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Our Staff in the USA

Ron and Susie Pope


Ron is the founder and president of Serendipity-Russia. His wife, Susie, is a vice president of the organization, along with David Johnson -- and was the initial webmaster. Ron retired from the Politics and Government Department at Illinois State University in June 2009 -- after 33 years of teaching. He and Susie are in the process of sharing -- and ultimately turning over responsibility for the American Home project to the next generation.

Their goal is to foster the use of the American Home's resources to make a positive difference in Russian-American relations and in the transition of Russian society. They also very much value the positive contribution the American home experience provides to the teachers and other Americans involved with this project.


Brooke Ricker

 assists with the recruiting and hiring of the new teachers, and, to the extent her schedule allows, provides feedback and suggestions. After teaching at the AH in 2005-2006, she went on to get her master's in TESL at the University of New Hampshire (many thanks go to Olya, Lena, and Galya for their help with the research for her master's paper). After completing her master's she spent a year as an English Language Fellow in Nis, Serbia, teaching writing classes at the University of Nis and conducting workshops for local language teachers.  She then began her PhD studies in Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University, specializing in second language writing pedagogy.  She is currently in her fourth year and planning to graduate in 2016.

David Johnson

teaches Russian language at Vanderbilt University and coordinates the Russian group at Vanderbilt's language immersion residence hall. He also manages the University of Arizona summer program in St. Petersburg. 

After teaching in the AH English program from 2001 to 2004, David worked in Moscow for one year before returning to the States where he completed work on a Master's Degree in Russian Language, Linguistics and Literature at the University of Arizona prior to joining the Russian faculty at Vanderbilt.  In July 2011 he joined Susie Pope as a Serendipity-Russia Vice President.

David's American Home responsibilities include coordinating on the American side the Intensive Russian, Writing Exchange, and Alternative Spring Break programs--and he makes significant contributions in other areas.

Jane Keeler

earned her Bachelor's degree in Russian and Political Science from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN in 2001, and she received her MA in TESOL from the University of Central Florida in 2014. She taught English at the American Home during the 2005-2006 school year, following which she taught English in South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and Orlando, FL. In 2009, she took over webmaster duties for the Serendipity-Russia site, as well as the American Home's Facebook page and blog, and the City of Vladimir website. Jane currently teaches ESL at the University of Florida's English Language Institute in Gainesville, FL.




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