LCTL 2021

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The Less Commonly Taught Languages Career Fair connects speakers of less commonly taught languages with professional development and career opportunities in the public and private sectors. The event will feature a keynote speaker, a variety of panelists, and provide attendees with a chance to engage a variety of employers seeking speakers of less commonly taught languages and organizations offering professional development opportunities. This career fair is hosted by the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI).

During the career fair, we will have several presentations from leaders in government and the private sector about the exciting careers and professional development opportunities available to you as a speaker or a learner of a less commonly taught language. After these presentations, you will explore employment and career development opportunities from our partners. You will be able to follow up with recruiters, share your resume, and learn more about careers and professional development activities you never considered before.

2021 Program Agenda

Program Agenda for Friday, July 23, 2021
1:30-4:00 p.m. CDT

Program events are listed in Central Daylight Time.  To calculate the time in your time zone, you may wish to use a time zone converter tool. 

Not signed up?  You can still register as an attendee to receive the Zoom link to join the event.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. CDT: Welcome, Keynote Address and Keynote Speaker Q&A

  • Felecia Lucht, Director, Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI), UW-Madison
  • Laura Hammond, Director, Language Program Office (LPO), UW-Madison
  • Csanád Siklós, Associate Director, Institute for Regional and International Studies National Resource Center (IRIS-NRC), UW-Madison
  • Keynote Address:  Sachin Tuli, Director, International Business Major and Faculty Associate, International Business and Marketing, UW-Madison
  • Keynote Q&A Discussion.  Submit your questions via Zoom chat.

2:30-4:00 p.m. CDT:  Panel Sessions

Attendees will choose which panel they would like to attend, but recordings of all three panels will be available after the event.

Panel Session 1 – Opportunities for Speakers of Less Commonly Taught Languages in the Government

  • Jeff Cary, Outreach & Recruitment Manager, Boren Awards & Caitlin Wiley, Program Officer National Security Education Program (NSEP) Defense Language and National Security Education Office
  • Abigail Barnes, Recruitment Analyst, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs & Bureau of Global Talent Management & Ron Packowitz Diplomat in Residence (DIR) – Midwest
  • Joemer A. Ta-ala, Assistant Provost, ETD, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC)
  • Panel 1 Q&A Discussion. Submit your questions via Zoom chat.

Panel Session 2 – Opportunities for Speakers of Less Commonly Taught Languages in the Private Sector

  • Shelley Fairweather-Vega, Russian and Uzbek Translator
  • Anja Green, Content Development Manager, Mango Languages
  • Michael Harris, Epic
  • Panel 2 Q&A Discussion. Submit your questions via Zoom chat.

Panel Session 3 – Professional Development Opportunities for Speakers of Less Commonly Taught Languages

  • Kaveri Advani, Program Manager, The Language Flagship, Defense Language and National Security Education Office (DLNSEO)
  • Brian Cooke, Program Officer, Project GO & Language Training Centers, Institute of International Education (IIE)
  • Katie Jost, Program Director, Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC)
  • Mark Lilleleht, Assistant Director for Awards, Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at UW-Madison
  • Panel 3 Q&A Discussion.  Submit your questions via Zoom chat.

List of Exhibitors

Browse this directory to find employment and career development opportunities from LCTL 2020. You may use the links and contact information provided to get in touch, but keep in mind they are from last year’s event.

The information provided in the Virtual Exhibitor Directory is provided by external parties.  WISLI is not responsible for the content of the external links and if there are any questions about information provided by the exhibitors, the organizations should be contacted directly.  


LCTL 2021 Keynote Speaker

Sachin Tuli

Director of International Business Major
Faculty Associate for International Business and Marketing

Mr. Tuli teaches courses in international business and global marketing, including Introduction to International Business and Global Marketing Strategy. He has developed, taught and led international business seminars to China, India, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam for graduate and undergraduate students, as well as for other faculty. Mr. Tuli serves on the University International Travel Committee and is affiliated with the Center for South Asia.

