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Board of Directors

Dr. Shondel Nero 

New York University

Dr. Shondel Nero is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Multilingual Multicultural Studies in the Department of Teaching and Learning. She is an applied linguist whose research examines the politics, challenges, and strategies of educating students who speak and/or write in nonstandard varieties of English, World Englishes, and Creoles.


She has extensively researched the linguistic and educational needs of speakers of Caribbean Creole English in the US and the Caribbean. Her work has appeared in prominent peer-reviewed journals such as TESOL Quarterly, Language and Education, World Englishes, Applied Linguistics Review, Language Policy, and Language, Culture, and Curriculum. A native of Guyana, Dr. Nero is the author of Englishes in Contact: Anglophone Caribbean Students in an Urban College (Hampton Press, 2001), editor of Dialects, Englishes, Creoles, and Education (Routledge, 2006), and co-author with Dohra Ahmad of Vernaculars in the Classroom: Paradoxes, Pedagogy, Possibilities (Routledge, 2014). She is the inaugural recipient of the James E. Alatis Prize (2016) for an outstanding article on research in language policy and planning in educational contexts based on her work as a Fulbright scholar in Jamaica, where she examined the implementation of the Jamaican Language Education Policy in schools.

Dr. Nero also directs a study-abroad program in the Dominican Republic as a means of developing teachers' linguistic and intercultural competence. She earned her doctorate in applied linguistics from Columbia University's Teachers College, and taught in the English Department at Long Island University, Brooklyn, and in the School of Education at St. John's University prior to joining the New York University faculty.

Steve Nelson 

The Calhoun School

Steve Nelson is the 10th Head of School at the Calhoun School since 1998 and a leader in progressive education. Sharing a similar belief as the Calhoun School, who's mission is to inspire a passion for learning through a progressive approach to education that values intellectual pursuit, creativity, diversity and community involvement, Steve believes that education should be experiential and hands on. As a lifelong educator and proponent of progressive education, Steve stresses on the individuality of the student and believes that each child learns differently and at a different pace. 

Steve has recently published his book on Progressive Education ~ First Do No Harm: Progressive Education in a Time of Existential Risk, in which he tackles many of the issues in American education, from the achievement gap to standardized tests. First Do No Harm develops a comprehensive argument for the importance of progressive education in light of the world’s increasingly severe challenges. Current educational practices, particularly in the United States, instill conformity and compliance at a time when authority must be challenged, skepticism must thrive and our students must be imaginative, creative, empathic and passionately alive. 

In addition to being a lifelong educator, Steve is also a grandfather. 

Dr. Frank Lixing Tang, Ph.D

New York University

Frank L. Tang, Project Director and Principal Investigator for Project DCLT, is professor of foreign language education at New York University.

Dr. Tang earned his bachelor's degree from Shanghai Teachers College in 1968 and his MA from Shanghai Teachers University in 1981. In 1989 he received his PhD in TESOL at New York University. Dr. Tang has worked extensively with New York City public schools as a teacher, staff developer, and in various administrative capacities, and maintains his strong affiliation with the NYC Department of Education.

Dr. Tang has been actively involved promoting the growth of Chinese teaching in the U.S. He has been actively involved in Asia Society's Chinese Language Initiative. Dr. Tang is also a founding member of the Chinese Language Teachers Association of Greater New York, and the Shuangwen Dual Language School of English and Chinese, and an advisory board member of the Dual Language High School of East Asian Studies.

In addition to teaching graduate courses at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, Dr. Tang actively pursues his research interests, which include second/foreign language teaching methodology, language-learning strategies, second language reading, and cross-cultural studies.

Fabienne Doucet 

New York University

Fabienne Doucet is an Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Program Leader for the programs in Childhood Education in the department of Teaching and Learning at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is also an affiliated faculty member of the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools, Institute for Human Development and Social Change, and Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Born in Spain, raised in Haiti, and migrating to the U.S. at the age of ten, Doucet embodies a hybrid identity that is mirrored in her interdisciplinary approach to examining how immigrant and U.S.-born children of color and their families navigate education in the United States.


A critical ethnographer, Doucet specifically studies how taken-for-granted beliefs, practices, and values in the U.S. educational system position linguistically, culturally, and socioeconomically diverse children and families at a disadvantage, and seeks active solutions for meeting their educational needs. Doucet has a Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from the UNC-Greensboro and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education with fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation.

Heather H. Woodley

New York University

Dr. Heather Homonoff Woodley is an educator, researcher, and activist. Her work focuses on meeting the academic, linguistic and social-emotional needs of emergent bilinguals, particularly Muslim immigrant youth who speak less common languages. Woodley’s research takes a pedagogical approach to arts-based research, using visual and performing arts to spark and build on youth voices in classroom spaces.


She has published work exploring multilingual classroom practices and arts as social justice education, and received a 2014 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the National Association of Bilingual Education. Woodley was a Fulbright Scholar in Morocco, and earned her PhD in Urban Education at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. She was recently a Research Assistant with the City University of New York – New York State Initiative for Emergent Bilinguals providing teacher support, classroom resources, and leadership training for public schools. Prior to this, she taught middle and high school TESOL and ELA in the Bronx and Washington, DC, and was a teacher-educator at City College, CUNY and with the NYC and DC Teaching Fellows. Woodley serves on the national planning committee for Free Minds, Free People, a conference for transformative education with the Education for Liberation Network, and works with the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute, teaching Raqs Sharqi (Middle Eastern dance) with young women.

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