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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.

2022-2023 Steering Committee

Oksana Moroz
Co-chair (GSC representative on EC)

Oksana Moroz is a Mama PhD Candidate 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. As a co-chair on the GSC steering committee, Oksana'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 attending AAAL conference and business meetings. She can be reached at


Jacob Rieker
Co-chair (GSC representative on PAEC)

Jacob Rieker is a PhD candidate in Applied Linguistics at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on Vygotskian cultural-historical theory, second language teacher education, language teacher cognition, and concept-based language instruction for language teacher development. He has published work on these topics in venues including Second Language Teacher Education, Language and Sociocultural Theory, and The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL. His relevant professional teaching/learning experiences include developing and implementing curricula for international teaching assistants as well as English for workplace and academic purposes. As a co-chair of the GSC steering committee, Jacob’s duties involve co-planning and co-leading steering committee meetings, overseeing the graduate student events at the AAAL conference, and serving on the PAEC, among others. He can be reached at


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

Valentino Rahming is a PhD candidate in Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellon University. He is from Nassau, Bahamas and his research interests are centered around identity and investment in language learning. Specifically he investigates the retention of students in World Language courses. Additionally, he is interested in advocating for sound language learning policies through the creation of proper policies and planning and he is passionate about creating accessible language learning opportunities specifically for learners from historically underrepresented groups. As the secretary of the Graduate Student Council, he is responsible for record keeping within the Graduate Student Council and will serve on the FFAL(Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics) and DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access) task forces. Additionally, he will serve as the leader of the diversity sub-committee and could be reached at


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

Sophia Minnillo is a second year Ph.D. student in Linguistics on the Multilingualism and Second Language Acquisition track at University of California, Davis. She is also completing a designated emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition Studies. Her current research examines second and heritage language learning and teaching, with a focus on writing and grammar development. Sophia’s research interests broadly include language pedagogy, learner corpus research, and language assessment. When Sophia is not leading the Event Planning Sub-Committee, she can be found hiking and biking in Northern California. She can be reached at


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

Alyssa Wolfe is a student in the Second Language Studies PhD program at Michigan State University, which she joined in 2019 after a teaching English as a second or foreign language for many years. Her research interests lie at the intersection of Instructed Second Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics and relate to the aptitude-treatment interface and learner individual differences, with grounding in Skill Acquisition Theory. She hopes to use her research to gain a better understanding how various learner factors could influence the processing of language input and ways to make language learning more effective for different learners. Prior to becoming a language instructor, she was a journalist and professional photographer and she’s excited to use this background in new ways as the leader of the Newsletter sub-committee. She can be reached at


Paul J. Meighan
Member-at-large (Social Media Sub-Committee Leader)

Pòl I. Miadhachàin-Chiblow (Paul J. Meighan-Chiblow) is a Gàidheal (Scottish Gael) born and raised in Glaschu, Alba (Glasgow, Scotland). He is a PhD Candidate (Educational Studies) and SSHRC Bombardier Scholar at McGill University. Paul is a recipient of the AAAL 2021 GS Multilingual Matters award and the co-recipient of the TIRF 2021 Doctoral Dissertation Grant (DDG) Russell N. Campbell Award. His current research focuses on intersections between Indigenous language revitalization, technology, language policy, and decolonizing language education. Paul’s work has been published in TESOL Journal, ELT Journal, AlterNative, and the Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education Journal. When Paul is not leading the Social Media Sub-Committee, you can find him jogging or going on long walks in Tkaronto (Toronto). He can be reached at

2021-2022 Steering Committee

Laxmi Prasad Ojha, co-chair, Michigan State University

Svetlana Koltovskaia, co-chair, Oklahoma State University

Xiao Tan, secretary, Arizona State University

Lupe Rincon-Mendoz, member-at-large, The Pennsylvania State University

Nathan Thomas, member-at-large, University College London

Oksana Moroz, member-at-large, Indiana University of Pennsylvania


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

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