Meet the ELI Instructors

Charles Colson

Training Specialist, ELI

Charles Colson

Charles Colson is a native Texan, born in Dallas, but he has lived in 10 other states (including Maine and Hawaii).  On his way to becoming a teacher he worked as a janitor, groundskeeper, window washer, machinist, warehouseman, electronics technician, and submarine sailor.  After receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, he earned a master’s in Teaching English as a Foreign Language/ Intercultural Studies.  He has taught in different schools and colleges for 15 years.  While he enjoys gardening and do-it-yourself landscaping projects, he has tried skydiving, parasailing, ziplining, whitewater rafting, and hot air ballooning, and still enjoys bicycling, sailing, and SCUBA.

Shawna Taylor

Training Specialist, ELI

2Shawna Taylor


Biography coming soon!

Elizabeth Johnson

Training Specialist, ELI



Elizabeth Johnson was born and raised in Fort Myers, Florida.  She earned her B. S. in Special Ed. at Florida State.  She soon moved to Huntsville as a newlywed in 1974.  Liz taught and served as librarian in public schools for 30 years and attended Sam Houston State University to complete 2 master’s degrees:  Reading and Library Science.  One exciting experience was a 2 week trip with the The Woodlands High School to Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima, Japan.  She has enjoyed teaching ELI classes part time since 2009.  Liz is active in First Christian Church and CASA which sponsors foster children.  She also assists at the Pre-School.  Liz’s personal interests include her book club and spending time with her three grandchildren.

Linda Parks

Training Specialist, ELI



Linda Parks rejoined the staff of the English Language Institute at Sam Houston State University in October 2017.  Born in Gonzales, Texas, Linda lived in Lubbock and Conroe, Texas before finding a permanent home in Huntsville in 1979.  She is a graduate of Sam Houston State University with a BA in English and French and a MA in International Literacy.  Her first teaching job was in the International Programs at SHSU teaching English as a second language from 1982 to 1984.  She taught for twenty years as a French teacher at Huntsville High School where she initiated the Advanced Placement Program for French.  Most memorable are the times she accompanied students on spring break trips to Spain, France, and Germany.  Linda returned to teaching English for academic purposes in November 2009 to the current ELI program at SHSU.  She retired in May 2017, but greatly missed teaching international students, so she is back doing what she loves.   Being active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations including the Sam Houston Folk Life Festival and other annual civic events also keeps Linda busy. Outside of professional interests, she loves traveling, reading, crocheting, cooking, and working the daily crossword puzzle.