STAR Mentoring Program

STAR (Scholars of color Transitioning into Academic Research institutions) Mentoring Program

In 2008, the Ethnicity, Race, and Multilingualism (ERM) Committee proposed the creation of a pipeline for promising emerging scholars of color who will continue the strong tradition of leadership, research, and service within our organization and who will commit and dedicate themselves to addressing issues of racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity within our organization and within the literacy field. This resulted in the establishment of the STAR (Scholars of color Transitioning into Academic Research institutions) program—a selective mentoring program for scholars of color who are beginning their careers as literacy researchers. The objectives of the STAR program are to:

  • Help instill a strong professional stance within scholars of color,
  • Increase their knowledge of our organization’s rich history and traditions,
  • Inspire them to continue its legacy of scholarship, leadership, and service, and
  • Increase the pool of viable scholars of color who have been mentored by our organization.

The STAR program is a 2-year cohort model for eight scholars of color in the first two years of a tenure-track literacy appointment who are then matched with senior scholars of color in our field. As part of the STAR program, fellows and mentors participate in a series of mentoring and research sessions at two annual conferences and in a spring writing retreat. Fellows also present at a STAR Research Showcase session at the conference in their first year of the program and in an alternative session the second year.

Since 2009, the STAR program has mentored seven cohorts of emerging scholars of color who are committed to conducting research on the literacy education and development of students from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse backgrounds; who have the capacity to successfully navigate the tenure and promotion process at predominantly White research institutions; and who are active and productive leaders within our organization and in the literacy profession.

STAR Program Co-Directors

Pamela Mason

Harvard University

Aria Razfar

University of Illinois

Cohort Eight: 2022 - 2024

Dr. Marcus Croom


Mentor: Dr. Patricia Edwards

Marcus Croom is Assistant Professor in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at Indiana University in Bloomington. As a race critical researcher, his inquiries focus on race and literacies within educator preparation and educator development in American schooling, specifically teaching and learning as practiced with the post-White orientation. He typically generates knowledge through practice of race theory (PRT), case study, and qualitative methods, especially race critical practice analysis. His mission is to cultivate more human fulfillment and mitigate human suffering. Holistically, his work involves using research and experience to help individuals and groups develop racial literacies, which thereby advances the justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts of schools, universities, businesses, organizations, and communities.


Dr. Tala Karkar Esperat


Mentor: Dr. Pamela Mason

Tala Karkar Esperat is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Eastern New Mexico University. Her research agenda as an international literacy scholar focuses on enhancing ability of teachers to cultivate racially literate justice through new literacies, multiliteracies, and pedagogical literacy practices. She studies teacher pedagogical content knowledge of new literacies and traditional literacies in the classroom. Dr. Esperat wishes to contribute to the scholarship surrounding racial inequalities in classroom contexts to empower teachers, schools, organizations, and communities to fully utilize the assets of learners, oppose linguistic deficiencies, and empower racialized students.


Dr. Jin Kyeong Jung


Mentor: Dr. Vaughn Watson

Jin Kyeong Jung is Assistant Professor in Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies at Texas Tech University. She earned a Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and International Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Her interdisciplinary research agenda lies at the intersection of literacy, language, and technology to promote equity, access, inclusion, and diversity. She is particularly interested in digital literacies, youth civic engagement, education in global contexts, and linguistically and culturally diverse youth including transnational adolescents and racially marginalized students who often wrestle with and may feel excluded from standardized curriculum and instruction. She employs qualitative participatory research methodologies and ethnographic and multimodal approaches.


Dr. Jungmin Kwon


Mentor: Dr. Wan Shun Eva Lam

Jungmin Kwon is Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on the areas of language and literacy, immigrant children and families, transnational migration, and teacher preparation for linguistically and culturally diverse students. She is the author of “Understanding the Transnational Lives and Literacies of Immigrant Children” (Teachers College Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Bilingual Research Journal, Language and Education, Language Arts, and others.


