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Meet the Project Team

Dr. Shernavaz Vakil

Shernavaz Vakil
Ed.D., University of Memphis

Dr. Vakil is a Professor in the College of Education. Her research focuses on changing perceptions of educators when considering the concept of inclusion and the over representation of English language learners in special education.

Dr. Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang
Ph.D., Purdue University

Dr. Zhang is an Associate Professor of Linguistics in the English Department. Her research focuses on second language acquisition, TESOL program design, and academic language development of English Language Learners.


Valerie Sartor
Ph.D., The University of New Mexico

Dr. Sartor is an Assistant Professor of Education in the College of Education and TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) Specialist. Her areas of interest in research are non-mainstream multi-lingual children, academic writing, and teacher training.


Lynn Smolen
Ph.D., The University of Florida

Dr. Smolen serves as a research associate with the grant. Her areas of interest in research are reading in a second language, multicultural literature, literacy assessment, and diversity issues.