Current Projects

Search for Projects
View Projects
Project Title
by Subject/Focus Area
by Board/Committee
by Major Unit
Provisional Committee Appointments Open for Formal Public Comments
by Last Update
Meeting Information
Conflict of Interest Policy
Committee Appointment Process
  Committee Membership
More Project Information and to provide FEEDBACK on the Project

 Printer Friendly Version

Committee Membership Information

Project Title: Fostering School Success for English Learners: Toward New Directions in Policy, Practice, and Research

PIN: IOM-BCYF-14-06        

Major Unit:
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Institute of Medicine

Sub Unit: Board on Children, Youth, and Families
Board on Science Education


Le Menestrel, Suzanne

Subject/Focus Area:  Behavioral and Social Sciences; Education; Health and Medicine; Policy for Science and Technology

Committee Membership
Date Posted:   02/19/2015

Ms. Bobbie Ciriza Houtchens
National Education Association

Bobbi Ciriza Houtchens, M.A, retired after nearly 40 years of teaching English and English language development. She recently moved to Los Angeles and actively consults and provides professional development for teachers who work with English learners and urban students across the country. She has taught in the migrant labor camps south of Miami, in the D.C. Public Schools, and in an Oaxacan middle school. As a U.S. Department Teaching Ambassador Fellow, Houtchens worked in the Office of English Language Acquisition. She has also served as a teacher trainer/mentor and as a UCLA Writing Project consultant. Houtchens received both a B.A. and Licenciado from Elbert Covell College, an experimental college at University of the Pacific in California. Houtchens finished with three majors: Latin American Politics, Teaching English as a Second Language, and Spanish. She holds an M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Literacy from California State University San Bernardino, where she served as an adjunct professor in the School of Education.

Dr. Richard P. Durán
University of California, Santa Barbara

Richard Duran, Ph.D., is a Professor at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Prior to joining UCSB, he served as a research scientist at Educational Testing Service where he conducted studies on the validity of the SAT for use in predicting Latino students' college achievement, the validity of the GRE test, and the validity of the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Since joining UCSB, Dr. Duran has conducted and published research on assessment validity and education policy, and educational interventions serving English language learners preparing for college. He has investigated how more effective instruction could be designed to improve the academic outcomes of culturally and linguistically diverse students who don't perform well on standardized tests and who come from low-income families, and how students' self-awareness of their performance can lead to new notions of assessment. Most recently, he has been conducting research on student learning in after-school computer clubs.

Dr. Ruby Takanishi - (Chair) - (Chair)
New America Foundation

Ruby Takanishi, Ph.D., (Chair) is former President and CEO of the Foundation for Child Development in New York, (1997-2012). Her interest in how research on children’s development can inform public policy and programs is a life-long concern. Takanishi started as an assistant professor at UCLA in the Graduate School of Education. She was Founding Executive Director of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences in 1982, and director of the Office of Scientific Affairs of the American Psychological Association from 1984-1986. Takanishi was executive director of the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, an operating program of Carnegie Corporation of New York, from 1986-1996. She was assistant director for Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education in the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in 1996. In 1998, she received the Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy Award from the American Psychological Association. Takanishi served on several boards, including the Council on Foundations, Grantmakers for Children, Youth, and Families, Grantmakers for Education, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the Advisory Panel on Public Issues of The Advertising Council, Inc., National Advisory Committee for The National Children’s Study, and the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Health Care Quality and Research, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Takanishi was educated in Hawaii’s public schools, and earned her B.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Dr. Alfredo Artiles
Arizona State University