Dr. Jason D. Mizell


Mentor: Dr. Aria Razfar

Jason D. Mizell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Miami. His research, teaching, and service are filtered through a cross-pollination of Systemic Functional Linguistics and Culturally Sustaining pedagogies in order to apprentice pre-and in-service teachers, minoritized youth, and wider community(ies) to (1) value, nurture, and critically examine racialized community languaging and literacies practices, (2) critically examine and deconstruct dominating languaging and literacies practices, (3) learn to remix languages and literacies critically in order to meet the needs of racialized youth and their accomplices in a multilingual and pluralistic society, and (4) to help subject area teachers make content-specific instruction anti-racist and accessible.


Dr. Rosa Nam


Mentor: Dr. Yoo Kyung Sung

Rosa Nam is Assistant Professor of English Education at Colorado State University. Her research centers on critical literacy, contemporary diverse adolescent literature, and AsianCrit in education. Before joining CSU, Dr. Nam worked with pre-service teachers in university and alternative certification programs and was a high school English teacher in Houston, TX. She is currently an assistant editor of The ALAN Review until 2023.


Dr. Lakeya Omogun


Mentor: Dr. Patriann Smith

Lakeya Omogun is an Assistant Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture at The University of Washington. Raised between her Nigerian and Black American cultures, her hybrid identity is reflected in her work that focuses on Black African immigrant youth. Specifically, her research explores the role of language, literacy, including digital literacies, in Black African immigrant youth identity constructions and negotiations across school, community, and digital spaces. She pays particular attention to the intersection of racialization and socialization processes that influence Black African immigrant youth identities. Lakeya draws on her lived experiences, the wisdom of her former middle school students, and the arts to inform her creative approach to shifting static ideas about identity, culture, and language in schools and society at large.


Dr. Crystal Wise


Mentor: Dr. Maneka Brooks

Crystal N. Wise begins a new position as an assistant professor in elementary literacy at the University of Minnesota in the fall. Her scholarship focuses on the early literacy development of African American children and children living and attending schools in low-socioeconomic communities. Her current work focuses on vocabulary instruction and assessment, culturally responsive instructional practices, project-based learning, and African Americans’ use of literacy as resistance and liberation. She is also a former kindergarten and second grade teacher.


Cohort Seven:
2019-2021 STAR Fellows

Cohort Six:
2017-2019 STAR Fellows

Cohort Five:
2015-2017 STAR Fellows

Cohort Four:
2013-2015 STAR Fellows

Cohort Three:
2011-2013 STAR Fellows

Cohort Two:
2010-2012 STAR Fellows

Cohort One:
2009-2011 STAR Fellows

Cohort Seven: 2019-2021

Paty Abril-Gonzalez

Paty Abril-Gonzalez, University of Texas, Austin
Mentor: Carmen Medina, Indiana University

Paty Abril-Gonzalez is Assistant Professor in Bilingual and Bicultural Education at the University of Texas in Austin. Her research agenda focuses on broadening teacher preparation for bilingual Latinx students, specifically in writing instruction. She uses multimodal approaches, particularly visual arts and digital tools to validate identity development, validation, and emotional healing. Her work is motivated by, both personal and professional experiences in bilingual education and art history in Colorado. Altogether, she threads community resources, artistic practices, and emotional expressions grounded in Chicana Feminist orientations to reimagine bilingualism and practices for Latinx youth in elementary public education.

Earl Aguilera

Earl Aguilera, California State University, Fresno
Mentor: P. Zitlali Morales, University of Illinois, Chicago

Earl Aguilera is Assistant Professor at the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at California State University, Fresno. His work examines issues at the intersection of literacy, educational equity, and technology integration, particularly for students from historically marginalized backgrounds. Prior to his time at Fresno State, he worked as a high school English teacher and K-12 reading specialist. His scholarship has appeared in publications such as Literacy Research: Theory, Method, & Practice, Literacy Today, and Pedagogies: An International Journal.

Idalia Nuñez Cortez

Idalia Nuñez Cortez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Mentor: Carmen Martínez-Roldán, Teachers College

Dr. Idalia Nuñez is an Assistant Professor of Language and Literacy in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with specialization in Bilingual-Bicultural Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focuses on exploring translanguaging, bilingualism, and biliteracy, and bilingual/ESL pre- and in-service teacher education. Dr. Nuñez’s work has been recognized and supported by Frederick Eby Research Award in Humanistic Studies in Education, Gates Millennium Fellowship Program, The UT Graduate Fellowship, multiple AERA 2019 Dissertation Awards, and NABE 2019 Dissertation Award.

