2022 Conference Presentations

Social-Emotional Learning for Multilingual Learners: Working Together to Achieve Success

Keynote Presentation by Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba & Dr. Luis Javier Pentón Herrera

Dr. Gilda Martínez-Alba is the Assistant Dean in the College of Education at Towson University. Her research revolves around asset-based literacy instruction for English learners integrating technology and social-emotional learning, and English language teacher wellness. It is reflected in her publications, for example in the book Social-Emotional Learning in the English Language Classroom, with Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, published through TESOL Press.

Dr. Luis Javier Pentón Herrera has taught Spanish and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at the K-12 and university levels. He served as the 38th President of Maryland TESOL from 2018 to 2019. He currently serves as Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw in the Faculty of Modern Languages and The Institute of Applied Linguistics, and as the Coordinator of the Graduate TESOL Certificate at The George Washington University.



Presentation by Dr. Gilda Martinez-Alba


Trauma Informed Practice

Presentation by Lauren Weingard

Towson alumni, Lauren Weingard has been working as a certified school psychologist for 23 years. She currently serves Balt. Co. students. In addition, she serves ELL in a middle school program


Strategies to Accelerate English Language + Literacy for Multilingual Learners & Families

Presentation by Dr. Anita Pandey 

Author of Language Building Blocks: Essential Linguistics for Early Childhood Educators, and Professor at Morgan State University. A PD & Family Engagement expert, Dr. Pandey has taught linguistics, professional writing, and ESL; and written winning proposals. She is fluent in Yoruba, Nigerian Pidgin, Hindi, Urdu, French, and Spanish.


Tips from Teachers

Amy Cosentino is a Reading Resource Teacher with Anne Arundel County Public Schools and Instructor at Loyola University; Heather De Palma is an English Language Acquisition Teacher with AACPS. Amy and Heather are both graduates of the EMPOWER Graduate Program and are dually certified in ESOL and Admin I.


Enhancing Text Comprehension and Content Knowledge among English Learners

Presentation by Dr. Alex Shelton

co-author of Literacy Coaching in the Secondary Grades, Alexandra Shelton is an assistant professor of special education at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Her research focuses on improving literacy outcomes for secondary students, with and without disabilities, from CLD backgrounds via evidence-based literacy instruction and intervention, as well as, teacher PD and coaching.


Multi-Tiered Interventions to Support Literacy in Multilingual Learners

Presentation by Michelle Pasko & Toni Guidi 

Michelle Pasko, Graduate Program Director, and Toni Guidi, EESE Program Coordinator, co-wrote and co-taught the first EMPOWER course, Introduction to Culturally Responsive Practices. They have facilitated and written scenarios, focusing on strategies for multi-lingual learners, for preservice teachers to practice strategies with Mursion Avatars. They recently led a Teacher Induction series to support first and second year teachers in continuing to strengthen their knowledge and skills related to teaching English Learners.


Teaching, Writing, Inviting: Empowering Multilingual Students Through Writing Instruction

Presentation by Dr. Vicki McQuitty

TU’s associate professor in the Elementary Education program. She currently teaches Literacy Methods courses and graduate courses that focus on academic writing and writing instruction.