Alfredo Artiles, Ph.D., is the Ryan C. Harris Professor of Special Education and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. His scholarship focuses on understanding and addressing educational inequities related to the intersections of disability with sociocultural differences such as race, language, gender, and social class. His scholarship and sponsored projects aim to advance policies, personnel preparation programs, and inclusive educational systems in multicultural contexts at the local, state, national, and international levels. Dr. Artiles directs the Equity Alliance, co-edits the International Multilingual Research Journal (Taylor & Francis) and Teacher College Press’ book series Disability, Culture, & Equity. He was Vice President of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) (2009-2011), is an AERA Fellow, a Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow (1998-2000), and a 2008-09 Resident Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford University). He has been a principal or co-principal investigator of projects funded by entities such as the U. S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the W. T. Grant Foundation, the University of California’s Linguistic Minority Research Institute, Vanderbilt University’s Learning Sciences Institute, the University of Virginia's Center for Minority Research in Special Education, and the Motorola Foundation. Dr. Artiles has been an advisor to the Civil Rights Projects at Harvard University and UCLA, the National Academy of Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, and numerous projects housed at universities in the U.S., Europe, and Latin America. He received the 2012 Palmer O. Johnson Award for best article published in an AERA journal. He has held visiting professorships at Leibniz University (Germany), the University of Göteborgs (Sweden), University of Birmingham (UK), and Universidad Rafael Landívar (Guatemala). He is a Commissioner in President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. He was named 2009 Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education Foundation. His latest book is titled Inclusive education: Examining equity on five continents and was published by Harvard Education Press (2011, with Kozleski & Waitoller).

Dr. Diane L. August
American Institutes for Research

Diane August, Ph.D., is a Managing Researcher affiliated with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). At AIR she is responsible for directing the English-language learner work for the Education Program. Her area of expertise is policy, research, and technical assistance related to the education of pre-school and school age second-language learners. Dr. August brings 40 years of experience in the many aspects of educating language-minority children. Prior to her position at AIR, she was a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Applied Linguistics where she directed federally-funded studies related to the development of literacy in English-language learners. She also served as Co-Principal Investigator of the IES-funded National Research and Development Center on English language Learners where she developed, implemented and evaluated innovative STEM programs for secondary school ELLs. She has been a Senior Program Officer at the National Academy of Sciences where she was study director for the Committee on Developing a Research Agenda on the Education of Limited English Proficient and Bilingual Students. Dr. August has worked as a teacher, school administrator, legislative assistant, Grants Officer for the Carnegie Corporation, and Director of Education for the Children's Defense Fund. In 1981, she received her Ph.D. in education from Stanford University, and in 1982 completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology also at Stanford. She has published widely in journals and books.

Mr. Xavier Botana
Michigan City Area Schools

Xavier Botana, M.Ed., is currently Associate Superintendent of the Michigan City Area Schools. His responsibilities include overseeing school principals and district education departments. During his tenure, the district has seen continued improvements in test performance and other metrics while reducing the budget by over 15%. Prior to his current position, Xavier was Chief Academic Officer for Portland (Oregon) Public Schools where he directed the District’s teaching and learning programs including Special Education and English Language Learners programs. His key accomplishment was articulating the “guaranteed core program” for community comprehensive high schools and establishing a districtwide training program for cultural competence with the Pacific Education Group. Mr. Botana served as a Chief Officer for Instructional Design and Assessment in Chicago Public Schools under Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. He oversaw the development of the district’s first formative assessment program and support structure for Literacy and Math and Science instruction. Prior to that, Mr. Botana worked as director of English Language Learner Programs in the Illinois education department where he spearheaded the development of the state’s first assessment of English Language Proficiency. He started his career as a bilingual teacher in Palatine and Cicero, Illinois. Xavier holds degrees in education from Chicago State University and has completed the coursework towards a doctorate in education and social policy at Northwestern University. While at Chicago Public Schools he was a part of the district’s Public School Leadership Program partnership with Harvard University.

Dr. Dylan Conger
The George Washington University

Dylan Conger, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University, and Director of the Masters in Public Policy Program. She is also a research affiliate at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy and New York University’s Institute for Education and Social Policy. Dr. Conger’s research concerns disadvantaged, immigrant, and minority youth with a focus on education policies and urban areas. Her current projects include examining the effects of public policies and programs on the educational outcomes of undocumented immigrant and English Language Learners from early schooling through post-secondary; estimating the effect of Advanced Placement and other advanced high school courses on educational outcomes; and identifying the sources of gender disparities in secondary and post-secondary educational outcomes.