Rebecca Linares

Rebecca Linares, University of Colorado Boulder
Mentor: Patricia Baquedano-López, UC Berkeley

Rebecca E. Linares is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at Montclair State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently teaches elementary literacy courses as well as courses in second language acquisition and content instruction in bilingual and sheltered English classrooms. Her research examines the at-school and out-of-school literacy practices of transnational newcomer students with a focus on how students access and utilize existing literacy knowledge in their native languages to negotiate their understanding of English and to mediate their participation in classroom-based literacy practices.

Bianca Nightengale-Lee

Bianca Nightengale-Lee, Florida Atlantic University
Mentor: Latrise Johnson, University of Alabama

Bianca Nightengale-Lee is Assistant Professor in the department of Curriculum Culture & Educational Inquiry at Florida Atlantic University. As a critically engaged community scholar, her research explores critical pedagogy as it relates to socially conscious curriculum development for culturally and linguistically diverse students. Within teacher preparation, she examines what it might mean to approach issues of inequity, privilege, and oppression with teachers through critical inquiry and intersectionality. Within schools and community, she investigates how to improve the literacy outcomes of African-American students through hip-hop based literacy. With each facet of her work Dr. Nightengale-Lee is committed to preparing the next generation of educators to meet the demands of 21st century contexts, which reflect the racially, socially, and politically charged structures that shape education, and the pathways that lead to more humanizing modes of pedagogy.

Tiffany Nyachae

Tiffany Nyachae, Pennsylvania State University
Mentor: Jennifer Dandridge Turner, University of Maryland

Dr. Nyachae is Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary Education, Literacy, and Educational Leadership at Buffalo State College (SUNY) where she teaches literacy, diversity, and social foundations courses. As a Black feminist pedagogue and interdisciplinary, community-based scholar, she employs literacy and curriculum to engage race and justice in various urban contexts. This agenda is evident in her research on supporting the racial literacy, social justice ideological becoming, and classroom practice of urban teachers. Dr. Nyachae’s publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Multicultural Learning and Teaching, Gender and Education, and Qualitative Inquiry.

Alicia Rusoja

Alicia Rusoja, St. Mary’s College of California
Mentor: Danny Martínez, UC Davis

Dr. Rusoja is Assistant Professor in the Justice, Community and Leadership Program at Saint Mary’s College of California. She earned a PhD in Reading/Writing/Literacy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. Her interests lie at the intersection of critical literacy and pedagogy, human rights advocacy, and practitioner inquiry as a methodology to resist coloniality in research, education and organizing. Her work has been published in scholarly and community-based journals, and her study on the intergenerational literacy, learning and teaching practices mobilized by Latinx immigrants organizing for their rights was awarded distinction at PennGSE, where she also received the Ralph C. Preston Award for Scholarship and Teaching Contributing to Social Justice.

Tran Nguyen Templeton

Tran Nguyen Templeton, University of North Texas
Mentor: Ana Christina de Silva Iddings, Vanderbilt University

Tran Nguyen Templeton is Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Studies at the University of North Texas. She received her doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. Interested in the production of the child through dominant and critical discourses of childhood, Tran employs ethnographic and visual methods to study children’s co-constructions of their own complex identities in/through photography, play, and literacy practices. She also examines how adults situate young children in relation to critical forms of curriculum. Tran is a 2017-2018 AERA Minority Dissertation Fellow and has published her work in Children’s Geographies, Harvard Educational Review, and Language Arts.

Cohort Six: 2017-2019

Dr. Eliza Braden

Dr. Eliza Braden, University of South Carolina, SC
Mentor: Aria Razfar, University of Illinois, Chicago

Dr. Eliza Braden is Assistant Professor in Elementary Education in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolina. She currently teaches literacy methods courses in the Elementary Education program. Her research interests include critical language and literacy practices of culturally and linguistically diverse young children (i.e., African American and Latinx children), family literacy, social justice education, and digital literacy. Dr. Braden’s work has been published in English Journal, Language Arts Journal of Michigan, and Journal of Language and Literacy Education.

