Instructor of English as a Second Language
M.A. TESOL, The American University
B.A. in Intellectual History, University of Pennsylvania
Laura Biesecker has returned to the local area after living and working in Hungary for thirteen years, and is thrilled to be back "at home" working with Wilson's international students.
Laura's work in teaching English as a Foreign Language grew out of her desire in the late 1980s to help recent immigrants to the U.S. become acclimated and gain confidence in their new home. Her sights later turned to teaching abroad. Laura soon found herself teaching in a Hungarian High School Military Academy as the first non-fSU employee that the Hungarian military had ever employed. As an eager student of the Soviet period, this placement was a fascinating adventure into a post-Soviet time. During those thirteen years, Laura served as an ESL intern for the Center for Immigration Policy and Refugee Assistance and later as a fellow of the National Security Education Program. She was most recently the Director of the Language Teaching Center at Central European University in Budapest. While at CEU Laura had the opportunity to work with students and faculty hailing from more than 25 countries and initiated CEU's first intensive writing program in English for Academic Purposes. Today, she enjoys focusing on comparative rhetoric as it applies to the contrasts and similarities among various language groups. As such, she is very excited to be teaching among an international group of students at Wilson and helping non-native speakers of English further develop their own voice in another language.
Laura has a wide range of interests and hobbies that include dance, music, sports, and travel. This breadth of interest appears in her work prior to moving to Hungary. Laura was a Special English writer for the Voice of America's Special English program broadcast from Washington, DC, a CNN intern, and a paralegal in telecommunications law. She has an intense curiosity, which means you are just as likely to find her at a performance of Swan Lake or an intimate poetry reading as you are at a box car derby or hockey game with her husband and three young children.
This desire to find out just about anything on everything has led her down an eclectic path of projects. In addition to her ESL work in Hungary for example, Laura also played a major role in spearheading a number of new organizations including a refugee assistance non-profit, an all-women's acapella group, and an information technology firm.
Laura hopes to devote time once again to the Refugee Assistance Project, a successful grass roots outreach program that relied heavily upon a large volunteer network and charitiable donations. As for the acappella group, the ensemble continues to live on in Budapest in the absence of its two founding members. She would be pleased to start one up again in the near future!