Dr. Linda M. Espinosa
University of Missouri-Columbia

Linda Espinosa, Ph.D., is currently Co-PI for the Getting on Track for Early School Success: Effective Teaching in Preschool Classrooms project at the University of Chicago and former Co-PI for the Center for Early Care and Education Research—Dual Language Learners (CECER-DLL) at Frank Porter Graham CDI at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is a former Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Missouri, Columbia and has served as the Co-Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University and Vice President of Education at Bright Horizons Family Solutions. Dr. Espinosa has also served on the Head Start National Reporting System (NRS) Technical Advisory Group and was a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation. Her recent research and policy work has focused on effective curriculum and assessment practices for young children from low-income dual language families. Dr. Espinosa recently co-authored the California Early Learning Foundations, English Language Learners Chapter, the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks English Language Development Chapter, and the Desired Results Developmental Profile, 2010, English Language Development Assessment Measures. She served as the lead consultant for the California Best Practices for Young Dual Language Learners Project as well as the LAUSD Transitional Kindergarten program development team. Dr. Espinosa was recently appointed to the New York City Universal PreK Scientific Advisory Council. She has published more than 90 research articles, book chapters and training manuals on how to establish effective educational services for low-income, minority families and children who are acquiring English as a second language. Dr. Espinosa recently completed a secondary analysis of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K) on the school achievement patterns of language minority children. She completed her B.A. at the University of Washington, her Ed.M. at Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Eugene E. Garcia
Arizona State University

Eugene García, Ph.D., is presently professor emeritus at Arizona State University (ASU). From 2002-2006, he was the Dean of the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education on the Tempe campus of ASU. From 2006-2011, he was Professor and Vice President for Education Partnerships at ASU. Before joining ASU, he served as Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley from 1995-2001. He received his B.A. from the University of Utah in Psychology and his Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Kansas. He has served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Human Development at Harvard University and as a National Research Council Fellow. He has been a recipient of a National Kellogg Leadership Fellowship and received numerous academic and public honors. He served as a faculty member at the University of Utah, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Arizona State University and the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has published extensively in the area of language teaching and bilingual development authoring and/or co-authoring over 200 articles and book chapters along with 14 books and monographs. He served as a Senior Officer in the U.S. Department of Education from 1993-1995. He is conducting research in the areas of effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations and has chaired the National Task Force on Early Education for Hispanics funded by the Foundation for Child Development. He has been honored by AERA, SRCD, NAEYC, ASCD and AAHHE for his research contributions and in May, 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Erikson Institute, Chicago, in recognition of his contributions to the area of Child Development. Most recently he was appointed to the Board on Children, Youth and Families of the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council.

Dr. Fred Genesee
McGill University

Fred Genesee, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Psychology Department at McGill University. He is interested in basic issues related to language learning, representation, and use among bilinguals and in applied issues related to second-language teaching, learning, and testing. He has carried out extensive research on alternative approaches to bilingual education, including second/foreign language immersion programs for language majority students and alternative forms of bilingual education for language minority students. This work has systematically documented the longitudinal language development (oral and written) and academic achievement of students educated through the media of two languages -- their home language and another language. Dr. Genesee’s current work focuses on immersion students who are at-risk for reading and/or language learning difficulties and how best to identify such students early in their schooling so that appropriate intervention can be provided. Other interests include language development in internationally-adopted children and, in particular, the possibility that their language learning is subject to very early age effects. Currently, he is engaged in collaborative research with colleagues at McGill University that is examining the neural signatures of late second language learning in typical second language learners, simultaneous bilinguals, and internationally-adopted children. Dr. Genesee often consults with parent, educational, and policy groups on issues related to second language learning in school-age children, bilingual education, and dual language learning during the preschool years. He has served as a consultant on these issues in a number of countries around the world.

Dr. Kenji Hakuta
Stanford University

Kenji Hakuta, Ph.D., is the Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University. He has been at Stanford since 1989, except for three years when he left to serve the new University of California at Merced as its Founding Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. He received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University, and began his career as a developmental psycholinguist at Yale University. He is the author of many research papers and books on language, bilingualism and education, including Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism. Dr. Hakuta is active in education policy. He has testified to Congress and courts on language policy, the education of language minority students, affirmative action in higher education, and improvement of quality in educational research. Dr. Hakuta is an elected Member of the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognized for his accomplishments in Linguistics and Language Sciences. He has served on the board of various organizations, including the Educational Testing Service, the Spencer Foundation, and the New Teacher Center. Dr. Hakuta is a top expert in studying the relationship between students’ oral language and learning. Currently, he directs the Understanding Language Initiative at Stanford University. The Understanding Language initiative aims to heighten educators’ knowledge of the role of language in the CCSS and Next Generation Science Standards. In particular, the Initiative aims to increase attention to the uniqueness of the language demands in each academic discipline.

