Our Leadership

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

 

Director of SIGs

TBA
sigs@nystesol.org








 

Adult Education (see Adult Ed. SIG web page)


Tilla Alexander, Co-Chair
esladult@nystesol.org

For the past twenty years, Tilla Alexander has worked as an ESL teacher for the Office of Adult and Continuing Education, NYC DOE, first working in Queens and Williamsburg, Brooklyn before moving to the Mid-Manhattan Adult Learning Center in September, 2001.  At Mid-Manhattan, she worked with students enrolled in the ESL Clerical Pre-Vocational class where her students took 6 hours per week of computer class and 9 hours of ESL class.  Although the settings were different, the curriculum was intertwined and integrated.  Tilla was part of the LAC/Harvard Health Literacy Program and was featured in a video along with her students and health professionals at Harlem Hospital.  Her work in the pilot program led her to co-present with the LAC/Harvard Team at the International TESOL Conference in Tampa.  She currently teaches ESL 5/6 at the Mid-Manhattan Adult Learning Center. She also was a recipient of the LAC Literacy Achievement Award in 2007.  In addition, Tilla has been on the NYC Consortium for Adult Basic Education Planning Committee for the past seven years and is currently their webmaster.  Her previous work at NYS TESOL includes being on the Executive Board for three years, first as co-coordinator of SIGs and later as VP of Outreach.  Currently, she is co-chair of ESL Adult and exhibitor liaison for the 2017 conference.  Tilla has also presented workshops in several venues including NYAACE, NYU Literacy Review, the ABE Conference and NYS TESOL Salons. 


Emily Burnett, Co-Chair
esladult@nystesol.org

After completing a degree in Neuroscience with an emphasis on Neuropsychology and Cognitive Science, Emily Burnett began her career as a Language Educator in New York City through volunteer and professional experience during her time in the MA TESOL program at The New School in 2015. Emily has since worn a variety of hats in the ESL and language education fields, including as faculty in the ESL+Design/Music and Parsons ESL programs at The New School, a Content Developer & Consultant and Teacher Trainer for Fluent City, and various roles at the Center for Immigrant Education & Training (CIET) at LaGuardia Community College. Emily currently serves as the ESOL Programs Coordinator at CIET, and helps in coordinating the annual NYC ABE/ESOL Conference for the New York City Consortium for ABE/ESOL.


 



Applied Linguistics (see the ALWC 2019 page

Karolin Kaon

Karoline Kaon, Co-Chair
appliedlinguistics@nystesol.org

Karoline Kaon is a native New Yorker, whose TESOL journey began translating documents at the age of five, for her parents. She earned her B.A. in Linguistics at Binghamton University. Upon graduation, she taught geography, science and math courses in China. This experience motivated her to apply for and receive a Fulbright English Teaching position in Taiwan for a year. 

Bringing back this experience to the United States, she enrolled in an intensive M.A. TESOL program at her alma mater. Karoline is working full time as a NYC Public School teacher and part time towards her M.S in Bilingual Education at City College. 

Karoline’s involvement with NYS TESOL began with volunteering for the 2017 NYS TESOL Annual Conference. To get more involved with the organization, she is serving as the Applied Linguistics Winter Conference 2019 co-chair, which will be held at Binghamton University for its 40th Anniversary. NYS TESOL has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with professionals in the field and enhance own practice in the classroom.

Ozge Yol

Ozge Yol, Co-Chair
appliedlinguistics@nystesol.org

Karoline Kaon is a native New Yorker, whose TESOL journey began translating documents at the age of five, for her parents. She earned her B.A. in Linguistics at Binghamton University. Upon graduation, she taught geography, science and math courses in China. This experience motivated her to apply for andreceive a Fulbright English Teaching position in Taiwan for a year. 

Bringing back this experience to the United States, she enrolled in an intensive M.A. TESOL program at her alma mater. Karoline is working full time as a NYC Public School teacher and part time towards her M.S in Bilingual Education at City College. 

Karoline’s involvement with NYS TESOL began with volunteering for the 2017 NYS TESOL Annual Conference. To get more involved with the organization, she is serving as the Applied Linguistics Winter Conference 2019 co-chair, which will be held at Binghamton University for its 40th Anniversary. NYS TESOL has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with professionals in the field and enhance own practice in the classroom.




Bilingual Education

(see Bilingual Ed. SIG web page)


To be announced 
bilingual@nystesol.org 





Elementary Education

(see Elementary Ed. SIG web page)

Lisa Wittek, Chair, Brighton CSD
elementary@nystesol.org

Lisa Wittek earned her M.S. Ed. in TESOL from Nazareth College of Rochester and has taught ESL for the past fifteen years. Most recently, she has been teaching ELLs in grades 3-5 at French Road Elementary School (2011 National Blue Ribbon School) in Brighton, New York for the past 10 years. Lisa has been an active participant in many NYSESLAT development activities, from item writing to Final Eyes. Her other achievements include creating and running a successful summer enrichment program for ELL students for four summers. Students were actively engaged in thematic-based and experiential learning through core content. She also spearheaded a partnership with the anthropology department at Monroe Community College in Rochester, for a summer program in archaeology with her ELLs. Her current area of focus is on reading instruction for ELLs.

