Institute Community

 

Barajas

Alberto Barajas is from Los Angeles, California. He teaches world history and Multicultural Studies at CALS Early College High School in Eagle Rock, California. Alberto is a passionate fan of the Los Angeles Clippers. He recently took up jogging when gyms closed and hopes to do his first half-marathon once it is safe to do so. Alberto enjoys volunteering at the local church Divine Savior for events to feed the homeless community. He plans to use his knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert to create engaging lessons for his mostly Latino students. Alberto can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Guy

Angela Guy is from Tomball, Texas. She teaches Drawing and Painting (levels 1–4) and Advanced Placement Drawing Portfolio at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, Texas. Angela is a lifelong horsewoman and rides her horse several times a week. Also, she is a hiker and avid traveler and usually does one or both of these activities while exploring during her travels. Angela plans to apply her knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives in her advanced art classes to show how people express their identity and sense of place and self in their art, particularly those artists who identify as binational and bicultural. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


 

Noland

Antonio Noland teaches world history, civics, and economics at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A veteran of the US Marine Corps, he began his career as a teacher in 2000 at Eaton Johnson Middle School in Henderson, North Carolina. Throughout his career, Antonio has served as chairperson of the Social Studies Department at both the middle and high school levels. He also served as a STAR3 Leader whose responsibilities include providing professional development to create positive classroom environments. Antonio enjoys coaching basketball, spending time with his children, and watching all University of Alabama sports. He plans to use the knowledge gained from the institute to guide him to implement more engaging lesson plans. Antonio looks forward to providing students an in-depth understanding of the borderlands and the people’s rich history. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...

 


   

Barajas

Arturo Molina is from Pomona, California. He teaches AP US History, Chicana/o Latina/o studies, and AVID at Pomona High School. He is also a cross country coach and is a runner himself. Arturo plans to apply his knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert histories to enrich his US History lessons of the southwest and his unit on identities in his Chicana/o Latina/o studies class. Arturo can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on Twitter @one_amo. 

 

 

 


 

AmayaBrenda Amaya is originally from Los Angeles, California, but now resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is a dedicated artist and educator with six years of experience in various educational environments in the USA and abroad. Currently, Brenda is pursuing her master’s in education education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, and is working as a resident teacher in multiple grade levels. She plans to reframe the narrative by taking what she learns from the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives and applying it in her English language arts courses. Brenda loves to be part of her community. Last year, she worked with the educational non-profit Citizens Schools, where she created an afterschool art club for middle schoolers, and you can check out the student’s artwork @constructiveyouthartclub. When Brenda is not studying or working, you can find her painting, binge-watching cooking shows, or traveling somewhere. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Charles Ellenbogen

Charles Ellenbogen lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and teaches language and literature at Campus International High School in Cleveland, Ohio. He reads and blogs about his reading via book reviews. Charles is the author of the book titled This Isn’t the Movies: 25 Years in the Classroom. This summer he hopes to develop a unit for his senior students on the study of the nonfiction work Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli. When not doing any of this, Charles hangs out with Kirsten, his wife, their two teenagers, and their two pets. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

Charles Ellenbogen

Charley Seagle teaches English to speakers of other languages in the Rensselaer City School District, near Albany, New York. He began teaching while in graduate school studying anthropology in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since then, Charley has worked with children and families who have crossed many borders, including recent immigrants from Central America and students from refugee families who lived many years on the borders between Burma and Thailand. He hopes to gain a more nuanced understanding of borders and to use the knowledge to advocate for his students and their families. Charley loves walking through the woods, playing and listening to music, reading, and sharing each of these with his children. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Dan Zeiger

Dan Katz-Zeiger is originally from Brookline, Massachusetts. He now lives in Chicago and teaches at Roberto Clemente Community Academy High School on the city’s West Side. Dan has taught US history, civics, ethics, and, surprisingly, computer science. He is excited to bring the knowledge of the borderlands histories he gains back to his classes. Dan believes his students have their own stories of border crossings and liminal identities. He looks forward to incorporating border narratives into his broader American history curriculum. In his free time, Dan enjoys cooking vegan food, biking, and swimming in Lake Michigan. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 


 

Geist

George Geist is from Brooklyn, New York. He teaches English as New Language, Social Studies, and English language arts at a middle school in Queens, New York. He is an avid reader of biographies and literature and enjoys rock climbing and surfing wherever he travels. George is an elected member of his city’s union local, the United Federation of Teachers, and does a lot of advocacy work at the city and state levels for English language learners. He plans to apply his knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives in his middle school history classes to guide students’ toward understanding about the American West and borderlands people’s identities. George can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Rangel

