2021-2022 Event Planning Sub-Committee

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Yuchan (Blanche) Gao

Blanche is a PhD student and research assistant in Learning, Literacies, and Technologies at Arizona State University. Her research interests lie in the intersection of gameful L2 learning and pedagogy (game-enhanced, game-based, game-informed), technology-mediated language learning, and instructional design. She received her BA degree in Linguistics from Southern Illinois University and MEd degree in Curriculum and Instruction and TESOL Certificate from the University of Virginia. She worked as a secondary school ESOL instructor and curriculum director as well as a university teaching assistant and communication consultant in the US and China. She can be reached at ygao148@asu.edu

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Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi

Fatemeh Bordbarjavidi is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Technology at Iowa State University (ISU). She received her MA in TESOL at University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in 2017. She earned her BA in English Language and Literature at Azad University in Tehran, Iran, her home country. She has taught ESL courses at Cultural and Intensive English Language Program (CIEP) at UNI during her master’s program. She also has worked as an EFL instructor for four years in Iran. She has taught academic writing courses to international graduate and undergraduate students at ISU for three years. Currently, she is a mentor coordinator and teaching assistance and research assistance for Using Educational Technology in the English Language Classroom Global Online Course (GOC) at ISU. Her research interests are in corpus linguistics, and English for Academic Purposes. More specifically, she is interested in analyzing different features of sentences and grammar complexity in written register. She has presented her works and served as a volunteer at different conferences such as AACL, MIDTESOL, TSLL, and PSLLT. She is also interested in literature, arts, and theatre. She has translated and published three plays by Joao Rei Villar, a 2011 Emmy Award Winner, from English to Farsi/Persian. She is also interested in classic music and plays Santour which is an Iranian traditional instrument.


Rong Ren

Rong Ren is a Ph.D. student in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at Arizona State University (ASU). Her prior experiences include working as a Graduate Writing Associate and Multilingual Student Specialist at California State University East Bay and instructing English to diverse groups of English language learners (ranging from teenagers to seniors) in both the U.S. and China. After joining ASU, Rong has ever served as the Assistant Director of Writing Programs at ASU and AAAL GSC event planning subcommittee and volunteered at multiple conferences and workshops. Currently, she is teaching first-year composition courses to both domestic and international students and working on her dissertation. Her research interests include English nativization in China, World Englishes, L2 learners’ self-efficacy, L2 speech production, and Italian syntax. Rong holds an M.A. in TESOL and B.A. in Italian language and literature. She can be reached at rren11@asu.edu.

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Maria Kostromitina

Maria (Masha) Kostromitina is a Ph.D student in Applied Linguistics at Northern Arizona University. Her research interests include second language psycholinguistics and pragmatics; she has also been involved in corpus linguistic research projects. Before starting her doctoral studies, Masha obtained an MA TESL degree from NAU where she consequently worked as an English composition instructor. Currently, as a GTA in the English Department, she is teaching ENG 105 and ENG 205 to both ESL and domestic students. Her other professional experiences include leading special projects at the university writing center. Extracurricularly, Masha serves as the College of Arts and Letters representative on the Graduate Student Government at her university. She has recently been elected the President of the Graduate Student Association of Applied Linguistics (GSAAL) of NAU. She can be reached at masha@nau.edu.

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Yadi Zhang

Yadi Zhang is a Ph.D. student in teaching and curriculum at the University of Rochester. Her research interest is centered around combining technology with EFL language learning, with a particular focus on EFL online learning. Yadi holds a MA degree in TESOL from the University of Rochester with a New York State online teaching certificate and a BA degree in English Education in China. She has experience in teaching the English Language to diverse school-level for seven years in both public and private institutions. Currently, she works as a research assistant and teaching assistant at her university in the US. She can be reached at yzh237@u.rochester.edu.

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

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