MEDLI 2024 Program Staff

Nâlân Erbil (she/her)

Pedagogy Director of the Middle Eastern & Mediterranean Language Institute (MEDLI) and the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI)

1348 Van Hise Hall

Nâlân Erbil (pronounced as NAH-lahn U-er-beel) is the Faculty Associate in Turkish Studies in the department of German, Nordic, and Slavic+, and the Pedagogy Director at the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish Language Institute (APTLI) and the Turkish Flagship Language Initiative (TURFLI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds an MA and PhD in Asian Languages and Cultures with a PhD minor in Comparative Literature from UW-Madison, and a BA in English Literature from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Turkey. As an interdisciplinary literary teacher-scholar, she has taught modern Turkish language courses in Madison for the last ten years and currently teaches modern Turkish and late Ottoman languages, and literature and film courses. Her pedagogical interest lies in intercultural literacy and social justice education in teaching Turkey’s cultures including different ethnic and religious groups and the Turkish-German diaspora in Germany. She has studied Arabic and Persian, and is currently learning the Kurmanji dialect of Kurdish.

Fatemeh Mirsharifi

MEDLI Persian Pedagogy Consultant

Linked-In CV

Fatemeh Mirsharifi received her PhD in Second Language Acquisition with an emphasis on Less Commonly Taught Languages from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the past, she has taught Persian at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moreover, she has collaborated on projects with the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota as well as the College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT), American Council on Education.

Her research interests include second/foreign language acquisition and pedagogy with emphasis on developing pedagogical materials for the foreign language classroom, motivation in language learning, and the role of learner attitudes in L2 motivation. She also has a passion for educational technology, creating engaging and interactive learning content to ensure a successful instructional experience.

Salah Algabli

MEDLI Arabic Pedagogy Consultant and Advanced Arabic Instructor

Linked-In CV

Salah is an Arabic Lecturer with considerable experience in the field of teaching foreign languages, NGO work, and intercultural exchange programs. He has taught Arabic language and Culture in various universities in the US, Yemen, and Germany. He enjoys working on cultural, educational issues, and his long-term goal is to develop online foreign language programs in high schools and universities in the US.

Reem Itani (she, her)

Student/Program Assistant 

Reem Itani is a student/program assistant at the Language Program Office (LPO) specializing in MEDLI (Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Language Institute), MULTI (Summer Multilanguage Seminar), and ProjectGO (Project Global Officer). She is an undergraduate student majoring in violin performance and political science with two certificates in African and Middle East studies. Reem speaks English, Spanish, and Arabic, which is her family’s first language. In collaboration with Professor Katrina Thompson, she is researching the revolutionary politics of LGBTQ+ individuals in the Middle East and presented her research at the 2023 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Outside of school and work, Reem likes to watch American Horror Story, bake, travel to far away places, listen to different types of music, play the violin, and go for walks across State Street.

Kerry Uniyal (she, her)

MEDLI Program Coordinator

Administrative Director, Project Global Officer (Project GO) and WISLI Summer Language Cooridinator (MULTI)

L50 Pyle Center
702 Langdon St.

Kerry Uniyal is the coordinator for the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean Language Institute (MEDLI) and the Intensive Summer Multilanguage Seminar programs at the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institute (WISLI). She’s also the Administrative Director for Project Global Officer (Project GO) at the Language Program Office (LPO).  She holds an MA in French and Francophone Studies with a concentration in French Translation and Interpretation from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. She has a BA from UW-Madison where she completed a double major in French and Languages and Cultures of Asia, and a Certificate in South Asian Studies. In 2011, she studied and interned abroad in India through UW and has been involved in international education ever since. Prior to her role as MEDLI Coordinator, she worked as a Program Advisor at the Institute for Study Abroad (IFSA) for study abroad programs in Asia, Australia, and the Middle East, as well as for customized faculty-led programs worldwide. Kerry speaks Hindi, French, has studied some Spanish and Mandarin, and is currently studying Persian.

Csanád Siklós

MEDLI Program Director

Associate Director, Institute for Regional and International Studies

(608) 262-5006
329 Ingraham Hall

Csanád Siklós (pronounced as Csanád Siklós) is Associate Director of the Institute for Regional and International Studies (IRIS) National Resource Center at UW-Madison. His previous role was as IRIS Assistant Director for Students and Curriculum, a position in which he worked closely with MEDLI curricular and student services. He has considerable experience in the field of language learning, having previously been Lecturer in Norwegian at UW-Madison, and a private consultant, editor, and translator for the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia), Rosetta Stone and University Language Services. He has a doctorate in Scandinavian Studies from the University of Washington (2002). He received his BA in German and Scandinavian Studies (Joint Honours) from University College London. Csanád speaks native Hungarian, fluent Norwegian, and German.

Dr. Felecia Lucht

LPO Academic Director, WISLI Director

L50 Pyle Center
702 Langdon St.

Felecia Lucht is the Academic Director of the Language Program Office and the Director of the Wisconsin Intensive Summer Language Institutes (WISLI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Dr. Lucht has an MA and PhD in German with a PhD minor in Second Language Acquisition from UW-Madison.  She holds an MA in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and Regional Studies from the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University in Washington, DC.  She has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where she completed a double major in German and International Studies, and a minor in Russian.  Prior to her role as WISLI Director, Lucht taught language classes and courses in second language acquisition, foreign language methodology, and foreign language testing.  Lucht has studied German and Russian (and some Dutch), and is currently learning Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese and Turkish.