Jacqueline “Jackie” Rangel is a second-year doctoral student in the Urban Leadership Program at Claremont Graduate University.  She has taught high school Spanish in Whittier Union High School District for 21 years and in Indianapolis, Indiana, for three years prior to moving back to California. Jackie is a course lead for the district and serves on several committees. She is an active member of the Center for Leadership Equity and Research organization, International Teachers of Color, and a mentor in the Community Partnerships for Teacher Pipeline. Jackie’s current research focuses on mentorship and Latinas’ trajectory of obtaining a doctorate. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 


 

Carroll

Jen (Torres) Milne-Carroll is from Madison, Wisconsin. She previously taught high school English. Currently, she is a Librarian Information Technology Specialist at Madison East High School. Jen is a mother to three young children, an avid reader, coffee aficionado, and enjoys the healing power of the outdoors. She has a passion for diverse stories written by BIPoC authors, and for curating anti-racist resources and programming to allow for equitable student learning opportunities. Also, Jen creates content for Bravery Magazine, a quarterly print magazine that empowers kids to dream, learn, do, and become their own kind of brave through engaging stories and creative activities. She plans to apply her knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives by sharing and teaching to her broader school community in an All School Read. Jen can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



 

WilhiteJennifer Wilhite is a high school teacher in El Paso, Texas, where she teaches dual credit, first-year college composition classes to primarily Spanish-speaking students who are learning to navigate academic English. Her research interests are writing pedagogy and language equality in the academy.

 

 


 

Feeney

Julie Feeney lives in Grafton, Massachusetts. She served in the US Peace Corps in South America from 2001 to 2003. Julie lived in Japan while teaching English with the JET program. She has worked as a community organizer, social worker, and as a WREI Fellow in the US House of Representatives. Currently, Julie teaches Spanish World Language at Burncoat Middle School in Worcester, Massachusetts. She is one of the founders of the group Grafton RISE that seeks to promote social justice and community.  She enjoys running, reading, and keeping up with her toddler. Julie plans to apply her knowledge of the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives to enrich her teaching. Julie can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Garcia

Karlie J. García, is from Valley Center, California. She is a department of one and teaches junior high through Advanced Placement level Spanish classes at Calvin Christian School in Escondido, California. Karlie received her master’s degree in Spanish education from California State University, San Marcos and leads her students in service-oriented travel in both Mexico and Guatemala. She enjoys travel, reading, running, and crafting. Additionally, Karlie is passionate about facilitating the opportunity for students to hone their skills in rhetoric and persuasion as Speech and Debate team coach. She plans to integrate her learning from the narratives of the Chihuahuan Desert borderlands in the instruction of her Spanish classes in the coming year, but most especially integrating this knowledge in the discussion of “Identidades personales y públicas” for her AP Spanish Language and Culture class. Karlie can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Strait

Kelsey M. Strait grew up near Flint, Michigan, but now teaches in Chicago. She primarily teaches freshman and sophomore English language arts at Ogden International High School in Chicago Public Schools. Kelsey has experience teaching middle school language arts and language and literature courses of the the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. She loves to read, ride her bike, walk with her Boston Terrier Zuko, and embroider as her hobbies. Kelsey hopes to apply her learning to her school’s IB curriculum and continue to integrate other text types such as poetry, videos, and photographs into her teaching practice. Kelsey can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

BiancuzzoKristen M. Biancuzzo is from Southampton, Massachusetts.  She teaches English at Westfield High School, Westfield, Massachusetts. In her spare time, she is usually found with a book in one hand and a sewing needle in the other, as she enjoys quilting. Kristen is also part of Westfield Promise, a year-long, dual enrollment program designed to help first-generation, college students acclimate to college rigor and expectations. Every year the Westfield Promise students complete a community service project; their 2021 project is a documentary film titled Breaking the Silence, which is about the opioid epidemic and its impact on our community. Also, the project is featured as part of the Spring Research Projects at Westfield State University’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. Kristen plans to apply the knowledge gained from this Summer Institute experience to help her own students learn how to tell their own stories. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



 

Lopez

Lisa M. López-Williamson was born and raised in the borderlands of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She recently moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she has been serving as school librarian at Mark Twain Elementary. Lisa enjoys spending time with family, playing ultimate frisbee, flying kites, cooking, and sharing books and stories with the community. She is an active Little Free Library advocate and storytelling amateur. Lisa plans on using the knowledge she gains from the Summer Institute about the Chihuahuan Desert histories and narratives to further influence the existing cultural richness and diversity of her students in the high desert of New Mexico. Lisa can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @lopez_twain.