Dr. Kisha Bryan

Dr. Kisha Bryan, Tennessee State University, TN
Mentor: Jamal Cooks, San Francisco State University

Dr. Kisha Bryan is Assistant Professor of Education in the Department of Teaching & Learning at Tennessee State University. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in ESL/Bilingual Education from The University of Florida. Her research focuses on Black immigrants; the role of language, literacy, and racial ideologies in immigrant identity construction; and media literacy for diverse populations. Dr. Bryan has been named amongst TESOL International Association’s 30 Up and Coming. She is a contributing author in Cultivating Achievement, Respect, and Empowerment (CARE) for African American Girls in PreK-12 Settings (2016) and has published in NCTE’s Voices from the Middle (2017) and English Journal (2016).

Dr. Delicia Greene

Dr. Delicia Greene, SUNY Albany, NY
Mentor: Antero Garcia, Stanford University

Dr. Delicia Tiera Greene is Assistant Professor of Digital Literacies in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning in the School of Education at the University at Albany- State University of New York (SUNY). She earned her Ph.D. in Information Science and Technology with a specialization in Literacy, Language, and Culture from The School of Information Studies (The iSchool) at Syracuse University.Dr. Greene’s research focuses on enhancing teaching and learning for literacy educators, school librarians, and students in the urban secondary digital literacy contexts. As an emerging scholar, Dr. Greene’s work and academic excellence have been recognized and supportive by fellowships and grant awards, such as the Ronald E. McNair University Dissertation Fellows Award, the Institute of Museum and Library Services Doctoral Fellows Award, AERA Division K Early Career Travel Award, and NCTE Conference on English Education Cultural Diversity Award.

Dr. Stephanie P. Jones

Dr. Stephanie P. Jones, Grinnell College, IA
Mentor: Danny Martínez, University of California, Irvine

Dr. Stephanie P. Jones is Assistant Professor in the Department of Education at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa. She obtained her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education from the University of Georgia. Dr. Jones currently teaches foundational courses in education and specialized courses in critical literacy, young adult literature, and English education methods. Her research examines the ways in which racial trauma is taken up specifically in English language arts classrooms, with an emphasis on creating intersectional pedagogies and curriculums that prioritize collective and cultural memory.

Dr. Gilberto Lara

Dr. Gilberto Lara, University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley
Mentor: Grace Enriquez, Lesley University

Gilberto P. Lara is Assistant Professor of Bilingual and Literacy Studies at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX. He received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Bilingual/Bicultural Education. His research focuses on the language, literacy and pedagogical practices of teachers in dual language classrooms, in particular, focusing on critical literacy through the use of multicultural children’s literature. His work seeks to make connections for the preparation of future teachers as it pertains to educating emergent bilinguals and students of color. His research has been published in the Bilingual Research Journal.

Dr. Alice Lee

Dr. Alice Lee, Illinois State University, IL
Mentor: Carmen Kynard, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY

Dr. Alice Y. Lee is Assistant Professor of Elementary Literacy in the School of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and taught grades K through 7 for over eight years. Her research theorizes about the role of teacher knowledge in pedagogy through her development of “Teachers as Embodied Toolkits” as a conceptual lens. She employs this framework to critically understand how teachers embody race and language, particularly African American Language. Her work also explores the ways teachers manifest themselves in pedagogy.

Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica

Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica, Santa Clara University, CA
Mentor: P. Citlali (Lali) Morales, University of Illinois, Chicago

Dr. Claudia Rodriguez-Mojica is Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Santa Clara University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum Studies & Teacher Education from Stanford University. Her scholarly interests focus on supporting emergent bilinguals’ access to academic content through instructional supports and scaffolds and bilingual instruction. She also studies the experiences of preservice teachers of color in their teacher education program and, specifically, in their literacy courses. Dr. Rodriguez-Mojica currently teaches literacy, English language development, and bilingual teacher preparation courses.

