Imran Abbasi is currently completing his 6th year as Principal at Schalmont High School in Rotterdam, New York. Previously he was the high school principal at Voorheesville and a middle school assistant principal at Niskayuna. Prior to administration he taught middle school Social Studies in Albany City Schools as well as Bethlehem. He is currently a PhD student at the University at Albany in Educational Administration and Policy Studies. Lastly, he serves on the Capital Region GLSEN board and also on the Educator Advisory Council for GLSEN National.
Alex Kumi-Yeboah is an Assistant Professor of Education in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice, School of Education at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He specializes in the cross-cultural educational challenges and successes of Black immigrant youth with a specific emphasis on African immigrant students and diversity issues in online education. His research interests include mediating cross-cultural factors that impact the educational challenges and achievement of Black immigrant students in United States schools. He also studies cross-cultural collaboration and multicultural contexts in online education. His recent publications appeared in the Online Learning Journal and Teachers College Record.
Al Martino is a retired World Language educator with over 40 years of working in the field of World Languages education. He has experience in grades K-12 as well as post-secondary and State level teaching and administration. He continues to consult nationally with school districts in the areas of testing and assessments, creating positive classrooms, supporting curriculum in the world language class, and workshops that provide teachers with different and unique ways to develop and integrate the four language skills into their daily teaching. A lifelong learner, Al is currently pursuing an advanced degree at Arizona State University in women’s literature of the Spanish Restoration Period.
Jim Niedermeier is the Principal and Chief Academic Officer at Tech Valley High School in Albany, a regional public school in the Capital Region that focuses on project-based, student-focused, and 21st century learning. In that role, Jim has partnered with business, academic, and legislative leaders to create a truly innovative program. Previously, Jim was principal of Red Jacket High School in the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. He is also a former director of instructional technology for Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES and a former secondary English teacher. He was a recipient of the New York State Council of School Superintendents’ Raymond R. Delaney Memorial Scholarship in 2017 and is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at the Sage Colleges.
Mark has been a professional in education for 24 years and currently works as the Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships for AdvancED. In this role he supports continuous improvement efforts with state department of education partnerships and post-secondary institutions. Previously Mark served 18 years in the positions from teacher to Program Coordinator to district-level administrator for Broward County Public Schools, Florida. In his final position, he was the head of the Office of School Improvement where he was also the system lead for continuous improvement and accreditation.Concurrently, Mark has experience working as a college/university adjunct professor (20 years), virtual schools adjunct instructor (5 years) and educational consultant (4 years). Mark continues to remain active with committee work and/or serving on the Board of Directors for education organizations. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the State University of New York College at Oswego, Master of Education in Exceptional Student Education degree from Florida Atlantic University, an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership and Doctorate of Education in Child and Youth Studies degrees from Nova Southeastern University.
Ron Schorpp has taught social studies at Saratoga Springs High School for 18 years, and has been the Department Chair since 2011. Over his career, he has taught a wide variety of secondary social studies classes at multiple learning levels. In Ron’s capacity as Department Chair, he has had the opportunity to recruit/hire and closely supervise new faculty members. His work with untenured staff includes observations, evaluations, collaboration on lesson/unit planning, and feedback regarding instructional strategies. Additionally, Ron is charged with designing and implementing new curricula, and has developed several new courses for the social studies course catalog. Over the past decade, Ron has also designed and taught many professional development courses for his colleagues, both content-centered and on pedagogical practices. In addition to his instructional leadership role at Saratoga Springs, Ron served as an adjunct professor in SUNY Albany’s Educational Theory and Practice program from 2016 to 2019. His work with preservice teachers focused on research-based instructional practices, effective assessment techniques, providing meaningful formative feedback, classroom management philosophy, and professional reflection. Mentoring new faculty members and student teachers and entering the field of education has proven to be one of the most rewarding aspects of Ron’s career thus far.
Sepideh Yasrebi has been an ENL/EFL teacher for about 14 years. Formerly, she taught in Iran for almost nine years. She earned a CELTA degree (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) from Cambridge University in 2008. Being a CELTA teacher, she taught in many different places and countries (e.g., Dubai, Iran, Malaysia, US). In 2013, She did a second graduate degree in NY and earned an M.S.Ed. at Hofstra university which led to the NY state ENL certification. In 2015, she was hired as an ENL teacher in an elementary school in Sea Cliff, NY, and then she taught at Mott Hall Charter School in South Bronx, and MS216Q Middle School in Queens. In 2016, she was offered a full ride at Ualbany to be advised by the Distinguished Professor Dr. Istvan Kecskes. Since then, she has offered several graduate courses at UAlbany (e.g., ETAP 635, ETAP 501, ETAP 200, ETAP 598). She also does regular paper reviews for journal of Pragmatics. She worked as a research assistant with SUNY Research Foundation in summer 2017 and worked as a lecturer at UAlbany IELP department in the summer 2018.