 


 

Amenzola

Robert Rivera-Amezola currently lives and teaches in Philadelphia at the Francis Scott Key School. He teaches digital literacy to students in kindergarten to sixth grades. Robert enjoys exercising, gardening, and exploring old cemeteries. In 2018, he completed his dissertation where he used borderlands theory to help guide his thinking. Robert works on the leadership team of the College, Career, and Community Writing Project. He is on the board of the Philadelphia Writing Project. Robert wants to apply gains from the 2021 Summer Virtual Institute with his sixth-grade students as they learn to navigate digital spaces. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  


 

Molina

Sara Molina was born in Spain and grew up in Vermont. She and her husband, daughter, dog, and cat live in Mexico and Vermont, following the sun. Sara teaches high school Spanish at Oak Meadow, a distance learning school in Vermont. She enjoys the Mexican beaches and Vermont lakes and mountains. Sara loves books, and she works on book exchanges in Vermont and Mexico. Also, she also volunteers with animal rescue groups in Mexico. Sara is creating a Latin American Studies curriculum, which will be influenced by the Summer Institute. She is eager to learn with and from others. Her email is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 


 

Lisko

Shannon Lisko is from Youngstown, Ohio, and lives in Columbus, Ohio. Recently, she returned to the Midwest from Phoenix, Arizona. Shannon has taught science for the past 13 years in public and charter and worked with students in academic counseling. She enjoys spending time outdoors and soaking up the beauty while hiking, kayaking, camping, and paddle boarding. Shannon spends a lot of her free time with her two dogs and fiance, Brandon. She has a passion for animal rescue and also volunteered with the Nagi Foundation for several years.  Shannon helped teach about animal behaviors and tutor kids with reading needs while working with the rescue pups. While transitioning back to Ohio, she would love to give students a rich understanding of the Chihuahuan Desert, so they can grasp the concept of the desert and how different it is from the Midwest. Shannon can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


 

Thulen

Stephanie Thulen is on the heels of her first year of teaching English language arts to middle schoolers in Urbana, Illinois. (And it’s been quite the year!) She loves working with emergent bilinguals and plans to pursue a master’s degree in bilingual education and then a doctorate with a focus in translanguaging. Stephanie enjoys surfing and is an emergent multilingual speaker herself: en español and the beautiful Hawaiian olelo. She will use her new understanding of Chihuahuan Desert narratives and storytelling to implement a linguistically diverse, multimodal curriculum that allows all students to identify how they best communicate their ideas.

 


 

Schwarten

Stephen (Steve) J Schwarten Jr. lives in Germantown, Maryland. He has taught grades 7-12 through many different social studies subjects.  Stephen loves going hiking, reading books, and spending time with his family.  He has worked with the University of Maryland’s Master’s Certification Program and participated in the Annenberg Learner-Newseum Summer Teacher Institute. Stephen was an inaugural coach for special needs Allied Softball and has coached soccer for thirteen years. He plans to use his newfound knowledge to design curriculum for a new course offering of Latin American History. Stephen can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @MrSchwarten

 


 

Topher KandikTopher Kandik teaches high school English language arts in Washington, DC. He is a Nationally Board Certified teacher, the winner of the Mayor’s Arts Award for Teaching English (2013), and the Washington, DC Teacher of the Year (2016), Topher is a contributor to Arts Integration in Education (Intellect, 2016). In conjunction with PEN/Faulkner’s Nuestras Voces, he is currently designing and teaching a class on the immigrant experience called Writing Home. Ask him about his wife Allison, nine-year old son Theo, love for homemade fermentation, or  latest, and most daunting, pandemic project: fostering two Great Dane puppies. He can be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @TopherTeacher on Twitter and Instagram.

 


 

Sierra

Wendy Sierra is originally from Eugene, Oregon, but teaches at East View High School in Georgetown, Texas. Currently, she teaches AP Government, on-level Government, and will pilot a Mexican American Studies course at her high school in Fall 2021. Previously, Wendy taught visual arts for 8 years at the middle school level. She is passionate about cooking and traveling. Wendy has participated in a number of national educator seminars and international teacher study-tours, including two Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..