From 2007-2012, he served as director of International Programs, working to expand study abroad and exchange offerings for the School and advising faculty, staff and students on effective management of short-term international academic programs. From 2002-2006, he served as assistant director of the UW-Madison Center of International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

Previously, he worked as a business analyst responsible for churn management, pricing and new products at Verizon Wireless, and as a marketing associate at the Consulate General of India in Chicago.

Mr. Tuli has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Central America and Asia, and spent a summer abroad as an undergraduate in Grenoble, France. Mr. Tuli holds a BBA in Marketing and an MS in Higher Education Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As service, he is involved in the Institute for International and Regional Studies (IRIS) Advisory Board, Center for South Asia Steering Committee, University International Travel Committee (UITC), Program Committee of Madison Committee on Foreign Relations (MCFR), and Madison International Trade Association (MITA).

“Sachin Tuli.” Wisconsin School of Business | Together Forward,

Explore Sachin Tuli’s WSB profile

Explore Sachin Tuli’s LinkedIn


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Abigail BarnesAbigail Barnes is the Consular Fellows Program (CFP) recruiter. She is a Virginia native and studied International Relations and French at the College of William & Mary. Her first experience with the Department of State was interning for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, where she analyzed human resources management policy reform to provide policy recommendations. She developed an interest in learning about languages and people from completing a five-year Spanish immersion program and a visit to Russia. She enjoys trying new things, and speaks intermediate French and Russian, and elementary Spanish.

Anja is the Content Development Manager at Mango Languages, with an M.A. in Applied Linguistics/Translation from Leipzig University in Germany. With 17 years under her belt as a linguist expert, the last 12 have been spent with Mango Languages, where she leads teams of linguists and subject matter experts in the creation of learning content, development of new tools and features, and administration of new and innovative language instruction modules.

Brian Cooke HeadshotBrian re-joined IIE as a Program Officer in 2018 (having initially worked at the Institute from 2009-2010). Prior to re-joining, Brian worked in several DoD program support and non-profit management roles, including most recently as Vice President, Operations and Strategy, at The Manufacturing Institute. From 2013 to 2017, Brian served as Chief of Staff and later as Executive Director of the Armed Forces Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and promoting the physical, mental, and emotional wellness of military service members, veterans, and their families. Prior to that, Brian was a Senior Policy Analyst at The Charles Group, a government affairs consultancy, specializing in national security policy and DoD management issues. From 2005-2008, Brian served on active duty as a US Army Field Artillery officer. He was deployed during this time to Baghdad in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as a platoon leader and staff officer in the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Brian is a 2005 graduate of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he majored in International Politics and studied Russian. Brian also holds an MA in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University, earning honors for his thesis, “The United States Army and Counterinsurgency: History, Culture, Application, and Institutionalization.” Originally from Freehold, New Jersey, Brian has lived in Washington, DC since 2009.

Caitlin serves as a Program Officer at the National Security Education Program.  In her current position, she supports key initiatives, such as the Boren Awards and the National Security Education Board, that promote study abroad and critical language and culture acquisition.  Prior to joining NSEP in 2020, she held a program support role in the Defense Language and National Security Education Office.  Caitlin is also a former Boren herself, as she received a Boren Scholarship to study Portuguese in Brazil.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Global and International Studies from Western Michigan University.

Jeff Cary manages pre-applicant outreach and university liaison for the Boren Awards at the Institute of International Education. Prior to joining IIE, Jeff served as a Foreign Service Officer in the public diplomacy track with the U.S. Department of State, working at headquarters and overseas missions in Senegal, Pakistan, Lithuania, and Syria. He received a 2005 Boren Fellowship to study Arabic at Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan.

Joemer Ta-Ala photoJoemer Ta-ala is currently the Assistant Provost of Educational Technology and Development (ETD) at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Before joining ETD, he was the academic advisor of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s AFPAK Hands Program at DLI-Washington. He has been an adjunct faculty at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies where he taught a graduate course in Educational Linguistics, and at the University of Tampa when he was assigned at the Field Support Language Training Detachment in Tampa, FL. His research interests are in Second Language Acquisition, particularly second language phonetics and phonology.

