Steering committee Member

and Co-editor profiles

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Haoshan (Sally) Ren


Sally is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Linguistics and ESL at Georgia State University. As Co-chair of the GSC Steering Committee, her responsibilities include serving on the AAAL Executive Council as well as the Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics (FFAL) Board of Trustees, collaborating with the AAAL conference planning committee, leading Steering Committee meetings and tasks, and overseeing the planning of graduate student events at the AAAL conference. This summer, Sally is teaching an online listening and reading course for the Intensive English Program at GSU. She is also involved in a few assessment projects. In her free time, she occupies herself with learning to make instructional videos, dabbling with her musical instruments, experimenting with different online tools to connect with friends, and trying out new forms of indoor exercise.

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Laxmi Prasad Ohja


Laxmi is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. As Co-chair of the GSC Steering Committee, Laxmi's responsibilities include planning and leading Steering Committee meetings, overseeing the graduate student events at the AAAL conference, collaborating with the AAAL conference planning committee, and attending AAAL conference and business meetings. Laxmi is also a member of the AAAL Conference Connections Committee. This summer, Laxmi is working on multiple projects on teacher agency in language classrooms, and  youth agency in cyberspace for the promotion of minoritized language and culture in multilingual contexts. Laxmi spends his free time listening to music and playing with his son.


Josiah Murphy

Secretary / chair of diversity sub-committee

Josiah is an incoming Ph.D. student in the Linguistics program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, where she will learn how to document and advocate for endangered languages. As secretary of the GSC Steering Committee, Josiah’s responsibilities include providing logistical support for GSC meetings, co-leading planning of conference events for grad students, leading the Diversity Subcommittee, and spearheading graduate student initiatives. This summer, Josiah is getting ready to move halfway around the world, connecting with friends on BoardgameArena, and attempting to hike every trail in Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

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Svetlana Koltovskaia

Member-at-large / chair of social media sub-committee

Svetlana is a Ph.D. candidate in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Oklahoma State University. As the Social Media Member-at-large of the GSC Steering Committee, her responsibilities include publicizing GSC’s news and events on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube), publishing monthly blog entries on GSC website and videos on GSC YouTube channel, preparing monthly meeting agendas for social media sub-committee and holding sub-committee meetings, as well as attending monthly SC Steering Committee meetings and collaborating with them on different tasks. This summer, Svetlana is working as an online coordinator at the OSU writing center. She is also working on multiple research projects as well as preparing the syllabi for the two courses (English Grammar and Technical Writing) that she will be teaching in the fall semester. When Svetlana has free time, she attends various online webinars, watches movies, cooks, does yoga, and once in a while goes for a walk around her favorite Boomer lake. 

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Lupe Rincon-Mendoza

Member-at-large / chair of event planning sub-committee

Lupe is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics at Pennsylvania State University. As the Event Planning Member-at-large of the GSC Steering Committee, she works with her team on the development and organization of topics and themes for the AAAL GSC Webinar Series and the graduate student events at the annual meeting for AAAL. Her research interests include academic socialization, sociolinguistics, and sociocultural theory. Her dissertation focuses on determining how interactions shape how graduate students in the Humanities are socialized into their profession, and how they use language to think collectively with others in seminar and extra-curricular professional development activities. When not preoccupied with all things research, teaching, and planning, Lupe enjoys running, watching/playing soccer, strength training, baking, and listening to the latest podcast episodes on mysteries and urban legends.

Stefan Vogel

Member-at-large / newsletter co-editor

Stefan is a Ph.D. candidate in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona, going into his sixth year in Fall 2020. As one of the AAALGrads Newsletter Co-editors, he plans the fall and spring editions with Zhenjie Weng, including finding a relevant theme, collecting and evaluating submissions, assisting authors in revising and finalizing contributions, and putting the newsletter together. This summer, Stefan is teaching a fully online technical writing course. He’s also working on the findings chapter of his dissertation, which is about the leadership practices of second language writing teachers, particularly as they emerge in and are enacted through collaborative professional development. When Stefan is not at his desk, he goes for walks or hiking around Tucson, tries out new cooking recipes, watches sci-fi movies on Netflix, takes care of his plants, or keeps in touch with friends and family online.

Zhenjie Weng

Newsletter co-editor

Zhenjie is a Ph.D. candidate in the Foreign, Second, and Multilingual Language Education (FSMLE) program at the Ohio State University (OSU). She teaches second language writing to international undergraduate students and conducts research on language teacher agency and identity. In her recent work, she studies graduate-level ESL composition teacher’s identity construction and teaching practice. As one of the AAALGrads Newsletter Co-editors, Zhenjie is experienced in reviewing and editing submissions for both local and international journals and newsletters. Currently, Zhenjie is taking online courses on Systemic Functional Linguistics and statistics. During her free time, she likes to cook Chinese food and watch movies and TV shows.

If you want to learn more about our academic backgrounds,

visit the "Steering Committee" and "Newsletter Co-Editors" pages of the GSC website.