2022 Elected Candidate Bios

2nd Vice President

Manka Varghese

University of Washington, College of Education

Language, Literacy and Culture


Manka Varghese is a Professor in Language, Literacy, and Culture and Chair in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum at the University of Washington’s College of Education. Her research, teaching, and mentoring revolve around developing anti-oppressive frameworks and pedagogies in language teacher education, especially for teachers of multilingual students, which integrate teacher and student intersectional subjectivities and identities, theoretically and practically. Varghese has published widely on examining these intersections in journals such as Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, and TESOL Quarterly as well as chapters in edited books and has co-edited a number of edited books. Having worked on several projects with this emphasis, she is currently engaged with two projects. As the P.I., the first is a federally funded bilingual teacher preparation grant within the college’s “mainstream” elementary teacher education program which centers bilingualism/multilingualism to prepare all teachers while challenging dominant identities, pedagogies, and structures in teacher education. Drawing on this program, she is also currently the co-P.I. of a research grant that examines the development of novice teachers’ asset based and transformative literacy and scientific discourses and practices. She believes strongly in collaborative work with other colleagues and students; in this vein, she was awarded the university-wide award which recognized her mentoring capacity and abilities in 2020, which has included serving as the chair on the committees for 20 doctoral graduates since she started her career and mentoring colleagues within and outside her institution.

In terms of the overall field, she has developed and contributed to an interdisciplinary approach and knowledge base in language education that integrates historically separate disciplines and which has benefited from her preparation in Educational Linguistics. These include Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Applied Linguistics, Bilingual Education, Multicultural Education, Social Justice Education, and Critical Pedagogy.

Varghese has been an active member of AAAL since 1995. She has also served on editorial boards and numerous other professional organization committees as well as within her institution. Within AAAL, her formal roles have included serving on the Linguistics Resolution Committee, the ad-hoc Diversity Committee, the Nominating Committee and the Distinguished Public Service Award Committee. Informally, she has been collaborating with others to invite the organization to more fully develop and live its commitments to equity and justice. She aims to encourage more applied linguistic scholars of color, both practitioners and researchers, and those who can contribute to integrating racial and linguistic justice as well as community-driven perspectives to participate in the organization.

Member at Large

Elizabeth (Liz) R. Miller

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Department of English


I am a Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My research has examined the role of identity, ideology, and agency as they relate to the experiences of adult immigrant learners of English. More recently, I have explored the role of agency and emotions in language teacher practice and identity. My work appears in The Modern Language Journal, System, Applied Linguistics, TESOL Quarterly, Linguistics and Education, International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Language Teaching Research, among other journals. I have also published a research monograph (2014, Multilingual Matters) as well as numerous chapters in edited books and have co-edited several special issues and edited volumes. I have attended nearly every annual conference since 1999. I regard AAAL as my primary professional society and have become an increasingly active member over the past decade. I have, for example, served as Strand Coordinator five times, twice for the Language and Ideology Research Strand (LID) and three times for the Discourse and Interaction Research Strand (DIS). In 2019-2020, I served on the Nominating Committee. In 2017-2018, I was a member of an Ad Hoc committee charged with assessing diversity in AAAL and with recommending actions to enhance diversity in the AAAL membership and in the research perspectives that are included in conference programs. In 2016-2017, I was a member of an appointed task force charged with creating the “Ethics Guidelines for Teaching in Applied Linguistics,” now adopted by AAAL. These activities along with my regular attendance at the annual business meetings have helped me learn about the goals, values and practices of AAAL. I am committed to creating an inclusive professional society that advances the work of applied linguists around the world as well as in North America.

Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics (FFAL) Trustee

Shawn Loewen 

Michigan State University

Department of Linguistics, Languages & Cultures

Second Language Studies Program


Dr. Shawn Loewen (PhD, University of Auckland) is Professor at Michigan State University (MSU) in the Applied Linguistics program in the department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures. His research interests include instructed second language acquisition (ISLA), second language interaction and quantitative research methodology. A current interest is the link between ISLA research and researchers, on the one hand, and second language teachers and pedagogy on the other. Another recent research topic is the effectiveness of online and mobile-assisted language learning materials, such as language learning apps and video communication, for language learning. 