Dr. Patriann Smith

Dr. Patriann Smith, Texas Tech University, TX
Mentor: Ramón Martínez, Stanford University

Dr. Patriann Smith is Assistant Professor of Language, Diversity, and Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Dr. Smithintegrates her teaching and research to advocate for literacy instruction and assessment that better reflects how English language ideologies and cross-cultural factors impact the literacies of (Caribbean and African) immigrant speakers of non-standardized English(es) across K-12 and university contexts. Her awards and recognitions include the International Reading Association’s Reading Hall of Fame Young Scholar (2013-2017) and the American Educational Research Association’s Language and Social Processes SIG Emerging Scholar (2015) awards.

Cohort Five: 2015-2017

Dr. April Baker-Bell

Dr. April Baker-Bell, Michigan State University
Mentor: Dr. Tonya Perry, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Dr. April Baker-Bell is an Assistant Professor in the department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. She also teaches courses in the English Education and African American and African Studies programs.

Dr. Baker-Bell’s research examines how African American youth construct their linguistic, cultural, and racial identities in relation to dominant language ideologies. Her research also explores how classroom instruction and counter-hegemonic pedagogies can be leveraged to support African American youth in constructing positive and transformative understandings of their linguistic and racial identities.

Dr. Maneka Deanna Brooks

Dr. Maneka Deanna Brooks, Texas State University
Mentor: Dr. Eurydice Bauer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Maneka Deanna Brooks is an Assistant Professor of Reading Education at Texas State University where she works with in-service and pre-service teachers on topics related to equity and literacy education. Broadly, her scholarly interests focus on exploring the intersections of bilingualism and literacy. Her most recent work examines the literacy development of bilingual adolescents. However, she also studies the ways in which racial, linguistic, and ethnic diversity is conceptualized and addressed in teacher education. Maneka’s work has been published in Research in the Teaching of English, Language and Education, the Handbook of Bilingual and Multilingual Education, and other venues.

Dr. Theda Gibbs

Dr. Theda Gibbs, Ohio University
Mentor: Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz, Teachers College, Columbia University

Dr. Theda Marie Gibbs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Ohio University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction & Teacher Education with a specialization in Language & Literacy and Urban Education from Michigan State University. She currently teaches undergraduate and graduate foundational reading and literacy research courses. Her research explores how to create more equitable learning spaces that embrace the literacies and lived experiences of African American youth both in and beyond school. Through a second line of research, she explores how teacher preparation programs prepare prospective teachers to develop culturally relevant teaching practices in all content areas, with an emphasis on reading courses.

Dr. Bong Gee Jang

Dr. Bong Gee Jang, Oakland University Mentors: Dr. Ramón Antonio Martínez, Stanford University

Bong Gee Jang is an assistant professor in the Department of Reading and Language Arts. Bong Gee received his Ph.D. in Reading Education from University of Virginia in 2013. His main areas of research include literacy motivation and engagement in digital settings and disciplinary/content literacy. His research has appeared in Reading Research Quarterly, Educational Psychology Review, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, The Reading Teacher, and Assessment for Effective Intervention. Bong Gee teaches courses related to disciplinary literacy and language arts for both pre-service and in-service teachers. He also teaches introductory and advanced quantitative research method courses to doctoral students.

Dr. Lamar Johnson

Dr. Lamar Johnson, Miami University
Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Danridge Turner, University of Maryland

Lamar L. Johnson is an Assistant Professor of Literacy for Racial and Linguistic Diversity at Miami University in Oxford, OH. He received his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Curriculum Studies and Language and Literacy. His research focuses on Black education. Within the context of Black education, he is interested in the complex intersections of race, literacy, and education. Johnson’s work is featured in the Journal of African American Males in Education, The Journal of Negro Education, and English Education. His awards and recognitions include Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars of Color research program through the National Council of Teachers of English and Asa G. Hillard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Research Institute recipient from the American Education Research Association.

Dr. Bonnie Farrier

Dr. Bonnie Farrier, California State University, Fullerton
Mentor: Dr. Carmen Kynard, John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY

Bonnie Farrier’s research centers on issues in composition studies including theorizing African American literate and rhetorical traditions, understanding the intersections of gender and language in relationship to black female discursive practices, applying the perspectives from critical race studies and culturally relevant pedagogy to issues of teaching and learning, and highlighting new pedagogical approaches to African American language and literacy.