Dr. Arturo Hernandez
University of Houston

Arturo Hernandez, Ph.D., is currently Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Developmental Psychology at the University of Houston. He is also affiliated with the University Houston Cognitive Science program and with the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 1996 and in 1997 completed his postdoctoral studies in Cognitive Neuroscience also at the University of California, San Diego. Over the past 16 years, he has worked in collaboration with numerous colleagues in uncovering the factors that determine differential brain activity in bilinguals. His major research interest is in the neural underpinnings of bilingual language processing and second language acquisition in children and adults. He has used a variety of neuroimaging methods as well as behavioral techniques to investigate these phenomena which have been published in a number of peer reviewed journal articles. Although his work has focused on word level processing with bilingual speakers, he uses this focus as a manner to investigate questions of interest to cognitive and developmental psychologists. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Jeff MacSwan
University of Maryland

Jeff MacSwan, Ph.D., is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Education at the University of Maryland. MacSwan’s applied research program is focused on the role of language in theories of school achievement and on education policy related to Bilingual Learners in US schools. His basic scientific research program concerns the linguistic study of bilingualism and code switching. Dr. MacSwan is editor of the International Multilingual Research Journal. Examples of his work appear in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Lingua, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, Teachers College Record, Education Policy Analysis Archives, and in edited collections and handbooks. His books include A Minimalist Approach to Intrasentential Code switching (Routledge, 1999) and Grammatical Theory and Bilingual Code switching (MIT Press, 2014). He is a fellow of the National Education Policy Center.

Dr. Harriett Romo
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Harriett Romo, Ph.D., is Director of the Child & Adolescent Policy Research Institute. Dr. Harriett Romo has a Master’s and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California, San Diego, and postdoctoral studies in Sociology at Stanford University. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master’s in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. At present, Dr. Harriett Romo is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, and at Texas State University. She has directed grant projects at CAPRI from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, the Rockefeller Foundation, and other local foundations. Her research interests include Latino children and schooling, early childhood education, immigrant families and children, and foster care youth.

Dr. Maria Sera
University of Minnesota

Maria Sera, Ph.D., is Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the relation between language and cognitive development. Current projects focus on the relation between knowledge of classifiers and categories in speakers of Chinese, Hmong, and Japanese and on the acquisition of second languages by preschoolers. She is currently conducting three studies that investigate how preschoolers learn a second language. All use experimental designs. One compares the role of first language vocabulary on second-language learning. The second examines the role of first language semantic and phonological organization on second language word-learning. The third explores the parameters of speech discrimination training that might accelerate second language learning.

Dr. Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda
New York University

Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, Ph.D., is Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University. Her research is focused on infant and toddler learning and development in the areas of language and communication, object play, cognition, motor skills, gender identity, emotion regulation, and social understanding, and the long term implications of early emerging skills for children’s developmental trajectories. She investigates how skills in different domains reciprocally affect one another and snowball over time (that is, the theoretical construct of “developmental cascades”), and examines the role of socio-cultural context on skill development and lagged associations. A core emphasis of this research is on the quality of mothers’ and fathers’ interactions with children—in particular their contingent responsiveness and richness of child-directed language—in relation to children’s developmental trajectories and, conversely, how emerging communicative skills in children influence their everyday learning experiences and interactions with parents. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Mental Health, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, the Ford Foundation, and the Robin Hood Foundation. She has over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and books, and has co-edited the volumes Child Psychology: A handbook of contemporary Issues, 1st 2nd 3rd Editions (Psychology Press, 1999, 2006, in progress), Handbook of father involvement: Multidisciplinary perspectives, (Erlbaum, 2002; 2013), and The development of social cognition and communication (Erlbaum, 2005).