Shawn joined the American Association for Applied Linguistics as a graduate student when he presented his first paper at the 1998 Seattle conference. He has been a member and regular presenter ever since, except for his time as a member of the Applied Linguistics Association of New Zealand. From 2008 to 2017, he served as an AAAL representative on the executive board of the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) both as a member-at-large and as the AILA Research Network Coordinator. 

Regarding his nomination as a trustee for AAAL’s Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics, he says, I believe one of the best ways for me personally to foster positive change in our world is through investing in the lives of students and junior scholars in our field. To that end, I have been a strong financial supporter of scholarship funds for organizations such as AAAL, AILA and MSU’s Second Language Studies program. I have been involved in candidate selection for awards on numerous occasions, and it is gratifying to see how these scholarships help graduate students further both their professional and personal goals. I’m honored to be nominated as a trustee for the Fund for the Future of Applied Linguistics, and I look forward to the possibility of serving and making a difference in young scholars’ lives. 

Nominating Committee Member

Amanda Kibler

Oregon State University

College of Education


Amanda Kibler is a Professor in the College of Education at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Dr. Kibler’s research focuses on the language and literacy development of multilingual children and adolescents from immigrant backgrounds. She draws upon ecological and critical perspectives and employs longitudinal, qualitative, discourse-analytic, and mixed-methods approaches to investigate issues related to writing, classroom interaction, and teacher practices, among other topics. She has been an active member and presenter at AAAL for more than ten years, and she served on the AAAL Dissertation Award Committee as a member (2018-2020) and Chair (2020-2022). Dr. Kibler has also taken on professional committee service and leadership roles through TESOL’s Professional Research Council and the American Educational Research Association’s Second Language Research SIG, as well as through editorship at the Journal of Second Language Writing. She is committed to drawing upon her knowledge of the field to support the Association’s goals for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the advancement and dissemination of scholarship and in public outreach.

Nominating Committee Member

Wenhao Diao 

​​University of Arizona

Department of East Asian Studies


Dr. Wenhao Diao (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University) is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies and the doctoral program of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona. Her research deals with the identities, ideologies, and (in)equalities that are (re)produced and (re)distributed through language learning and teaching in different contexts, with a particular focus on Mandarin Chinese. Her work has appeared on Applied Linguistics, the Modern Language Journal, System, among others. She is also the co-editor of Language learning in Study Abroad: The Multilingual Turn (Multilingual Matters, 2021), and the guest co-editor of a special issue of the L2 Journal entitled Study Abroad in the 21st Century (2016). In addition to her many publications that focus on language learning during study abroad, she is also actively engaged in the research of Chinese language teaching in K-12 contexts across the United States. In her recent projects, she investigates how crosslinguistic and intercultural challenges involved in Chinese language teaching/learning can intersect with social forces of racism and sexism. Her work has received support from the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL), a Title VI Language Resource Center designated by the U.S. Department of Education. She also connects her research with real-life problems; through her teaching and service she utilizes evidence-based principles from the applied linguistics literature to cultivate an appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences among her students and in communities with which she engages. To this end, she has received Fulbright-Hays funding for her project that connects American K-16 educators with their counterparts in China. She was also awarded the inaugural Chatfield Award for Antiracism in Research, Teaching, and Service by the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona for her endeavors to promote diversity within the field of language teaching/learning.

Dr. Diao has been actively involved in service for AAAL members. She has co-coordinated reviews for the SLA strand of three AAAL annual conferences. Her service to AAAL also underscores her belief in promoting diversity and inclusion within AAAL. She was a founding member of the AAAL family-friendliness ad hoc committee, which advocated for equal access to the AAAL conferences for parents – and particularly women with young children. As a junior scholar at the time, she also served on the taskforce committee to revise the AAAL Promotion and Tenure Guidelines in 2019. The resulting guidelines incorporated more diverse criteria of evaluation, such as venues for publication for applied linguists who work on languages other than English, especially the less commonly taught languages.

Nominating Committee Member

M'Balia Thomas

The University of Kansas

School of Education & Human Sciences 

Department of Curriculum & Teaching


My name is M'Balia Thomas. I'm an Assistant Professor of TESOL & Teacher Educator in the School of Education & Human Sciences at the University of Kansas, Department of Curriculum and Teaching. As an Applied Linguist, I research and write on the everyday creativity of speakers considered “nonnative” and “nonstandard” speakers of US Englishes.

