Based in Tucson, Arizona, the Teach For Friendship Foundation is a U.S. non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with no religious or political affiliation.
In 2002, TFF was created in response to requests from a Chinese leading university for native-English-speaking teachers to strengthen its students’ ability to converse in English and to build bridges of friendship between China and the U.S.
Since that time, TFF and its highly skilled volunteer teachers have successfully engaged thousands of Chinese university students, from a variety of fields, in short-term, interactive English conversation classes. TFF’s programs in China have also included more specialized programs for a number of universities there, including oral English for “Young Professors” and medical and law students as well as professional development courses for Chinese teachers of English in middle and high schools. Recognizing the importance of TFF’s work, China’s Hubei Province honored TFF’s founder and president, Bill Ingram, with its Bell Chime Award, the highest honor given for contributions to education and economic development.
In recent years, TFF has expanded its teaching programs to universities and other institutions in countries as diverse as Romania, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, and Chile. These programs have included the short-term, intensive oral English classes for university students that are TFF’s hallmark. In addition, building on the strong academic and professional backgrounds of our lead teachers, we have developed and led well-received professional development programs for university faculty; methodology classes for non-native English speakers who teach English in middle and high schools; and academic writing workshops for university faculty and graduate students. TFF has also developed industry-specific English classes for workers in the tourism industry as well as for doctors.
The institutions and organizations that TFF has partnered with over the years include:
- American Bucharest University, Bucharest, Romania
- Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania
- Huaihua University, Huaihua City, China
- Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China
- Hunan University of Humanities, Science and Technology, Loudi, China
- Hunan University of Science and Technology, Xiangtan City, China
- Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, Guatemala City, Guatemal, on-line course for students in a court interpreter program
- Instituto Guatemalteco Americano, Liceos in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
- Marriott Hotel, Service Department, Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Ministry of Education, Santiago, Chile
- Pervomaiskiy English Access Microscholarship Program, Public Foundation of Continuous Education, Pervomayskiy Village, East Kazakhstan
- Rizhao Polytechnic College, Shandung Province, China
- San Carlos University, Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Universidad Raphael Landivar Law School, Guatemala City, Guatemala
- University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, Shanghai, China
TFF continues to explore opportunities to provide its unique teaching services in new venues. With its educational resources, its highly experienced teachers and its organizational flexibility, TFF is adept at tailoring its programs to meet the specific needs of universities and other organizations.
TFF’s success is closely tied to the quality of its teachers. Before acceptance, all prospective teachers must submit extensive written applications and be interviewed by members of TFF’s Board of Directors.
Our teachers are all native English speakers. Many are experienced, certified teachers at various levels or university professors. Others are professionals in a variety of fields in which the ability to communicate effectively and to foster positive group dynamics is essential. Most have advanced university degrees.
Our interview process enables us to select only those teachers who:
- have both the desire and ability to inspire program participants at every level through creative and interactive classroom methodology,
- are enthusiastic about getting to know another culture,
- and have the flexibility and cultural sensitivity to easily live and work outside the U.S.
We believe it essential for all of our teachers to embark on their assignments abroad as well prepared as possible. To that end, TFF provides pre-teaching training sessions, mentoring groups, and special materials for all teachers new to our programs. For its English conversation classes, TFF has created its own extensive teacher resource guide made available to all teachers on the TFF flash drive.
Board of Directors
William A. Ingram, J.D.
Bill, a retired attorney and judge, is the founder and president of the Teach for Friendship Foundation. He has been a guest professor at China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology Law School as well as at various universities in Guatemala and Romania. He has taught conversational English at numerous universities in China and was awarded the Bell Chime Award, the highest honor in China’s Hubei Province, for contributions to education and economic development.
Nancy Lutz, M.P.A.
TFF vice-president and treasurer, Nancy has been a business owner, hospital administrator, museum director and arts organization consultant. She was the associate director at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, and currently serves as a reviewer for national museums seeking accreditation. For the past eight years she has used her organizational and facilitation skills for TFF while teaching conversational English to undergraduates, graduates, medical and international business students in China and Romania. She has also conducted teaching workshops for middle and high school English teachers in China.
