Our Leadership

Board Members - Membership


Ashley Fifer, VP Membership, Nassau Community College, SUNY

Ashley Fifer holds Master's degrees in both Spanish and TESOL from NYU. After teaching Spanish at the K-12 level, she switched to her real passion: ELLs in higher education. She has taught First-Year Experience Courses at Marymount Manhattan College and taught in the CUNY CLIP program at Bronx Community College. Currently, she is the Academic Coordinator and a Lecturer in the LINCC Program at Nassau Community College, where she has been for 6 years. She has published for Idiom, as well as presented at a New York State TESOL Conference and several Long Island ESOL Conferences. She is also a part of the Conference Planning Committee for the annual Long Island ESOL Conference. Her presentations and interests include teaching civility/appropriate academic language and behavior in the university classroom and bridging the gap between IEPs and mainstream college classes.

Natalia de Cuba Romero, Director of Member Recruitment

Natalia de Cuba Romero holds master's degrees in Journalism and TESOL from Columbia University and Stony Brook University respectively. She has taught TEFL internationally in Italy and the Czech Republic, ELA in Puerto Rico, and TESOL in high school in Long Island, NY. She has been a fulltime lecturer in the Language Immersion at Nassau Community College (LINCC) program since the project's inception in 2007. In addition to presenting at conferences including TESOL International (where she won a Travelling Scholar grant in 2014), PR TESOL, NYS TESOL, LI ESOL and the Community College Humanities Association, she has spoken on educational issues for a number of professional associations. A prize-winning journalist specializing in food, wine and travel, her work has appeared in four continents in Spanish and English. Her culinary dictionary Eat Your Way Through Puerto Rico (2012) is undergoing revisions. She is a regular contributor to Edible Long Island and Edible East End publications both print and digital.

Frances Calleo, Director of Member Services

Frances Calleo holds a doctorate degree in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies with an area of specialization in Educational Leadership from Long Island University. She also holds a Master degree in TESOL from The City College of New York, CUNY. She has taught ESL to adult students at La Guardia Community College (CUNY) and Long Island University. In addition, she has taught ESL to K-12 students at Roslyn Public School District and Freeport Public School District. Currently, she is a Lecturer in the LINCC Program at Nassau Community College, where she has been for 2 years. Her interests include bridging the academic literacy gap and culturally responsive pedagogy in the classroom.

Joanne Beard, Mentoring Program Coordinator

Joanne Beard has almost 30 years experience as a public educator, teaching and working with refugees and immigrants. She was the ESL Department Chair at Proctor High School in Utica, NY, and spent several years teaching at the UCSD Adult School. She served as President of NYS TESOL in 2006-2007 and Syracuse Conference Chair in 2004. Joanne has served NYS TESOL in many positions including Special Interest Group Chair, Hotel Liaison, Scheduling Chair, Proposal Reader, TESOL Liaison, and has assisted many committees through the years. She received the James A. Lyndon Distinguished Service Award in 2012 for service to NYS TESOL. She was a recipient of a Japan Memorial Fulbright Award and frequently participates in the Kosciuszko Foundation/UNESCO Teaching English in Poland Program. Joanne is currently an appointed member on the New York State Education Department Regents Advisory Committee for the ELA Standards. She is an adjunct instructor in the TESOL ITI at SUNY Oswego and supervises student teachers.