Daniela Feldhausen was a lawyer in private practice and later Associate General Counsel for Fannie Mae in Washington, DC for more than 20 years, until she took advantage of an early retirement package to change careers and focus on her true passion - teaching kids to read.
Inspired by her experience with one of her sons, who self-confidence dropped dramatically in elementary school as he realized he couldn't read as well as his peers, Daniela obtained an MA in Special Education (mild-moderate disabilities) from the University of Arizona. She has been trained to teach struggling children to read by a professor with a PhD in dyslexia, a reading specialist who trains teachers and school districts around the country on the science of reading, and the Institute for Multi-Sensory Education (Orton-Gillingham).
Daniela loves watching children's faces light up as they realize they can do this!
Amber Lubera is a sixth-year linguistics PhD student at the University of Arizona. She graduated from the University of Nevada Reno in 2016 with a degree in English (Linguistics & Languages specialization) and received her MA in Linguistics from the University of Arizona in 2020. Amber specializes in adult second language phonological and morphological acquisition. Her research investigates how knowledge of language structure and linguistics affects the implicit language learning process.
Amber is an experienced teacher for both young adults and young children. She has taught many courses at the college-level, including courses on first language acquisition and overview courses aimed at students who had no prior knowledge of linguistics. She has also been a teacher for summer reading programs. These programs taught children the necessary skills to be successful readers while cultivating a love of reading. Amber's favorite part of teaching is watching students become more confident and eager to tackle new problems. When Amber is not teaching, she enjoys reading high fantasy novels (especially Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere books) and cooking.
Kristina Mihajlovic graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with her BA in Linguistics and received her MA in Linguistics from the University of Arizona in 2021.
In grad school, Kristina became a full-time long-term substitute teacher in the Tucson Unified School District, first for 7th grade math and later for 4th grade (all core subjects), both completely online. Kristina has also taught college-level statistics and salsa dancing classes for adults at the U of A's Latin dance club.
Kristina's favorite part of teaching is seeing her students' confidence soar as they gain independence in whatever skill they're working at, whether reading, math, or dancing! When she is not teaching, she is trying out new things and learning herself: new kinds of dancing, cooking, hiking locations, languages on Duolingo, and making new friends, many of them dogs.
Rachel Hansen is a second-year master’s student at the University of Arizona. She studies Human Language Technology in the Linguistics Department. She is interested in how voice technology can be adapted to users whose speech does not match standard American English, as well as languages that do not have voice resources.
Rachel has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Burkina Faso and Benin – both in West Africa. While she was there, she taught English as a Foreign language in an English-immersive environment. She brought children’s books in English and left them at the library in her village.
Rachel’s favorite part about teaching is watching student’s understanding click and getting really excited about what they’re doing. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching students grow in their knowledge. She’s especially excited to help others read as she is an avid reader herself and hopes to bring the joy of reading to others.