ESL Full-time Faculty


Joan Powers

Joan Powers


Joan Powers started teaching ESL at Mission College in 1987 and went fulltime in 1989. She has taught most of the ESL courses over the past 22 years and enjoys teaching students at all levels. During some summers, she has taught linguistics (English for Foreign Students) at Stanford University and participated in Fulbright-Hays and CIEE seminars.

After creating and coordinating the Global Studies program, occasionally she taught for the program as well for about 10 years.

In Jan. 2000, she led a Mission College Staff Development study/tour to Costa Rica. Fourteen faculty and staff spent one week in Spanish immersion classes and homestays followed by a week of visits to the Monteverde Cloud Forest and research station, Tortuguero, Arenal, a coffee collective, and much more.

Joan has had the opportunity to travel extensively to broaden her own global competency. In 2000, she spent six weeks on a Fulbright-Hays Seminar traveling to 13 cities in Brazil. During this time, she was able to meet with other educators, government officials, students, and grassroots organizers. After the six weeks, Joan’s mother and daughters met her and her husband in Rio de Janeiro, where they stayed for an additional five days. From Rio, they traveled by bus to Sao Paolo, Iguazu Falls and Asuncion, Paraguay, where they boarded a plane for Bolivia. A few days were spent in La Paz adjusting to the altitude, and then they went by bus, boat and train up to Cuzco, Peru, where they lived for almost two months studying Spanish and enjoying the cultures of the Andes mountains.

In late October, they flew to Germany for the World Exposition in Hanover. They then rented a car and toured through much of Central Europe.

In Fall 2001, Joan was a faculty member aboard the U.S.S. Universe Explorer, which is a floating university sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh and the Institute for Shipboard Education. She sailed to Japan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, India, the Seychelles, South Africa, Brazil, and Cuba.

In 2003, Joan led a Global 05 class to Cuba, where the itinerary changed daily and the political current on the island was buzzing..

In 2008, Joan participated in a CIEE seminar in China focusing on Ethnic groups.

High Points

Machu Picchu, the Machiguenga in Manu, hearing Tom Jobim’s daughter sing Bossa Nova in Ipanema, Christkindl markets, sausage and beer in Nuremberg and Innsbruck, roasted goose in Austria, All-Saints-Eve in Poland, red lanterns in Saigon, acaraje in Salvador, child labor release camps in Kanchipuram, Indian women empowered by micro-credit, the thunder of Iguazu Falls, imperial topaz, seeing Castro speak in person, the green flash at sunset, Christmas at a pueblo in New Mexico, Venice without crowds, a baobab tree in South Africa.

  • Fulbright Scholar, English Language Advisor 1984-85, The State of Bahrain
  • Mission College Outstanding Faculty of the Year 1995
  • NISOD Awards 1996, 2000
  • International Student Union Advisor , 1999-2002
  • Fulbright-Hays Seminar participant – Brazil at 500 years
  • Vietnamese Students Association Advisor, 1995-1999
  • Working with a variety of wonderful Mission College students
  • My family

Curriculum Vitae

  • B.A. in Individual Plans of Study (International Affairs and Communication) University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign
  • Certificate in TESL, University of California – Riverside Extension
  • M.A. in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), Univ. of California, Riverside.

Places taught:

UC-Riverside Extension, Indiana University, Stanford University; community colleges – Evergreen, DeAnza, Foothill; Amdahl, LSI Logic; Bahrain