Katie Jost joined CAORC in 2016.  As Program Director, she oversees and administers CAORC programs including CAORC’s U.S. Department of State subgrants, all fellowship programs, and the library acquisitions project in West Africa. Katie also works with CAORC’s network of overseas research centers on a variety of initiatives, including managing and continuing to develop an online grants administration system. Prior to CAORC, Katie received an MSc in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics and spent several years working at non-profits, including the British Academy in London and the Institute of International Education in Washington D.C.

Ms. Kaveri Advani is a program manager for The Language Flagship at the National Security Education Program (NSEP). She is primarily responsible for managing the grants and coordinating the Flagship overseas programs; the Korean, Persian, and Portuguese Flagship domestic Programs; the Regional Flagship Languages Initiative Programs; and several special initiatives that are aimed at building resources for the field of language teaching and learning.

Prior to joining NSEP in 2009, Ms. Advani received a Boren Fellowship to study Arabic and conduct research in Yemen and Syria. She previously interned with the United States’ Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program in New York, NY, and interned with the United Nations Information Center in New Delhi, India.

Ms. Advani received her Masters of Arts degree from New York University in politics with a focus on comparative politics. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a minor in Russian language from Loyola University, New Orleans. She received a Tcherepnine scholarship in 2002 to study Russian in St. Petersburg, Russia. Ms. Advani has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

Mark Lilleleht

Mark Lilleleht is the Assistant Director for Awards at the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at UW-Madison. He coordinates a number of IRIS-based awards for student research & study as well as the campus-side process and support for a number of nationally and internationally-competitive awards, including: Boren Fellowship awards (for graduate students), Critical Language Scholarship, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, James C. Gaither Junior Fellows program, Luce Scholars Program, and Schwarzman Scholars. He also serves as the UW-Madison’s Fulbright Program Advisor & Scholar Liaison for those interested in opportunities available through the Fulbright US Student and Fulbright Scholar programs.

Michael Harris is a Quality Assurance and Project Manager in Epic’s Translation division, where he manages the tools and processes that support translation of Epic’s software. Beyond his six years’ experience with Epic, Michael taught four economics courses as an instructor in the American University of Paris’s Economics department and has worked as a freelance translator for several years.

Michael received a B.S. in International Political Economy and Arab Studies from Georgetown University, where he studied abroad in Morocco, France, and Jordan, and earned an M.A. in International and Development Economics from Yale University. He speaks French, Arabic, and Russian.

Ron Packowitz PhotoRon Packowitz is the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomat in Residence for the Midwest, based at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Ron has been a Foreign Service officer for 20 years, and his overseas assignments have included Ecuador, Colombia, Germany, the UK, and Afghanistan.  He was born and raised in Chicago.

Shelley Fairweather-Vega is a freelance translator of Russian and Uzbek in Seattle, Washington, where she runs FairVega Translations and FairVega Russian Library Services. She translates poetry, fiction, games, and screenplays, as well as legal, business, and marketing materials for authors and other clients around the world, with a special focus on the contemporary literature of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. Shelley holds degrees in International Relations and Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies. Her published projects and work in progress are at This summer, Shelley is an Elementary Kazakh student in the CESSI program.

Recordings can be found below or on the WISLI YouTube Channel

Subtitles are coming soon

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Keynote Address

Introductions and Keynote Address by Sachin Tuli

Keynote Address Q&A

Panel 1: Government Sector

Jeff Cary and Caitlin Wiley

Abigail Barnes and Ron Packowitz

Joemer A. Ta-ala


Panel 2: Private Sector

Shelley Fairweather-Vega

Anja Green

Aleda Bourassa

Michael Harris


Panel 3: Professional Development Opportunities

Kaveri Advani

Brian Cooke

Katie Jost

Mark Lilleleht