Associate Dean for Language and Professional Programs
Patricia first became interested in the field of language education based on her own language learning experience. She found that learning French as a school requirement was not nearly as motivating as learning Italian to engage with the Italian people and culture. After working as a software trainer in Silicon Valley, Patricia taught English as a foreign language in Milan and Rome, Italy. Her love of teaching led her to pursue her master's degree in TESOL here at the Institute. After graduation, Patricia became Director of the Institute's Intensive English Programs. As Associate Dean, she continues to manage programs for language learners and professionals. The transition from being a teacher to an administrator inspired her to explore the role of emotional intelligence, intercultural communication, and mindfulness in effective leadership. She has combined her background in language pedagogy and technology to lead efforts to offer online professional development to language teachers, translators and interpreters.
Patricia is Past President of EnglishUSA: The American Association of Intensive English Programs and has also served on the board of California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL). In her free time, she enjoys swimming, singing in a local choir, and walking her dog on the beautiful California Central Coast.
Areas of Interest
Patricia frequently presents at national and international conferences, particularly on issues related to language program administration, leadership, and intercultural communication. She is fortunate to teach as an adjunct in the Institute's graduate programs, especially focusing on the practical aspects of language teaching. She has delivered teacher training workshops in the U.S. and abroad on the communicative approach to English language teaching and student-centered curriculum development. She is currently pursuing her educational doctorate at Johns Hopkins University, with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education.
- EdD in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education, Johns Hopkins University (in progress)
- MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, Middlebury Institute of International Studies
- BA in English Language & Literature, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
Patricia has been teaching at the Institute since 2006.
Mikkelson, H., Slay, A., & Szasz, P, & Cole, B. (2019). Innovations in online interpreter education: A graduate certificate program in community interpreting. In D. B. Sawyer, F. Austermühl & V. Enríquez Raído (Eds.), The evolving curriculum in interpreter and translator education. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Szasz, P., & Bailey, K. M. (2018). Emotional intelligence growth through volunteering with language teaching associations. In A. Elsheikh, C. Coombe, & O. Effiong (Eds.), The role of language teacher associations in professional development (pp. 238-254). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Szasz, P. (2010). State of the profession: Intensive English programs. CATESOL Journal, 21(1), 194-201.
Calvert, K., & Szasz, P. (2009). Using Moodle to create community in the classroom and beyond. In M. S. Andrade & N. W. Evans (Eds.), International students: Strengthening a critical resource (pp. 141-147). Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Education.