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2022-2023 Event Planning Sub-Committee

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Kyungjin Hwang

Kyungjin Hwang (she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate in Language and Literacy at the University of South Carolina. Kyungjin is a former English teacher at middle and high schools in South Korea, and currently teaches Korean language to Korean immigrant children at a community-based Korean language school in the U.S. She particularly makes an effort to devise and implement methods to allow Korean heritage bilingual children to use their semiotic and linguistic resources for their creative and critical meaning-making. She also works as an executive assistant at the Bilingualism Matters Center @ UofSC, which supports research and events to promote awareness about bilingualism. Her primary research interests include Heritage Language Maintenance, Dynamic Bilingualism, Multimodal Translanguaging Pedagogy, Language Ideology, and English as a Second or Foreign Language. She can be reached at

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John Wayne N. dela Cruz

John Wayne N. dela Cruz is a PhD student in Educational Studies - Language Acquisition at McGill University. John’s research examines plurilingualism in the context of language education and Canadian mono/bilingual policies, and he is particularly interested in the plurilingual practices and identities of immigrants learning the official English and French languages as additional languages. His research interests stem from being a Filipino immigrant to Canada, and from being a plurilingual language learner himself. Outside of research, John organizes GradTalks—a speaker series for and by graduate students— for McGill’s Plurilingual Lab, and works as a teacher: he has taught ESL using plurilingual pedagogies to francophone Canadian learners at various levels, as well as an undergraduate course for pre-service ESL teachers. Feel free to reach out to him at

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Yadi Zhang

Yadi Zhang is a Ph.D. student in the Teaching and Curriculum Program at the University of Rochester. Her research interest is centered around technology applications that effectively mediate EFL/ESL language learning, with a particular focus on digital literacy and EFL/ESL online teaching. Yadi holds an MA degree in TESOL from the University of Rochester along with a New York State online teaching certificate, Evaluation Program Certificate, and a BA degree in English Education from Capital Normal University in Beijing, China. She has taught the English language to students of various ages for seven years in both public and private institutions. Currently, she works as a research assistant and teaching assistant at the University of Rochester in New York. As an international student and educational professional, her teaching is informed by the idea that every student is unique. Yadi is committed to ensuring every student should have equal access to educational resources.  She can be reached at

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Insil Jeon

Insil Jeon (she/her) is a PhD student in Curriculum and Instruction at University of Minnesota. She is a former elementary school teacher in Seoul, South Korea. During that time, she closely worked with immigrant students and their families, developing her professional expertise in practice-driven bilingual education. She’s now working with student teachers at UMN, and continues to expand her areas of interest including: Language ideology, Raciolinguistics, and Critical Discourse Analysis. Her current research project takes on a raciolinguistic purview in focusing on immigrant students’ racialization experiences. She can be contacted at:

Member Testimonials

I am lucky to be a member of the AAAL GSC event planning sub-committee since 2020. Led by our amazing leader, our team has organized several webinars, pre-conference workshops, and contributed to other GSC events. This experience has provided me an opportunity to practice my organizational and communication skills as well as learn from a team of capable and supportive co-members and friends. I look forward to the upcoming year and many more exciting events! 

-Yuchan (Blanche) Gao

2021-2022 Event Planning Sub-Committee

Yuchan (Blanche) Gao, Arizona State University

Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi, Iowa State University

Rong Ren, Arizona State University

Maria Kostromitina, Northern Arizona University

Yadi Zhang, University of Rochester

2020-2021 Event Planning Sub-Committee 

Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi, Iowa State University

Yuchan (Blanche) Gao, Arizona State University

Rong Ren, Arizona State University

Maria Kostromitina, Nothern Arizona University

2019-2020 Event Planning Sub-Committee 

Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi, Iowa State University

Zhongfeng Tian, Boston College

Elif Burhan-Horasanli, University of Arizona

Ufuk Keles, University of Alabama

Conor McKeon, Marquette University

Jackie Ridley, Ohio State University

Tyler True, Northern Arizona University

Zhenjie Weng, Ohio State University

2018-2019 Event Planning Sub-Committee 

Nicole King, Ohio State University

Conor Mckeon, Marquette University

Rong Ren, Arizona State University

Jennifer Slinkard, University of Arizona

Rebecca Tang, Ohio State University

Nathan Thomas, University of Oxford

Tyler True, Northern Arizona University

Rurik Tywoniw, Georgia State University

2017-2018 Event Planning Sub-Committee 

David Chiesa, Georgia State University

Wendy Li, Michigan State University

Jihye Shin, Northern Arizona University 

Fang Wang, The University of Iowa 

Yi Wang, University of Arizona 

Zhaozhe Wang, Purdue University

2016-2017 Event Planning Sub-Committee 

Melinda Childs, Georgia State University

Yuhan Lin, University of Hawaii

Andrea Lypka, University of South Florida

Ji-Young Shin, Purdue University

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