Cohort Four: 2013-2015

Antonieta Avila

Antonieta Avila, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Mentor: Aria Razfar

Antonieta Avila is an assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She teaches courses in the Second Language Education Program. She completed her Ph.D. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from the University of Texas at Austin. Antonietahas been an educator for over 20 years, and taught in Mexico City, Los Angeles and Austin.Her scholarly interests focus on exploring the intersections of science learning, literacy, and bilingual education in elementary classrooms. Through her work with teachers, parents, and students she advocates for access to equitable education highlighting the need to support students’ cultural and linguistic resources. As an emerging scholar, her research work and academic excellence have been recognized and supported by competitive merit-based fellowships and scholarships such as the UT Austin’s Center for Mexican American Studies Dissertation Fellowship, the MetLife Scholarship Fund, the Cora Merriman Martin Scholarship Fund, and the E.D. Farmer International Fellowship.

Soria Colomer

Soria Colomer, University of South Florida
Mentor: María Fránquiz and Eurydice Bauer

Soria Colomer is an assistant professor of in the College of Education at Oregon State University. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor of Foreign Language/ESOL Education at University of South Florida and a core faculty member of the Second Language Acquisition & Instructional Technology (SLA/IT) doctoral program. Her research focuses on the positioning of Latina/o teachers and bilingual faculty in schools with growing Latina/o student populations. She is particularly interested in teacher recruitment policies and teacher preparation practices. She has been the recipient of a Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Scholarship, an American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Internship, and an American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Graduate Fellowship.

Mary McGriff

Mary McGriff, New Jersey City University Mentors: Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz and Tonya Perry

Mary McGriff is an assistant professor in the Literacy Education Department at New Jersey City University, and her research and teaching focuses on English learner literacy, content area literacy and professional development related to these areas. She is the author of Teacher Identity and ELL-Focused Content Area Professional Development (Action in Teacher Education). She is a contributing author in the books Beloved Educators, Women of Color Who Inspire Us and Language-based Approaches to Support Reading Comprehension. She received a New Jersey Department of Education grant to fund a professional development network for seven New Jersey schools. Prior to earning her Ed.D.from Rutgers University, she served as a school administrator and a middle grades language arts teacher in New Jersey and Texas public schools.

Maria Selena Protacio

Maria Selena Protacio, Western Michigan University
Mentor: Robert Jiménez

Maria Selena Protacio is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education and Literacy Studies at Western Michigan University. She obtained her Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education with a Language and Literacy specialization from Michigan State University. Her research interests focus on increasing reading motivation and engagement among English Language Learners and preparing pre-service and in-service teachers to work in diverse classrooms. Her work has been published in Reading Teacher and Asia-Pacific Journal of Education. She is currently the Co-Editor of the Reading Horizons journal.

Kwangok Song

Kwangok Song, Arkansas State University Mentors: Eurydice Bauer and Mileidis Gort

Kwangok Song is an assistant professor of reading and literacy studies in the department of Teacher Education and Leadership at Arkansas State University. Her research areas include, but not limited to, emergent bilingual students’ language and literacy experiences in and out of school settings, and their language and literacy development. She has published in Journal of Early Childhood Literacy.

Monica Yoo

Monica Yoo, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
Mentor: Allison Skerrett

Monica S. Yoo is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs where she teaches courses in literacy and secondary teacher education. Her scholarly areas of interest include students’ uptake of strategies for reading and writing, connections between reading and writing, and content area teachers’ understandings of literacy within their disciplines. She was awarded a University of Colorado Diversity and Excellence Grant to start a university-high school mentorship project in which university tutors act as literacy coaches to urban high school students. Her work has appeared in the Colorado Reading Council Journal and in the following books: Reading and Writing with Understanding; Secondary School Reading and Writing: What Research Reveals for Classroom Practices; and Talking Science, Writing Science: The Work of Language in Multicultural Classrooms.

Cohort Three: 2011-2013

Marva Solomon

Marva Solomon, Angelo State University
Mentor: Wanda Brooks

Marva Solomon is an assistant professor in the department of teacher education at Angelo State University. Her research interests center around the intersection of culture, creativity and technology for primary aged readers and writers. She received an internal grant to research the role of technology in improving the academic language growth of English Language Learners. Publications include a chapter in Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change and Assessment in the 21st Century Classroom (2010) concerning 2nd graders’ writing on the internet, as well as a 2012 article published in Talking Points (NCTE) titled, “Why can’t you just say, ‘It’s cute?’” The role of audience in first graders’ digital storytelling. Dr. Solomon is the director of the Pearl of the Concho Writing Project at Angelo State University and facilitated writing camps for teachers, teens, and young writers in the summer of 2014.

Silvia Noguerón-Liu

Silvia Noguerón-Liu, University of Georgia Mentors: Patricia Enciso and Marjorie Orellana Faulstich

Silvia Noguerón-Liu is an assistant professor in the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia. Her teaching, research and service are grounded ion socio-cultural and critical perspectives to digital literacies in classroom, family, and community contexts. In her instruction and scholarship, Dr. Noguerón-Liu aims to create learning environments where educators recognize and leverage as resources the funds of knowledge of culturally and linguistically diverse students, including student and family participation in literacy practices in local and transnational spaces. Her publications, courses, and grant activity all contribute to the following interrelated areas: (a) the study of literacy practices in transnational contexts from ethnographic perspectives, where learning resources flow across individuals’ sending and receiving nations; (b) the study of digital literacies’ potential for identity construction through digital writing, reading, and communication practices; and (c) participatory action research approaches to adult and family literacy projects. Her work has been published in the 61st Yearbook of the Literacy Research Association, Learning, Media & Technology, and the International Multilingual Research Journal.

P. Zitlali Morales

P. Zitlali Morales, University of Illinois at Chicago
Mentor: Kathleen Hinchman

P. Zitlali Morales is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, and affiliated faculty of the Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). She examines the linguistic interaction of students and teachers through the use of discourse analysis and other qualitative methods. She views language acquisition from a sociocultural perspective as participants learning to use language through the use of cultural practices, and specializes in additive models of language acquisition for emergent bilinguals. Her research focuses on preparing teachers to meet their multilingual students’ needs by leveraging the language and cultural knowledge that students bring to the classroom. Other research projects include exploring the learner identities of linguistic minority students in Spanish-English dual immersion programs and studying how language ideologies affect the context of schooling for immigrant students and multilingual learners. She is co-PI on a National Science Foundation funded project, “Literacy and New Communication Technologies in Contexts of Transnational Migration” studying the digital literacy practices and transnational ties of immigrant youth. Her most recent co-authored manuscript can be found in Anthropology and Education Quarterly titled, \“¿PurasGroserías?: Rethinking the role of profanity and graphic humor in Latin@ students’ bilingual wordplay.\”

Cohort Two: 2010-2012

Tisha Ellison

Tisha Ellison, Georgia State University
Mentor: Gwendolyn McMillon

Tisha Lewis Ellison is an assistant professor in Language and Literacy at Georgia State University. Her research interests explore how agency, identity, and power among African American families are constructed as they use digital tools to make sense of their lives. She was the 2012 recipient of the NCTE Promising Researcher Award, a finalist of the 2011 IRA Outstanding Dissertation Award, and a former fellow of the NCTE Research Foundation’s Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color Program. She was a recipient of the J. Michael Parker Award and is currently serving as a board member. She is an editorial review board member for the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Literacy Research Association Yearbook, and Reading Horizons. She is also a journal reviewer for the LRAArea 7 and Qualitative Research. Her current research study: Dig-A-Fam: Families’ Digital Storytelling Project, funded by the NCTE Research Foundation Grant, explores the digital stories, practices, and experiences of African American parents and youth. Her work has appeared in the Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Education, Literacy Research Association Yearbook, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Language Arts, Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media and the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.

Seemi Aziz

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona
Mentor: María Fránquiz

Seemi Aziz is a visiting and adjunct assistant professor in Global Cultures, Literacy, and Literature in the Department of Teaching and Learning and Sociocultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include children’s and young adult literature, issues of representation and religious freedom, and arts and visual cultural analysis in education. She has published in Journal of Children’s Literature, School Library Journal, and the 58th Yearbook of the National Reading Council.

Carol Brochin

Carol Brochin, University of Arizona
Mentor: María Fránquiz

Carol Brochin is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual/Multicultural Education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as a language arts and literacy teacher in her hometown Laredo, Texas located on the US/Mexico border. It was in this transnational, multilingual context that she cultivated her research and teaching interests in preparing teachers to develop pedagogical practices that affirm the literacy practices of diverse students across educational settings. Her research interests include teacher education and preparation, LGBTQ and bilingual literature for youth, and multimodal literacies. Her research has been supported by grants from the American Association of University Women, the Texas Education Agency, the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Association for the Study of Higher Education/Lumina Foundation, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Prior to joining the College of Education, she was an Assistant Professor of Literacy and English Education at the University of Texas at El Paso where she also directed the West Texas Writing Project (2012-2014). She received her Ph.D. (2010) in Culture, Literacy and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Yoo Kyung Sung

Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico
Mentor: Kathy Au

Yoo Kyung Sung is an assistant professor of literacy and language arts at University of New Mexico. Her research interests includepolitics in children’s literature; cultural studies; immigration literature and young readers; ideology and identity in language studies; postcolonial studies and children’s literature; translation studies and international children’s literature. She has published in the Journal of Children’s Literature and Bookbird: Journal of International Children’s Literature.

Cohort One: 2009-2011

Marcelle Haddix

Marcelle Haddix, Syracuse University
Mentor: Mark Conley

Marcelle Haddix is a Dean’s Associate Professor and program director of English education in the Syracuse University School of Education. Her scholarly interests center on the experiences of students of color in literacy and English teaching and teacher education. She also directs the Writing Our Lives project, a program geared toward supporting the writing practices of urban youth within and beyond school contexts. Haddix’s work is featured in Research in the Teaching of English, English Education,Linguistics and Education, and Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Her awards and recognitions include the American Educational Research Association Division K Early Career Award; the National Council for Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award; and the Syracuse University Meredith Teaching Award, one of SU’s most prestigious teaching honors.

Ying Guo

Ying Guo, University of Cincinnati
Mentor: Lee Gunderson

Ying Guo, Ph. D. is an assistant professor of Literacy Education in the School of Education at University of Cincinnati. Her research focuses on reading and writing development for children who exhibit developmental vulnerabilities in academic achievement. Specifically, her work is directed towards the development and evaluation of early interventions to prevent reading and writing failure. In addition, she is interested in identifying teacher and classroom factors that predict reading and writing achievement. She is co-principal investigator of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Goal II Study (R324A130205). The main purpose of this study is to develop a supplemental book reading intervention that uses expository books to teach language and expository text skills to preschool-age children with language impairment. Her work is featured in a variety of journals, including Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Journal of Research in Reading, Journal of Early Intervention, Reading and Writing, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Early Education and Development, The Elementary School Journal, and Teaching and Teacher Education. She was recognized in 2013 and 2014 with the university faculty awards (UC Faculty CECH Scholarship Incentives Award for Research and Scholarship).

Grace Enriquez

Grace Enriquez, Lesley University
Mentor: María E. Fránquiz

Grace Enriquez is an assistant professor in the Language & Literacy Division at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.Her scholarship focuses on critical literacies; intersections of literacies, identities, and embodiment; and children’s literature for social justice. Awards include being selected as the winner of the 2013 Children’s Literature Assembly Research Award and a recipient of a 2013 National Council of Teachers of English Research Foundation Grant, both for her research on children’s literature and critical literacy teaching. In 2011, she was also selected as a finalist for the 2011 International Reading Association Outstanding Dissertation of the Year for her research on issues of embodiment and school literacy learning. She is co-editor of a book project titled Literacies, Learning, and the Body: Bringing Research and Theory into Pedagogical Practice. Other publications include the book The Reading Turn-around, co-written with Stephanie Jones and Lane W. Clarke, and various journal articles in Reading Research Quarterly, Anthropology & Education Quarterly, The Reading Teacher, Journal of Education, Journal of Children’s Literature, and English Teaching: Practice and Critique. She is the LRA Field Council Chair beginning 2015.