Guest Bios

Meet the extraordinary people who are guests on “It’s About Language.” Get to know them, see what resources they’re sharing, and connect with them as you continue to find your voice and enter the conversation.


Elizabeth Mack Freestyle Languages

Introducing Elizabeth Mack (Episode 74)

Meet Elizabeth Mack, who turned her passion for deep language and cultural understanding into Freestyle Languages, a company dedicated to transformational language teaching and learning for individuals and businesses.

Megan Jeffrey of the National Foreign Language Center
Megan Jeffrey, NFLC

Introducing Megan Jeffrey (Episode 73)

Learn more about the National Foriegn Language Center and its resources and LECTIA app, with guest Megan Jeffrey, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Communication.

Episode 72 - It's About Language Podcast with Norah L Jones
Dali Tan joins Norah Jones for Episode 72 of It’s About Language

Introducing Dali Tan (Episode 72)

Learn more about Dr Dali Tan, guest on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 72, focused on the necessity of language and cultural studies to create a more just, equitable, and joyful world.

Episode 71 Breaking Silos Changing Lanes with Norah Jones

Introducing Steven Sacco (Episode 71)

Learn more about Steven Sacco, guest on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 71, focused onthe realities of language usage worldwide, and the implications for freedom to speak multiple languages to achieve common goals.

©Kristinn Ingvarsson

Introducing Renata Emilsson Peskova (Episode 63)

Learn more about Renata Emilsson Peskova, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 63, focused on international collaboration to support heritage languages.

Introducing Ken Cruickshank (Episode 63)

Learn more about Ken Cruickshank, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 63, focused on international collaboration to support heritage languages.

Introducing Antonella Cortese (Episode 63)

Learn more about Antonella Cortese, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 63, focused on international collaboration to support heritage languages.

Introducing Gisi Cannizzaro (Episode 63)

Learn more about Gisi Cannizzaro, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 63, focused on international collaboration to support heritage languages.

Introducing Neila Baumiliene (Episode 61)

Learn more about Neila Baumiliene, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 61, focused on the opportunities available to those who speak heritage languages.

Introducing Ashok Ojha (Episode 61)

Learn more about Ashok Ojha, guest panelist on It’s About Language with Norah Jones Episode 61, focused on the opportunities available to those who speak heritage languages.

Hugh Ballou, President of the SynerVision Leadership Foundation
Hugh Ballou, President of the SynerVision Leadership Foundation

Introducing Hugh Ballou (Episode 59)

Podcast 59’s guest, Hugh Ballou, provides language, images, and steps to transformational leadership for organizations and businesses.

Introducing Kim Haas (Episode 57)

“It’s About Language” guest Kim Hass shares her personal and professional journey to raising awareness of the contributions and cultures of Afro-Latinos over centuries.

Introducing Jenni Kilmore (Episode 54)

“It’s About Language” guest Jenni Kilmore shares how language teaching, educational resources, and personal connections transform individuals and communities.

Introducing Jacque Merritt (Episode 48)

“It’s About Language” guest Jacque Merritt shares why and how to listen, a pathway to successful and sustainable societies, relationships, and businesses.

Introducing Shawn Slakk (Episode 47)

“It’s About Language” guest Shawn Slakk demonstrates that an open mind and heart are the foundations for multilingualism and effective advocacy for a connected world.

Introducing Chaz Volk (Episode 46)

“It’s About Language” guest Chaz Volk is founder and owner of Mr Thrive Media, the producer of this podcast, and developer of effective language and pathways for media creatives and young people.

Introducing Leslie Baldwin (Episode 43)

Dr. Leslie Baldwin, my guest for episode 43, is an educator, a leader of a world language organization, and an author. Learn more about Leslie and check out her suggested resources.

Picture of Linda Zins-Adams, wearing green shirt and black blazer. Long brown hair.

Introducing Linda Zins-Adams (Episode 41)

Linda Zins-Adams, guest of Episode 41, is passionate about learners, because she’s passionate about potential, inclusion, and a more connected and joyful world. Learn more about Linda’s work and background.

portrait of jen carson. woman with long hair and blue suit jacket

Introducing Jen Carson (Episode 39)

My guest on It’s About Language, Jen Carson, inspires all of us with her life story, as well as with her language skills, advocacy, and compassion.

