational publishing house “Prosveshchenie”. Constantly interested in her professional development, she has been participating in many conferences, seminars, and trainings. In 2011, Svetlana had a unique opportunity of becoming a student in the STARTALK Teacher Program, “Preparing Russian Teachers for the 21st Century” at the University of Washington. This program gave her a chance to apply her teaching experience, as she successfully taught most of the STARTALK Student Program lessons related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). In 2012, she was the Lead Instructor of the STARTALK Student Program, which she almost single-handedly redesigned to focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Russian culture.

Marina Zamarashkina
Math Instructor

A native speaker of Russian, Marina Zamarashkina is a professional astronomer. She got her Ph.D. in Math/Physics from Saint-Petersburg State University (Russia), Department of Mathematics and Mechanics. For more than twenty years she has been working in one of the most famous astronomical institutions in Russia – Institute of Applied Astronomy (Saint-Petersburg). Her research is related to the problems of computational celestial mechanics. Her teaching interests are focused on STEM programs. She has extensive experience in public speaking and participation in a large number of scientific conferences. The list of her scientific articles consists of more than thirty items in Russian and English languages. She has considerable knowledge of Space Exploration, Space Flight, Satellite Dynamics and Planet Science. Moreover, she is a specialist in modern Math and programming. Her knowledge and experience are a great addition to the STARTALK Student Program. In 2013, Marina completed the STARTALK Teacher Program and taught daily in the STARTALK Student Program. Her knowledge and experience are a great addition to the STARTALK Student Program.

University of Washington Language Learning Center Seattle, WA 98195-4340    Phone:     Email: