Our Leadership

Board Members - Advocacy

For more info, please see the advocacy section of this site

 Carmen Diaz

Carmen Diaz, VP Advocacy


Carmen Diaz has been in education since 2002. Prior to arriving in New York, she was an elementary school classroom teacher in Connecticut and was her school’s expert in serving English Language Learners, in both instruction and compliance. Each year, ELs were placed in her mainstream classroom to receive the supports and interventions necessary for ambitious language gains along with academic content. As her expertise improved, she became a leader for her peers and an advocate for all newcomer families in the district. Her work included collaborating with curriculum coordinators to write CCSS-based curricula for grades 2-6 that were inclusive of the needs of ELs as well as teaching adult ESL. This adult education course focused on the combined goals of English language development and preparation for GED and naturalization exams.

She moved to New York State in 2015, and is presently the Associate Director of Elementary Learning at the Albany Charter School Network. In this capacity, she has become a leader of TESOL best practices for content teachers and specialists in public schools. As an Instructional Coach, she supports teachers in making growth toward their annual goals. With her team, she designs professional development, revises and reviews curricula, creates assessments, and helps to build the capacity of new and veteran teachers as well as administrators. She also trains administrators in the basics of compliance to ensure ELs are served according to their legal rights.

A specific professional skill set she possesses as an educator is in educational technology.  She is passionate about technology integration and supports teachers and students in incorporating technology to empower all learners. As a Google Certified Trainer, she delivers a range of professional development sessions for teachers in using Google Apps for Education as well as Chromebooks and devices to enhance academic instruction.

Summarizing, she feels strongly about the rights of ELs and advocates for them in a variety of areas. Instructionally, she believes that ELs deserve the opportunity to embrace and excel with technology to prepare for the careers of the future. She is also well aware of the federal, state, and local legal foundations that support equity for ELs in education. As Interim VP of Advocacy, she will be responsible and cognizant of the needs of NYS TESOL. She will bring her insights on policy change and implication for ELs in New York to support NYS TESOL in making decisions and finding a formal position. She will work with the Advocacy Committee and attend statewide and national gatherings meant to increase efforts in supporting ELs in order to glean new information that can help NYS TESOL improve its own support and efforts. She will also explore opportunities to make connections with educational technology organizations in- and out-of-state to begin to solidify a partnership that will further prepare our learners for their future with technology. Not only will this connection pave the way for increased potential for our ELs, but it will also work in tandem with the NYSED goal to examine and increase technology use by ELs within classrooms. These will be the first steps toward increasing equity in career and educational opportunities for ELs, especially within the field of technology.

Iwan Notowidigdo, Federal Advocacy Coordinator
Iwan Notowidigdo began serving English language learners throughout New York State in 1986 through the federally-funded Bilingual Education Multifunctional Support Center (BEMSC) and New York Multifunctional Resource Center (NYMRC) at Hunter College. He continued his work at the federally-funded New York Technical Assistance Center (NYTAC) from 1995-2000. He was founding program director of the NYSED-funded New York City Bilingual Education Technical Assistance Center (NYC BETAC) at Hunter from 2000-2004. In 2005, he joined The Bronx Institute at Lehman College as Director of Sustainability to develop three federal Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) grants to serve over 12,000 Bronx students. During this period, he was coordinator of an OELA-funded Title III National Professional Development Project InTELL (Innovative Teaching for English Language Learners) and grant writer for the Institute's signature program, ENLACE (Engaging Latino Communities in Education), to help Latino students with high academic potential enter selective colleges. His advocacy experience includes serving on a New York State Education Commissioner's Task Force Committee on Bilingual Special Education, working with the National Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (and its New York State affiliate) and the Asian American Educational Research Forum, and locally participating in the Coalition for Educational Excellence for ELLs (CEEELL). Having been involved in several Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorizations, Iwan is concerned with ensuring informed ELL representation regarding implementation of the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Timothy John Ebsworth, Statewide Advocacy Coordinator

Timothy John Ebsworth, PhD, is Coordinator of Programs in Multilingual Multicultural Education (TESOL & Bilingual Educations) in The Graduate School at The College of New Rochelle. A former VP of NYS TESOL, he chaired the NYSABE Research SIG and is currently a member of the NABE Research SIG Advisory Board and the NABE Dissertation Award Panel. Dr. Ebsworth is a native of Wales. He taught ESL at the University of Puerto Rico in Ponce before relocating to the Metropolitan area. He has also taught graduate classes in TESOL and Bilingual Education at William Paterson University and NYU and ESL at the American Language Institute (NYU) and The American Language Program (Columbia University). Dr. Ebsworth's research interests include intercultural pragmatics, sociolinguistic identity, language and technology, and second language writing. His work has appeared in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Research on Language and Social Interaction, The Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity, The PR TESOLGram, and The Idiom. He serves on the editorial board of The International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching.


Shanon HillikerShannon Hilliker, Liaison to other organizations

Shannon M. Hilliker received her PhD at the University at Albany in Curriculum and instruction with a focus on language learning in 2007. She has been in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) field since 1999 where she has taught in both ESL (English as a Second Language) and teacher education. Dr. Hilliker is an Assistant Professor of TESOL at Binghamton University. Her research interests include rural education, teacher professional development, elementary ESL after school programs, international student success and online conversation and culture exchange.