Portrait of Susan K. Younger

Introducing Susan K Younger (Episode 37)

Learn more about Susan K Younger, my guest for Episode 37 of It’s About Language, whose B.A.N.K. coaching work is part of a lifetime commitment to connecting and healing individuals and communities.

Introducing Cristina DiGiacomo (Episode 32)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 33 of It’s About Language is Cristina DiGiacomo, whose life changed and blossomed when she met philosophers – and now introduces them to us.

photo of Ashwini Prasad
Ashwini Prasad, Guest of Episode 31 and host of The Inclusive Storyteller

Introducing Ashwini Prasad (Episode 31)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 31 of It’s About Language is Ashwini Prasad, “The Inclusive Screenwriter,” who has dedicated herself to uncovering bias and making untold stories heard.

Introducing Robert Pizzini (Episode 30)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 30 of It’s About Language is Bob PIzzini, decorated Navy Special Ops veteran and man dedicated to sharing the language of leadership.

Introducing Arthur Padilla (Episode 28)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 28 of It’s About Language is Arthur Padilla, whose life and work honor, empower, and include those of all cultures and voices, broadly and powerfully defined.

Introducing Krista Chambless (Episode 25)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 25 of It’s About Language is Dr. Krista Chambless, transformational (and fun) language educator, engaging students and training up powerful teachers for a global future.

Introducing Ricky Adamson (Episode 23)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 23 of It’s About Language is Ricky Adamson, world language educator, supervisor, trainer, publisher, and a man who knows the power of inclusion to change lives.

Picture of Toni Theisen holding dog with shirt with dog picture
Toni Theisen

Introducing Toni Theisen (Episode 22)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 22 of It’s About Language is Toni Theisen, award-winning world language educational leader and advocate for inclusionary programs, courses, and mind-sets.

Introducing Maria del Pilar Garcia (Episode 20)

Norah Jones’s guest for Episode 20 of It’s About Language is Maria del Pilar Garcia: author, educator, philanthropist, and inspiration to young people in the US and her native Colombia and beyond.

Introducing Lisa Fore (Episode 18)

This week’s guest, Lisa Fore, brings her personal sense of urgency to engage all people in a journey from a narrow to a broad, inclusive, and celebratory view of languages, cultures, and individual value.

Introducing Ines Lormand (Episode 17)

This week’s guest, Ines Lormand, makes a passionate and personal plea for early bi- and multi-lingualism based on her life experiences, work, advanced studies, and

Introducing Eavan Mages (Episode 13)

This week’s guest, Eavan Mages, was born in Galway, Ireland, and has tapped her rich cultural and language history for her career and family life.

Introducing Sharla Zwirek (Episode 11)

This week’s guest on It’s About Language is Sharla Zwirek, who provides an insight into how we approach learning about the language and culture of others – and ourselves.

Introducing Parthena Draggett (Episode 6)

My guest this week is language educator superstar Parthena Draggett. Parthena shares inspirational stories and insights leading us to global awareness and participation.

Introducing Andrés Pi Andreu (Episode 5)

My guest this week, Andres Pi Andreu, has a special relationship with imagination, making it the lead with dancing partner language. Explore with us the role of language and culture not only in the past, but for their roles in a future of digital “metahumans.”

Introducing Carolyn Gill (Episode 4)

In this episode of It’s About Language, I talk with Carolyn Gill, multilingual world traveler who works in the world language publishing industry. We explore the joyful take on “the Other,” those whose languages and cultures have so much to reveal to and delight us – and ours to them.

Introducing Ken Stewart (Episode 3)

Ken’s biography demonstrates his commitment to and achievement of compassion, excellence, and community in world language teaching and learning.

Introducing Linda Markley (Episodes 2 & 53)

Episode 2 (airing 9/24) is with Linda Markley, a lifelong learner and teacher for over 40 years. Come learn about Linda and her ideas of teachers’ powerful advocate voices.