Stephanie Affinito is a literacy teacher educator in the Department of Literacy Teaching and Learning at the University at Albany in New York. She regularly teaches graduate courses on elementary classroom literacy instruction, literacy intervention and children’s literature. She has researched literacy coaching as part of her doctoral studies and focuses much of her current work on how technology and digital tools can impact teacher learning and collaboration. Stephanie recently published a book with Heinemann Publishing titled, Literacy Coaching: Teaching and Learning with Digital Tools and Technology. She presents regularly at state and national literacy conferences on literacy coaching, teacher collaboration and reading, writing and learning through innovative technology..
Paul Levin has been teaching Earth Science for over two decades. He has spent the last 21 years in a small rural district teaching Earth Science and a variety of other electives, in addition to being a coach, advisor, and serving on numerous district committees. Paul has recent graduated from the NYS Master Teacher Program, where he was co-facilitator for the Earth Science PLT. He has had attended numerous professional development opportunities over the years including flying with NASA SOFIA and presented the European Geoscience Conference for Geoscience Educators in Vienna, Austria. Paul utilizes a flipped classroom and enjoys bringing current events into his classroom as often as possible. Paul lives in Saratoga County with his wife and three children.
Colleen McDonald is a native of New York, educated in New York State public school system from kindergarten through graduation. She then continued in NY with her undergraduate and master’s degrees from the College of St. Rose in education and educational administration. During her NYS career, Colleen has worked as a special education teacher with BOCES and as both a special educator and an English teacher in a small rural public school in upstate New York. Colleen recently retired from a 32 year career in public education, yet continues to work on developing professional learning for educators to improve their professional practice, as director of the NEA GPS grant and the Classroom Academy residency, and writing competitive district grants.
Alandeom W. Oliveira is an associate professor of science education at the State University of New York at Albany. He earned a Master’s degree in science education at Southeast Missouri State University (2002) and a PhD degree in science education at Indiana University Bloomington (2008). He has taught science education courses to teachers in Brazil and the US and has coordinated multiple professional development programs for school teachers, including Science Modeling for Inquiring Teachers Network, and Technology-Enhanced Multimodal Instruction in Science and Math for English Language Learners. His research interests include cooperative science learning, inquiry-based teaching, and classroom discourse and language use
Denis Samburskiy has an extensive experience teaching EFL and ESL with a special concentration on grammar, academic speaking andwriting. He taught a number of undergraduate and graduate courses in various colleges in the country. He is currently holding a teaching position at Syracuse University. His research interests include ESL teaching and learning, second language writing, figurative language, and cognitive and corpus linguistics.
Dr. Jason Vickers is a full-time lecturer in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University at Albany, SUNY. He received his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from University at Albany in Spring 2012. Prior to his position at Albany, he taught K-12 for 15 years in the public school systems in various states. His focus was on emotionally disturbed populations. He also taught oral English in China for three years. In his position at Albany, he has taught over 80 online courses including courses in integrating technology across the curriculum, online learning in both secondary and K-12 settings, theory of distance education, designing role playing games for the classroom, using multimedia in the classroom, and using media in the language classroom. His research interest lies mainly in self-assessment of students work in online settings.
Mark Kaercher has been a learner, teacher, and maker of math since 1994. After beginning his career as a middle school math teacher in New Hampshire, he returned to his hometown in 2003 to teach mathematics at his alma mater of Shaker High School. Mark is a regular presenter at local, regional, and statewide conferences and workshops. He is a recipient of a 2001 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award, he was the 2011 SEMI Foundation Educator of the Year, and he is a NYS Master Teacher Emeritus. For a view into Mark’s world of math interests, check out his Twitter profile @shskaercher.
Reza Feyzi Behnagh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Theory & Practice at the University at Albany, SUNY. He earned a PhD degree in Educational Psychology, Learning Sciences from McGill University, Canada (2014). His research focuses on how students self-regulate their learning in computer based learning environments and the underlying processes of academic procrastination and emotion regulation. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation. Reza teaches graduate courses in educational technology, research seminars, and media literacy.
Stacy is a current student in the Curriculum Development and Instructional Design program at the University at Albany. She is also an eLearning Instructional Design manager at the CUNY Research Foundation, where she leads a team of talented instructional designers building and implementing online training programs for New York state employees. She also has experience designing, implementing, and managing K-12 and workforce educational programs in web and software development for children and adults.