Instructors A-D

Akiba Abaka is a director, actor, playwright, dramaturge and arts administrator. She has over 20 years of experience working in theatre and audience engagement. Ms. Abaka is the recipient of the 2015 Difference Maker in the arts Award from the NAACP Boston Branch as well as the 2008 Independent Reviewers of New England Award for Best Director. She currently serves as the Audience Development Manager at ArtsEmerson: The World On Stage and is the creator of the play reading book club.

Dovi is a business owner and practitioner with over 20 years of experience in Marketing, Advertising, International Travel Program Management on 3 continents: Africa, Europe and the Americas. He has developed a deep knowledge of the institutions, personnel and technological advances (with a particular interest in Aviation Management) that shape business life and policies within and between countries across the Atlantic Ocean. Dovi studied law both in France and the US and worked for international firms based in France and the US. Dovi's international experience has prompted him to develop insightful approaches in managing linguistic, legal and cultural dynamics in cross-cultural as well as international business settings on numerous occasions.

Ms. Adjoa Acquaah-Harrison is a Ghanaian-American with experience in strategic planning and is an executive in international development and philanthropy. She is the Founding Principal of WingSpan Philanthropy Advisors, LLC, (Ghana) a consulting firm offering advice on social enterprise, including partnerships for corporate social responsibility (CSR), foundation relations, coaching of nonprofits in capacity-building for fundraising and institutional advancement. WingSpan fosters dialogue to bridge the synergy of business with social enterprise in Ghana and sub-Saharan-Africa. Along with her passion for philanthropy, Adjoa is equally passionate about the foods, spices, and flavors of West Africa, and is working to introduce these delights to 'foodies' in Massachusetts, beginning this Winter at CCAE.

Kathleen Aguero has published five books of poetry, the most recent is After That from Tiger Bark. She is Professor Emerita at Pine Manor College and also teaches in the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Pine Manor. In addition, she is a Reiki Master Teacher and Reiki volunteer at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

ESL Instructor

A scholarship alumna of Longy School of Music with degrees in Music and Fine Arts, Susan Allen has sung in the U.S, Germany, and Austria. Her years of skills from being coached in languages and classical music and with the International Phonetic Alphabet have helped her in her studio with singing in all genres, acting, pronunciation, narrating, poetry reading, radio announcing and tutoring anything vocal. She now sings and teaches in New England. She has coached classical singers in many languages and helps poets present and sing their poems on television. In classes and one to one she teaches English Pronunciation and Conversation to ESL students. Among other styles, she is recently working from Paul Newham’s The Healing Voice: How to Use the Power of Your Voice to Bring Harmony into Your Life.

Susan Alt has taught ballet and tap to adults for more than thirty years.  She has studied with Tatiana Babushkina of the Lithuanian State Ballet, Ana Roje of the Yugoslav Ballet Theater, and several renowned Boston and New York tap dancers.  She lives in Cambridge with two cats.

Rosi and Brian Amador are professional musicians and English/Spanish bilingual voice actors with more than 20 years' experience. Students will experience the essentials of voiceover technique for commercials and narration, including public service announcements, industrials, tutorials, educational VO, children's audio books, audio tours and explainer videos. We will also touch on first steps in establishing a voiceover career, marketing, and home studio tips and will leave time for Q & A.

French Teacher

"I am a graduate of the Technische Universität Berlin (Berlin Institute of Technology) located in Berlin, Germany, where I earned a Master's Degree in Linguistics with specializations in French and GSL (teaching German as a Second/ Foreign Language). For the past ten years I have taught French as a second/foreign language in many settings including language schools, public institutions and companies. I am a native French speaker and speak German as good as a native, having lived for over twelve years in Germany. Now living since more than two and a half years in the US I converse fluently in English and have adapted myself to the American way of life."

David Andrus has studied art at The Art Institute of Boston and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He has received grants from The Pollock Krasner Foundation and The Somerville Arts Council. He has traveled extensively in Mexico, South America, Thailand, Cambodia, Egypt and Morocco.

ESL Instructor

Andrea Aptecker is a playwright and actress.  She has been teaching public speaking to both native and non-native speakers for over 10 years.