My affiliation with AAAL began as a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching (SLAT) at the University of Arizona. I have kept active in the organization by attending AAAL annual conferences and webinars, participating in the AAAL Research Discussion Group, and serving as a Conference Connection Mentor for the 2021 Conference.

I appreciate the move AAAL has made to bring in more diverse voices into its ranks and I am honored to stand for one of the open positions of Nominating Committee Member. I hope to have the opportunity to serve the organization as a member of this Committee.

Nominating Committee Member

Aline Godfroid

Michigan State University

Department of Linguistics, Languages & Cultures

Second Language Studies Program and TESOL


Aline Godfroid is currently an Associate Professor in Second Language Studies and TESOL at Michigan State University. She has been the secretary of the European Second Language Association (since 2019) and has a well-established record of service to AAAL, including as abstract review Strand Coordinator for Language and Cognition (2017), which she is keen to build on in her new role in the Nominating Committee. Aline could bring to the Association an international perspective with strong ties to applied linguistic networks in Europe and a commitment to continue and expand on the cultural change that is ongoing within AAAL as the Association responds to unprecedented social and global challenges by carefully and deliberately nominating its future leadership.

In her research, Aline Godfroid seeks to build bridges from psychology, psycholinguistics, and second language acquisition to real-world second language learning, and back again. Her primary research interests are in applied psycholinguistics, vocabulary, quantitative research methods, and eye-movement registration or eye tracking. Her research has appeared in numerous international, peer-reviewed journals. Aline Godfroid is the incoming editor of Language Learning, the recipient of the 2019 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research, and the co-recipient of the Best of the Modern Language Journal 2019. At Michigan State University, she co-directs the Second Language Studies Eye-Tracking Lab. Her book Eye Tracking in Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism: A Research Synthesis and Methodological Guide was published by Routledge in 2020 and a finalist of the 2021 AAAL First Book Award. A new volume The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics (with Holger Hopp) is expected with Routledge in 2022.

Book Award Committee Member

Okim Kang  

Northern Arizona University

Department of English


Okim Kang is professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Applied Linguistics Speech Lab at Northern Arizona University where she teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses such as Research Methods, Applied Phonology, or TESOL Methodologies. Her research focuses on speech perception and production, L2 pronunciation and intelligibility, oral assessment and testing, automated scoring and speech recognition, language attitudes, and World Englishes. As for her involvement in AAAL, she has attended AAAL since 2008 every year, and presented multiple papers with her colleagues and graduate students. She has served as a graduate student mentor, and gave a “Meet-a-AAAL Scholar’ Webinar in March, 2020. She has reviewed AAAL abstracts annually for two different strands for some years.

Kang has recently published one co-authored book, “Prosody and Computer Modeling” and published three edited books: (1) The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary English Pronunciation, (2) Assessment in Second Language Pronunciation, and (3) The Encyclopedia of Educational Innovations, and one conference PSLLT 2019 proceedings. She is currently working on two books: (1) Linguistic Analysis of Spoken Discourse and (2) Research Methods in Second Language Speech. She has published over 80 papers in academic journals or in various handbooks and edited books, presented over 200 conference/invited papers at regional and international conferences and received over 24 external grants including National Science Foundation, Duolingo, Educational Testing Service, etc, as a principal investigator. She has been on various award committees (e.g., TESOL Awards or Dissertation Awards) and reviewed books and book proposals (e.g., CUP, Routledge, or Springer). She has served on 8-10 different editorial advisory boards (e.g., Language Testing or SSLA) and had been a book review co-editor for TESL-EJ (2013-2020). Overall, Kang has an extensive amount of experience in reviewing and writing books or academic articles. 

Book Award Committee Member

Uju Anya

Carnegie Mellon University

Department of Modern Languages


Uju Anya is Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition in the Department of Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research primarily examines Blackness in multilingualism, and specifically, African American experiences in world language learning. She explores race, gender, sexual, and social class identities in the language classroom and study abroad, and her other research interests include applied linguistics as a practice of social justice and translanguaging in world language pedagogy. Anya’s most recent publication introduces to the field a critical race pedagogy for anti-racist, equity-minded, and inclusive language teaching, which is the subject of her keynote address for the 2022 AAAL Annual Conference. She has also published articles and chapters on African Americans in language education and study abroad, monolingual bias in language program culture and instructional practices, and her book Racialized identities in second language learning: Speaking blackness in Brazil (Routledge 2017), won the 2019 AAAL First Book Award recognizing a scholar whose first book represents outstanding work that makes an exceptional contribution to the field. Anya has served on the editorial board of Applied Linguistics, Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, the AAAL Distinguished Public Service Award Committee, and she looks forward to continued service to the field of applied linguistics and our AAAL community through membership on the AAAL Book Award Committee.

