GSC Steering Committee

All graduate students holding AAAL membership are automatically a member of the AAAL Graduate Student Council. The GSC Steering Committee, on the other hand, is the leadership team that works closely with the AAAL Executive Committee for taking initiatives to address GSC members' academic professional development needs. The Steering Committee strives to accomplish the following goals, as stated in the AAAL organizational Standing Rules:

  1. Support grad students’ academic and professional development in Applied Linguistics and other related fields

  2. Increase inter-institution student-to-student collaboration and develop networking opportunities with other scholars in the field

  3. Provide bottom-up leadership within the council and subcommittees

  4. Ensure ongoing leadership for the GSC by investing in developing leadership opportunities for subcommittee members

  5. Strive for diversity within the GSC, including, but not limited to race, ethnicity, age, geography, (dis) ability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, citizenship status, religion, academic focus, degree program, and career goals to ensure a variety of experience and areas of expertise

The GSC Steering Committee consists of 6 positions: 2 co-chairs, 1 secretary, and 3 members-at-large. The members of the Steering Committee meet regularly throughout the service year to plan and execute the yearly initiatives in order to serve the GSC members. Each person on the Steering Committee leads their own team of graduate student volunteers in accomplishing one or more tasks (e.g., planning a conference event, managing social media, editing the graduate student newsletter).

GSC Steering Committee positions are yearly assignment. All GSC members are eligible for applying to the Steering Committee positions. The application and interview process begins every year around February per announced by the current GSC Steering Committee.

2021-2022 Steering Committee
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Laxmi Prasad Ojha

Co-chair (GSC representative on EC & FFAL)

Laxmi is a PhD student in Curriculum Instruction and Teacher Education at Michigan State University. His prior experiences include working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Lecturer at Department of English Education, Tribhuvan University, Nepal and teaching in K-12 contexts in Nepal. Laxmi also served Nepal English Language Teachers’ Association (NELTA) as secretary, membership secretary and member. His research interests include multilingualism, language ideologies, bilingual education, language policy, TESOL, and teacher education. His current projects include investigating family language policy and identity in transnational families, teacher agency in language policy appropriation, and social media as a site for youth activism and promotion of minoritized language and culture in multilingual contexts. As a co-chair on the GSC steering committee, Laxmi's responsibilities include co-planning and co-leading Steering Committee meetings, overseeing the graduate student events at the AAAL conference, collaborating with the AAAL conference planning committee, and attend AAAL conference and business meetings. He can be reached at

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Svetlana Koltovskaia

Co-chair (GSC representative on PAEC)

Svetlana Koltovskaia is a Ph.D. candidate in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Her research interests include computer-assisted language learning, L2 writing, and intercultural pragmatics. Svetlana has held several administrative and leadership positions both at International Composition Program (ICP) and Writing Center (WC) throughout her studies at OSU. She has been an Assistant Director of the ICP, Vice President of TESLing Student Organization, Program Chair of TESOL & Applied Linguistics Spring Forum as well as WC Multilingual Specialist, WC Online Supervisor, and WC Multilingual Students Inquiry Group Co-leader. Apart from that, Svetlana also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses to domestic and international students, including Grammar (ENGL 4013), Technical Writing (ENGL 3323), Research Writing for International Graduate Students (ENGL 5695), and Composition II (ENGL 1223).  Svetlana is a former Fulbright FLTA who taught Russian at Marshall University, West Virginia. Svetlana holds M.A. in TESOL from Central Michigan University and M.A. and B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literature from Mirny Polytechnic Institute (Yakutia, Russia). She can be reached at


Xiao Tan

Secretary  (GSC representative on FFAL & Diversity Sub-Committee Leader)

Xiao Tan is a PhD candidate in Writing, Rhetorics, and Literacies at Arizona State University. She has taught writing in a number of contexts, including as a graduate teaching assistant at ASU, a part-time instructor at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and an intern at United Nations Office at Geneva. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the Second Language Writing program at ASU and the Chair of Research Support Committee at WAC Graduate Organization. Her current research interests include multimodal writing, second language writing and teacher education. Her dissertation project is designed to help L2 students develop academic language and literacy through multimodal projects. As secretary of the GSC, Xiao’s jobs involve facilitating GSC meetings, co-planning conferences and events, and leading the Diversity Subcommittee. In her leisure time, Xiao enjoys painting and running. Her email address is