Arlene was the founder and director of an agency serving residents of rural areas by providing food, education, and emergency services. For the last 15 years she has worked in the hospitality industry at Tucson’s top resorts as sales/marketing director and general manager. She is currently the guest services manager for The Lodge at Ventana Canyon in Tucson. Arlene made great use of her varied work experience to teach conversational English to university students in China. Her first language is Spanish.
Dan Davidson, Ph.D.
Dan is a retired Pima Community College faculty member, having taught physics, mathematics and computer science. He led PCC’s efforts in educational technology, teaching cable TV classes, directing Pima’s first open access microcomputer center and directing the online learning department. Dan has taught for TFF at two universities in China and at a school in Kazakhstan. For the past 9 years Dan has led teaching practices workshops for middle/high school teachers as well as for university professors in China’s Guangdong Province.
Edward Ingram, M.B.A.
Ned owns and operates an independent insurance agency focusing primarily on Arizona and New Mexico. With his business and management expertise, he has made numerous contributions to the successful operation of TFF.
George S. Kiefer
While employed at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, Middletown, Ct., George was instrumental in the development and subsequent production of the JT9D-3 jet engine, which powered the first of many 747 jumbo aircraft. He served over 26 years in various capacities in the U.S. Air Force, including instructor and propulsion systems superintendent on Blackbird aircraft. Since 2001, George has taught many times in TFF’s conversational English programs for Chinese university and medical students and organized and led TFF tours throughout China.
Judy Liebman, J.D., M.A.
Judy has a law, teaching and marketing background. She retired as senior vice president and general counsel for the United Nations Development Corporation in New York. She has also taught advanced ESL classes at the City University of New York and Pima College. For TFF, she has led English conversation classes in China, Guatemala and Romania and developed academic writing workshops for graduate students and university faculty in Romania. She is currently working as an examiner for an international testing service to evaluate English-language proficiency.
Karen Loquvam, M.S.
Karen is a retired teacher of English as a Second Language. After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Brazil, she spent many years teaching in international schools in Brazil and Central America. For TFF, Karen has led English conversation classes in China, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, and Romania and has also developed and taught teacher-training workshops for high school teachers and university professors in China. Recently Karen was an adjunct faculty member at Northern Arizona University and served as an instructor/mentor for Central American teachers on sabbatical at the University of Arizona.
Dee Malvern, M.A.
Dee has been a reading specialist, teacher, and developer of educational materials for school districts in Tucson, Arizona. For TFF, Dee has helped facilitate the training workshop for new teachers going to China. She has also taught conversational English classes to undergraduates, graduates, medical, and international business students in China and Romania, and has conducted English workshops for middle and high school English teachers in China. Dee currently owns an antique business in a large Tucson market place.
Susie Townsend, MEd.
Susie is currently lead faculty for Northern Arizona University Extended Campus MEd and BSEd Teacher Certification programs. She administers and teaches for both programs along with supervising student teachers, designing and implementing curriculum and training and mentoring adjunct faculty. As a classroom teacher for over ten years, Susie received top honors for her teaching and awards for her work with students K-12 and university students and faculty. For TFF, she has taught conversation classes in China and Romania and has also designed and implemented workshops for professional development, taught methodology workshops for faculty at two Romanian universities and been a keynote speaker for the Ministry of Education in Chile.
Ellie Vought, M.S.
Ellie has been a speech pathologist, teacher, literacy coach and school evaluator for the Arizona Department of Education. As a volunteer, she serves as a member of the marketing committee for the Humanities Seminar Program at the University of Arizona. For TFF, Ellie has taught conversational English in both China and Romania and conducted methodology workshops for middle and high school English teachers in China.
Adele Youmans, M.A.
Adele holds a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She taught for 25 years in Pima College’s Adult Education program and was Arizona’s Adult Educator of the Year in 2006. She also taught ESL in Mexico for 3 months. For TFF, Adele has led English conversation classes in China, Guatemala and Romania and has taught an academic writing workshop for graduate students and faculty in Romania. She is currently working as an examiner for an international testing service to evaluate English-language proficiency.