2021-2022 Diversity Sub-Committee

Jihan Ayesh

Jihan Ayesh is a Ph.D. student from Palestine in the Teaching and Curriculum program at the Warner School of Education, University of Rochester, NY. She has a BA degree in English Language and Literature from Bethlehem University, West Bank, and an MA degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Second Language (TESOL) from Nazareth College, NY. Jihan has been working as an English Language Teacher for diverse school and college-level students in Palestine and the United States. She also works as a Writing Consultant. Inspired by her passion for reading, Jihan volunteers in a reading program for at-risk children for reading difficulties in Rochester, NY. Her research interest is literacy and reading engagement for young English language learners, with a focus on the ones from disadvantaged backgrounds. She can be reached at jayesh@ur.rochester.edu

Sarvenaz Balali

Sarvenaz Balali is a Ph.D. candidate in English at Texas A&M University-Commerce specializing in applied linguistics. Sarvenaz holds a master’s degree in linguistics and a Bachelor of Arts in English translation. She has presented in a few local and international conferences. She has also published a brief essay titled “Diversity in Terms of Complexity Theory” in the AAALGrads newsletter. Sarvenaz’s current research focuses on socio-cultural aspects of language learning with a specific focus on “cultural discontinuity”. However, her research interests span a wider range of topics. And, she wishes to develop her current research to explore various aspects of cultural diversity as well as how it may contribute to the process of learning a second language.

Zakaria Fahmi

Zakaria Fahmi is PhD student in the Linguistic and Applied Language Studies (LALS) at the University of South Florida (USF). Zakaria holds a BA in English language and literature from Morocco, his country of origin, and an MA in Liberal Arts from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). He has been teaching ESL, French, and Arabic courses in various educational settings. His research interests center around areas of linguaculture, language ideology, and corpus assisted discourse studies. His dissertation project is invested in examining the practices of linguistic standardization and its inequities on culture in foreign language classrooms. He joined the Diversity Sub-committee to help accelerate the efforts to secure a diverse and equitable participatory environment. He can be reached at zakariaf@usf.edu.

Frances Wenrich

Frances Wenrich is a Graduate Student in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Boston University- Wheelock College of Education and Human Development. Frances holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. Her current research investigates topics including language engagement and second language acquisition. The target demographics for her research studies specifically consider underrepresented populations. Frances intends to use her role in the AAAL diversity sub-committee to continue advocating for greater inclusivity in the field and promoting diversity in the AAAL graduate student community. She can be reached at fkwenric@bu.edu

Member Testimonials

"As a member of the GSC diversity subcommittee, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the multifaceted nature of diversity, the role it plays in language education and the strategies that may help manage and apply diversity in Applied Linguistics. GSC is committed to responding to the needs of its members and help them connect and cooperate in a multicultural context. Being a member of GSC has been an invaluable experience which has enabled me to embrace diversity and cooperate with my peers who come from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds."  

- Sarvenaz Balali

2020-2021 Diversity Sub-Committee
Jihan Ayesh, University of Rochester
Ming-Tso Chien, University of Maine
Sarvenaz Balali, Texas A&M University-Commerce