Lupe Rincon-Mendoza

Member-at-large  (Event Planning Sub-Committee Leader)

Lupe Rincon-Mendoza is a PhD candidate in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Pennsylvania State University. Her previous professional experience is working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at California State University, San Bernardino, and as Lecturer at the University of La Verne. At Penn State, she assists in the dissemination of scholarship in conjunction with the Migration Studies Project, and also teaches in the ESL writing program. Lupe has also held various service roles, which include being a member of the Graduate Alliance for Diversity and Inclusion (GADI), and in graduate-student led search committees for the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. 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. She can be reached at

Nathan Thomas

Member-at-large  (Newsletter Sub-Committee Leader)

Nathan Thomas is a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics and a postgraduate teaching assistant in TESOL at the UCL Institute of Education. He also works on several funded research projects within the institute and as a Course Tutor in Applied Linguistics for Language Teaching at the University of Oxford. His research interests are wide ranging but current projects mainly relate to language learning strategies, self/other-regulation, and English medium instruction. He has published on these and other topics in leading academic journals such as Applied Linguistics, Applied Linguistics Review, ELT Journal, Journal of Second Language Writing, Language Teaching, System, TESOL Journal, and TESOL Quarterly. He is also a regular reviewer for these and other top journals in the field as well as a frequent conference presenter, having given more than 50 presentations in 14 countries around the world. Before moving to the UK for his doctoral studies, Nathan completed an MSc Teaching English Language in University Settings, MEd International Teaching, MA Applied Linguistics, BA English, and various teaching certifications, all while working full time for 10+ years in China and Thailand. He considers this practical experience crucial for guiding his scholarly work.

Oksana Moroz

Member-at-large (Social Media Sub-Committee Leader)

Oksana Moroz is a Mama PhD Candidate and Teaching Associate at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; she is a Ukrainian international student in the Composition and Applied Linguistics PhD program. Her research interests include gender and teacher identity, digital identities of students, issues of accents and language ideologies, and teaching with Wikipedia. Oksana was a Muskie Intern and Fulbright scholar from Ukraine interning at Intensive English Communication Program at Penn State University. She is also interested in gender identity performance and culturally relevant pedagogies. Oksana’s professional expertise include teaching Composition I and Composition II courses, English as International Language to multilingual students, Grammar courses to international students and private tutoring classes. She has experience as a social media manager working for Tribal DDB in Kyiv, Ukraine. She can be reached at  

2020-2021 Steering Committee

Haoshan (Sally) Ren, co-chair, Georgia State University

Laxmi Prasad Ojha co-chair, Michigan State University

Josiah Murphy, secretary, University of Hawai’i at Manoa 

Svetlana Koltovskaia, member-at-large, Oklahoma State University

Stefan Markus Vogel, member-at-large, University of Arizona

Lupe Rincon-Medoza, member-at-large, Pennsylvania State University

2019-2020 Steering Committee

James Coda, co-chair, University of Georgia

Nicole Deschene, co-chair, New York University

Haoshan (Sally) Ren, secretary, Georgia State University

Nicole King, member-at-large, Ohio State University

Laxmi Prasad Ojha, member-at-large, Minnesota State University

2018-2019 Steering Committee

Michael Amory, co-chair, Pennsylvania State University

Rayoung Song, co-chair, University of Mass-Amherst

Shyam Pandey, secretary, Purdue University

Jessica Lian, member-at-large, Georgia State University
James Coda, member-at-large, University of Georgia

2017-2018 Steering Committee

Laura Hamman, co-chair, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mengying Liu, co-chair, University of Minnesota

Michael Amory, secretary, Pennsylvania State University

Rayoung Song, member-at-large, University of Mass-Amherst

Ai-Chu Ding, member-at-large, Indiana University

2016-2017 Steering Committee

Lindsey Kurtz, co-chair, Pennsylvania State University

Mengying Liu, co-chair, University of Minnesota

Laura Hamman, secretary, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rayoung Song, member-at-large, University of Mass-Amherst

Elena Shvidko, member-at-large, Purdue University 

2015-2016 Steering Committee

Daniel Ginsberg, co-chair, Georgetown University

Nicole Pettitt, co-chair, Georgia State University

Abram Jones, secretary, University of California-Davis

Emily Hellmich, member-at-large, University of California-Berkeley

Elena Shvidko, member-at-large, Purdue University