 


Higher Education 

(see Higher Ed. SIG web page)

Lubie Grujicic-Alatriste, Chair, NYC College of Technology, CUNY
highered@nystesol.org

Lubie works in the position of Associate Professor of English and Applied Linguistics at NYC College of Technology (CUNY), Department of English. She is the coordinator of academic ESOL program, director of the ESOL Language Lab and chair of the college-wide ESOL Task Force. She has taught ESL courses (all levels), second language writing, composition and rhetoric courses across CUNY, as well as graduate courses in applied linguistics and TESOL at Hunter College, New School University, and Long Island University. She has also presented at conferences and symposia in the USA and abroad. With her educational background in literature, theoretical and applied linguistics, and her long experience teaching ESOL, composition and linguistics, she strives to both build bridges among these disciplines and cross borders in research. Her current research interests are related to college writing and composition studies, classroom methodologies of teaching writing, second language acquisition, genre acquisition and genre transfer. She has published papers, reviews, and handbooks, and has recently edited, and authored a number of essays in the college textbook Urban Reader for College Writers.




Secondary Education 

(see Secondary Ed. SIG web page)

Jessica Babcock, Chair, Monroe Woodbury High School
secondary@nystesol.org

Jessica Babcock (formerly Marchi) began her career as a Lecturer for the Haggerty English Language Program at SUNY New Paltz. She currently teaches English and ESL at Monroe Woodbury High School. Jessica is especially interested in the use of technology to support language acquisition and has presented on the topic at the ALWC, TESOL International, and NYS TESOL Annual Conference, as well as summer teacher training workshops at SUNY New Paltz. In addition to earning her M.S. in TESOL, Jessica has also earned a M.P.S. (Master of Professional Studies) in Humanistic and Multicultural Education, both from SUNY New Paltz. She was awarded "Outstanding Graduate" in December 2015 for her achievements in the Humanistic program and is currently focused on the idea of integrating mindfulness and overall wellness into her ESL curriculum.


Special Education 

(see Special Ed. SIG web page)

MariLuz Genao, Chair
specialeducation@nystesol.org

MariLuz is a NYS Bilingual Special Education Specialist assigned to Long Island to provide information, training, and technical assistance on the referral, assessment, and provision of instruction to culturally and linguistically diverse students with suspected and/or identified disabilities, consistent with New York State guidelines and research-based effective practices. The Bilingual Special Education Specialist also assists districts in self-reviews related to disproportionality by race/ethnicity in the identification, classification, and/or special education placement of students with disabilities. After receiving dual teaching certificates through her undergraduate studies, MariLuz began her graduate studies through St. Joseph’s College to become a developmental specialist in 2011. She earned an Advanced Graduate Degree in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University in 2013, TESOL certificate through Molloy College in 2017, and a doctoral degree at St. John’s University in 2018. English is MariLuz’s second language. MariLuz has over 15 years in the field with experiences that stem from the neonatal unit at Stony Brook University, Bilingual Special Education Itinerant Teacher, Early Intervention services (ABA therapy, Family Training, Special Education Instruction, and Teacher Consultation), general education and special education classroom experiences across Long Island schools and Syracuse inner city schools, to leadership/administration. MariLuz’s passion and expertise is in tackling disproportionality at the system wide level through Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Practices and Evaluations.





Teacher Education 

(see Teacher Ed. SIG web page)

Seonhee Cho, Chair
teachereducation@nystesol.org

Dr. Seonhee Cho began her journey as an EFL teacher at a high school in South Korea at the age of 22. Although she never looked back since, it took two decades of teaching and learning to realize educating pre-and in-service teachers of ENL students and Multilingual learners has been her calling. She has been so fortunate to transit from a teacher to a teacher educator at Virginia Commonwealth University upon her doctoral degree at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During her professorship in Virginia for 5 years, she worked with pre-and in-service teachers of Foreign Language and ESL. During this time, she secured a federal grant to educate content-area teachers who were working with ENL students and engaged in a number of research writing projects.

Joining the department of Teacher Education at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York city in 2010, she has been not only teaching graduate TESOL courses but also coordinating MSTESOL program. Having to wear multiple hats taught her a great deal of administrative aspects from admission to graduation. Furthermore, working with full-time in-service teachers taught her that her job is not just teaching or providing advisement on what courses to take. She learned her students’ (in-service teachers) personal and professional struggles, endeavors, and accomplishments. She has been trying her best to accommodate their unique situation yet not to compromise rigor and quality of the graduate program. Her bond with her former and current students is special and her commitment to teacher education is beyond her job description.


Teaching English Internationally (see TEI SIG Page)

Lisa Pye, Chair,
tei@nystesol.org

Lisa brings over 20 years administration, professional development, and teaching experience from both the US and abroad educational environments. Lisa has taught pre-k to 12, college, and adult learners. She lived and taught in Madagascar for five years including two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Director of the English Language and Cultural Center of Fenerive-est where she supervised host country and Peace Corps ESL teachers, wrote curriculum, and provided cross-cultural and professional development workshops. For the next three years after Peace Corps, she taught ELA, ESL and photography at the American School of Antananarivo, Madagascar. Currently, she works as a Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBERN) teacher trainer/resource specialist at OCM BOCES in Syracuse, NY. Lisa has a Master's in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship of Syracuse University, a Master's of Arts in Art History from Hunter College, and is currently writing her dissertation on Identity Construction and Negotiation: Malagasy Adolescents' Photographic Narratives of Society, Family and Self for the Department of Cultural Foundations of Education in the School of Education of Syracuse University. She has certificates of advanced study for Internationally Leadership, Civic Society, and Gender. She was selected to be a Masaryk ESL Teaching Fellow to teach ELL learners in the Czech Republic. She was also selected to be a Syracuse University Future Professoriate and a SU University Mentor. As an adjunct instructor at SU she teaches English Language Learners (ENL), and Intergroup Dialogue: Gender. Lisa supports, among many interests, Girls Education and Let Them Learn endeavors, the importance and joy of reading, multi-cultural and experiential learning, and of course, teaching English internationally.