Catherine Baumann


Catherine Baumann is director of the University of Chicago Language Center. She received her Ph.D. in Second Languages and Cultures Education at the University of Minnesota, specializing in reading comprehension and language testing. She is a certified ACTFL tester and trainer, and does consulting for high school and college language programs on a variety of curricular and assessment-related issues. She oversees all programs in the CLC.

Ahmet Dursun

Director, Office of Language Assessment

Ahmet Dursun is the Director of the Office of Language Assessment, where he is responsible for researching, developing, and managing the University’s language assessment programs. He is co-founder of the Language Pedagogy Innovation Initiative (LPII) at the University of Chicago where he has been designing and leading workshops in second language assessment and pedagogy. His work focusing on computer-assisted language teaching, testing research and practice, and test validation have appeared in multiple peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, and books. He speaks Kurdish, Turkish, and Arabic, and loves playing soccer in his free time.

Rod Edwards

IT Specialist and Operations Manager

Rod Edwards has been with the Language Center since Fall 2004, when he began working as an acting student manager. He was hired in his current position in Fall 2008. He is the Center’s in-house IT and AV support. He can be found at his office in Cobb 211.

Ellen Hohmann


Ellen joined the Language Center in Spring 2016 where she is responsible for doing all the things. She holds an MFA in interior architecture from Columbia College Chicago and would be happy to talk to you about yarn.

Karin Maxey

Language Pedagogy Specialist

Karin Maxey came to the CLC in May 2020, after teaching German, language pedagogy, and writing courses at Vassar College and Northeastern University. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics in 2014 from the University of Texas at Austin, with a focus on reading development in beginning German learners. As the Language Pedagogy Specialist, she co-leads the LPII and Mellon Collaborative Partners initiatives as well as the the Curriculum Development workshops. She can be reached at

Phuong Nguyen

Language Assessment Specialist

Phuong Nguyen joined the Language Center in January 2020. With her expertise in language assessment and testing, she helps language instructors with their test development projects, develop new language tests, and conducts test validation research. She can be found in her office in Cobb 211 or at

Nick Swinehart

Multimedia Pedagogy Specialist

Nick started working at the Language Center in Fall 2014, where he helps language teachers with instructional technology. He also coordinates CourseShare courses and professional development workshops. He can be found at his office in Cobb 211 or at