Dr. Kevin J. Thomas
The Pennsylvania State University

Kevin J.A. Thomas, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Sociology, Demography, and African Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, and a Research Associate at Penn State’s Population Research Institute (PRI). He completed his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Demography at the University of Pennsylvania. Before then, he earned a Masters in Development Administration from Western Michigan University, and a B.A. (with Honors) from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Thomas worked as a David Bell Fellow at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and later as a Research Fellow at the Harvard Initiative for Global Health. Thomas also worked with the Migration Policy Research Program of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to produce the World Migration report in 2003 and has served as a consultant for several organizations including the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) in Washington, DC. Dr. Thomas has also served as an expert witness on immigration issues and on the National Research Council’s panel on the Integration of Immigrants into US society. His research interests include migration and immigration processes, especially among African-origin populations, children and families, and race and ethnic inequality. He has received a number of awards, including the Young Scholars Fellowship of the Foundation for Child Development. His work has been published in leading peer-reviewed outlets such as the International Migration Review, Demography, and the Lancet. His recent book titled, Diverse Pathways: Race and the incorporation of Black, White, and Arab-origin African immigrants (Michigan State University Press) provides a critical look at the significance of race and ethnicity for understanding the assimilation experiences of Africans in the US.

Dr. Claudio Toppelberg
Harvard University

Claudio O. Toppelberg, M.D., is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and research scientist at Harvard Medical School and the Judge Baker Children's Center, where he directs the Child Language & Developmental Psychiatry Research Lab. At the Judge Baker, Dr. Toppelberg also directs continuing medical education and the Harvard-Medical-School-accredited Child Mental Health Forum. He is on the Medical staff at Children's Hospital Boston, and sits in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry research committee, and the Harvard Global Mental Health Workgroup. Dr. Toppelberg is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, a co-investigator at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and a practicing psychiatrist board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (2017). Dr. Toppelberg’s research in child/adolescent development and mental health has three foci: 1.) the relations of language, neurocognitive, and emotional/behavioral development, 2.) the development of English learning/ dual language children of immigrants, and 3.) reduction in socioeconomic disparities in language, neurocognitive and emotional/ behavioral development through national and state policies. Toppelberg’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Development, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and Applied Psycholinguistics among others. He has received several international, national and Harvard research awards. Dr. Toppelberg graduated with a Diploma of Honor (magna cum laude) from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine. He trained as a psychiatrist in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he founded and directed a psychiatry residency training program and an adolescent psychiatry department. After immigrating to the United States in 1990, he trained at two Harvard Medical School programs, in psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health Center/Brockton-West Roxbury VA, and in child and adolescent psychiatry at Cambridge Hospital. In addition, Dr. Toppelberg completed two NRSA research fellowships funded by the National Institutes of Health—the American Psychiatric Association’s PMRTP and Harvard’s Clinical Research Training Program—under the mentorship of developmental psycholinguistic Catherine Snow, PhD, and developmental psychiatrists Kerim Munir, MD, DSc and Stuart Hauser, MD, PhD. Dr. Toppelberg is the former director of psychiatry for the Judge Baker Children’s Center’s Manville School, a therapeutic day school for children with emotional/ behavioral and learning disabilities and currently runs psychiatric services for the prestigious New England Center for Children, a residential school for children and adolescents with autism and other severe developmental and behavioral disabilities. Dr. Toppelberg is an active member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, member of its Diversity and Culture Committee, co-author of its Practice Parameters for Cultural Competence in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Practice, and expert reviewer of its Practice Parameter for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has also been a member of the Society for Research in Child Development, the New England Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychiatric Association, and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, among others.

Dr. Lily Wong-Fillmore
University of California, Berkeley

Lily Wong-Fillmore, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Education at the University of California at Berkeley. Much of her research over the past 40 years has focused on issues related to the education of language minority students in American schools. Her professional specializations are second language learning and teaching, the education of language minority students, and the socialization of children for learning across cultures. She has conducted studies of second language learners in school and community settings, including a study of the language resources of Alaskan Native children in several Yupik villages along the Yukon River. She is currently engaged in studies of the academic language of complex texts as required by the Common Core State Standards, and is working with the Council of Great City Schools to develop instructional strategies for teaching such language skills to English language learners and other underachieving language minority students. Another area of work that has engaged Fillmore in the past several decades is the revitalization of indigenous languages in the Southwest. She continues to work with leaders in several pueblos in New Mexico in support of language programs for the teaching of heritage languages to the children in those communities.