Clare Asch is an artist/educator who loves to experiment with process and materials. She works in a wide range of materials from batik and silk painting to oil paints. For over a decade, silk painting was Asch's primary medium. Her silk paintings can be found in many private and public collections and have been exhibited at the Pindar Gallery in New York, MPG Gallery in Boston and at the Cambridge Art Association among other venues.

Born in Hungary, Clare came to the United States when she was eight years old. She showed an early interest in art and went on to study art at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art in New York. She later studied art at the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture and got her BFA from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Asch received an MFA from the Art Institute of Boston in 2005. Clare teaches Color Theory and Fundamentals of Design at the New England Institute of Art.

Aaron Askanase is a former Auto Mechanic, working at both an independent shop and at a dealership. After a career change ten years ago to be an acupuncturist and healer, he has continued to assist all of his friends when they've bought or sold cars or needed help working on their cars. He is a lifelong gear-head and his kids are convinced that his job is "fixer" because he's always fixing things.


Jason Asselin is an Artist working in a variety of media including Watercolor, graphite, screen-printing, etching and woodworking. He holds a BFA in Printmaking from Montserrat College of Art and an MFA in Printmedia from Cranbrook Academy of Art.  Living and working as an artist in Massachusetts for most of his life, he finds his inspiration for his artwork from the community and culture around him. In addition to a steady studio practice, he is also interested in public art. One of his public artworks can be found in the MBTA World Trade Center Station on the Silverline.  To see more of Jason Asselin's artwork visit his blog.


John Bach is an award-winning magician who has been performing magic for over 25 years. He is a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Charles Bahne is a Boston historian and tour guide, and author of The Complete Guide to Boston's Freedom Trail. Charlie graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a major in Urban Studies and Planning, focusing on urban history and tourism. He then worked in some of the city's historic sites and museums, and became a seasonal Park Ranger with Boston National Historical Park. He left the National Park Service in 1985 to publish his Freedom Trail book, which has now sold more than 400,000 copies. Since 1997, Charlie has also taught many Exploritas (formerly Elderhostel) programs about Boston and its role in the American Revolution.

E. J. Barnes is a cartoonist, illustrator, and animator. Her gag cartoons have appeared in Funny Times, Fortean Times, and the Journal of Irreproducible Results. Her editorial cartoons have been published in The Recorder, the daily newspaper of Greenfield, MA, and The Commons, a newsmonthly based in Brattleboro, VT. Her comic books can be found at various comic book specialty stores, including the Million Year Picnic in Cambridge.


Founder, Latino Film Festival After 10 year career as a network TV producer, Jose arrived in Boston from Los Angeles in 2001 to work for a community based organization. Jose founded the Boston Latino International Film Festival in 2001 with a small budget, a group of volunteers, the support of the City of Cambridge and his friends. He is a social psychologist by training and specializes in Latino media in the U.S. Jose had a 10 year career as a network TV producer in LA. He has worked with Telemundo, Fox Latin America, La Opinion newspaper and Enigma Entertainment. In his spare time he is a marketing and video production consultant specializing in the US Latino market ( Jose is also a graduate student at Northeastern University looking to specialize in marketing for the biotech industry.

Native Speaker, M.A. in Applied Sociology

I was born in Shiraz located in the Southwest of Iran. I earned my High School diploma in Persian literature. I left the country for the United State where I earned my Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Master's degree in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. I started working with the Iranian Oral History Project at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University and later at Harvard School of Public Health where I completed many graduate courses in International Health policy. Since 2000, I have been teaching Persian, first at the Boston Language Institute, and later at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, where I enjoy teaching very much.

Thomas has been teaching adults for over a decade in various contexts and subjects. Additionally, he has lived in several foreign countries and understands the difficulty of learning the predominant language of a land while maintaining professional responsibilities. He supplements his empathy for students by undertaking his own studies, and these have included a master's degree earned in Spain and finalizing an additional master's degree in Cambridge.

CFA, Principal, Abacus Financial Advisors

Stephen Batzell, CFA, is a founder and Chief Investment Officer at Abacus Financial Advisors. Previously, Steve was Director of Client Services at Manchester Capital Management, Director of ING/Baring Securities, and Vice President at State Street Global Advisors. Steve holds Master's Degrees from the Sloan School of Management, MIT. and Harvard University, and a BA from Haverford College. Steve served as the Treasurer of the Pleasant Street Congregational Church in Arlington, MA, and was a founder of Sandrine's Bistro in Harvard Square.