Book Award Committee Member

Xuesong (Andy) Gao 

University of New South Wales

School of Education


I am an associate professor at the School of Education, University of New South Wales Australia. I have been involved in language teacher education in a variety of contexts. I have directed teacher education programs at the University of Hong Kong and led professional development seminars on autonomous language learning, language learning strategy and reading for language teachers in places such as Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan. My research interests include international students’ educational experiences, language learner autonomy, language education policy and language teacher education. Over the years, I have been promoting sociocultural/ecological perspectives to understand language learners’ strategy use and language teacher agency. Relevant publications have appeared in journals such as Journal of Language, Identity and Education, Language Teaching, Language Teaching Research, Modern Language Journal, Studies in Higher Education, System, Teaching and Teacher Education, and TESOL Quarterly. I edit International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching. I was a co-editor for System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics for Elsevier (2013-2021). I also co-edit the English Language Education book series for Springer. In addition, I serve on the editorial boards of journals including Applied Linguistics Review, Asia Pacific Education Researcher, Journal of Language, Identity and Education, Language Awareness, The Language Learning Journal, and Teacher Development. I have been a member of AAAL since 2007. I am a member of AAAL’s Book Award Committee (2019-) and I was also a member of AAAL’s Dissertation Award Committee (2018-2020).

Distinguished Public Service Award Committee Member

Maricel Santos  

San Francisco State University

Department of English Language and Literature


My name is Maricel G. Santos, Ed.D., and I am Professor of English/TESOL at San Francisco State University (United States). My research explores ways that adult learners can serve as agents of change in health care. From 2008-2013, I was a fellow supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Minority Health and Health Disparities.  I have leadership/research ties to several public health organizations, including the Center for Vulnerable Populations, University of California, San Francisco.

For 12 years, I’ve sustained connections to AAAL as a conference presenter, proposal reviewer, and convener of a 2016 symposium on health literacy.  I have served on the Graduate Student Awards Committee (2016-2018), a tremendous opportunity to celebrate up-and-coming AAAL leaders. In 2019, I worked with colleagues to write a brief on language as a social determinant of health for AAAL’s Public Affairs and Engagement Committee.

I have over 16 years of experience working with civic engagement initiatives in higher education. I am the faculty advisor for Project SHINE, a service-learning program that links university students with community-based ESL programs. In 2018, I worked on a task force to examine political engagement at SF State, part of a multi-campus initiative sponsored by the American Democracy Project. Since 2008, I have served on the Advisory Board of SF State’s Institute of Civic and Community Engagement (ICCE). I also serve on ICCE’s sub-committee that provides awards to students, faculty, staff and community partners who demonstrate exemplary service or scholarship. 

I bring varied experiences with collaborations across disciplines, between the university and the community, creating platforms for learners to be leaders. This passion for bridge-building aligns well with the spirit of AAAL’s Distinguished Public Service Award. I look forward to supporting AAAL’s commitment to celebrating bridge-builders who are turning the dial on linguistic equity.  

Distinguished Public Service Award Committee Member

Paul Kei Matsuda  

Arizona State University

Department of English


Paul Kei Matsuda is Professor of English and Director of Second Language Writing at Arizona State University. His research integrates various disciplinary, theoretical and methodological perspectives. Some of his areas of expertise include second language writing, identity in written discourse, and history of applied linguistics. He has extensive professional service experience, having served on numerous committees at various organizations, including AAAL. He is former president of AAAL, founding chair of the Symposium on Second Language Writing, and editor of the Parlor Press Series on Second Language Writing. He also has a broad professional network, having given plenary talks, lectures, and workshops at various conferences and institutions throughout the world. Because he was involved in the discussion leading to the creation of the AAAL Distinguished Public Service Award, he has a deep understanding of and appreciation for the spirit of the award. If elected, he will seek to identify award candidates who can advance the mission of AAAL by enhancing the status of languages and language users in ways that go beyond the organization’s capacity to act.