Friday and Saturday Nov 2 & 3, 2018, Albany Marriott 189 Wolf Rd, Albany, NY 12205, Albany, New York  #NYSTESOL18

NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference
Experience:  The Heart of Teaching and Learning

Conference Location

Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Rd, Albany, NY 12205

Phone: (518) 458-8444

Reserve your room at the $129 conference rate:

Call for Proposals

NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference

Experience:  The Heart of Teaching and Learning

Submit proposals online at

November 2nd and 3rd, 2018, Albany, NY

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

-John Dewey

NYS TESOL is currently inviting proposal submissions to share and discuss ideas related to the conference theme within the following nine categories:

  •     Adult Education
  •     Applied Linguistics
  •     Bilingual Education
  •     Elementary Education
  •     Higher Education
  •     Secondary Education
  •     Special Education
  •     Teacher Education
  •     Teaching English International

There will be five different types of sessions at the 2018 conference: 

1) 70 minute workshop;

2) 70 minute panel;

3) 35 minute paper presentation;

4) 20 minute teaching tip;

5) poster presentation. 

You may submit up to three proposals as the lead or co-presenter. 

Submit all proposals online at:

Proposal deadline is June 1, 2018.

Notification of acceptance will be sent by August 15, 2018.

Need help writing a good proposal? Read this article from TESOL International:

For more information, please contact:

Gretchen Oliver: Conference Chair

Ashley Fifer: Assistant Conference Chair

Carmen Diaz: Proposal Chair

Conference Location: Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Rd, Albany, NY 12205

Phone: (518) 458-8444

Reserve your room at the $129 conference rate:

Keynote Speakers


Dr. Havidán Rodríguez took office as UAlbany’s 20th president in September 2017 after more than 25 years as a leader in higher education. Before coming to UAlbany, Dr. Rodríguez was the founding provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV). Rodríguez was instrumental in creating UTRGV, a new public research university, and building the university’s new medical school from the ground up. Rodríguez had previously served as interim president and provost and vice president for academic affairs at The University of Texas Pan-American, which consolidated with The University of Texas at Brownsville to become UTRGV. Prior to his leadership positions in Texas, Rodríguez spent seven years at the University of Delaware as deputy provost, vice provost for academic affairs and international programs, and professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. He also directed UD’s acclaimed Disaster Research Center, the world’s first research center devoted to the studying the complex social problems that result from natural and technological disasters and other community-scale crises. A respected scholar who studies the socioeconomic impacts of disasters and the economic well-being of minority populations in the United States and Puerto Rico, Rodríguez has also held faculty and administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, Rodríguez received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Luciana C. de Oliveira, Ph.D., is Professor and Chair in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami, Florida. Her research focuses on issues related to teaching English language learners (ELLs) at the K-12 level, including the role of language in learning the content areas and teacher education, advocacy and social justice. Currently, Dr. de Oliveira’s research examines scaffolding in first grade classrooms and multimodal representation in picture books. She is the author or editor of 21 books and over 170 publications in various outlets. She's President (2018-2019) of TESOL International Association.

Schedule (coming soon!)

Register & Volunteer

Q: Who can volunteer?

A: Anyone can volunteer. However, you do need to pre-register for the Conference to be a volunteer at the Conference.
While volunteering is open to all, only student volunteers are eligible for registration fee discount. In order to receive discount for the registration fee, you must submit your proof of student status at the time you register for the conference. You must pre-register and volunteer at least one shift during the meeting. Shifts are usually two hours each. Most shifts are in the morning and afternoon, but we do have a few evening shifts available.

Q: What are the duties of volunteers at the NYS TESOL Annual Conference?
You will be trained for your volunteer assignment(s) when you check in at the start of your shifts, so no particular experience or training is required ahead of time. Volunteers assist NYS TESOL staff with a variety of meeting tasks, including registering attendees, managing registration lines, bagging registration material, checking badges, collecting luncheon/dinner tickets and answering attendee questions. You will be provided with a name tag identifying you as a volunteer at the beginning of your first shift.

Q: When should I expect to receive my volunteer schedule?

You will receive a Google invitation to edit that allows you to sign up shifts via email at least two weeks prior to the conference start date. Shifts are available to sign up at a first-come, first-served basis. So we cannot guarantee you specific shifts when you sign up.

Q: Where should I check in prior to my volunteer shifts?

All volunteers should report to the NYS TESOL registration desk and please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to each shift. If you are unable to make your scheduled shifts, you must alert Volunteer Coordinators as soon as possible.

For any questions or inquires, please contact

Sponsors (coming soon!)

2018 Planning Team

Gretchen Oliver, VP Conference

Gretchen Oliver, Ph.D., is a Lecturer at the University at Albany in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice where she teaches TESOL Methods courses and is the fieldwork supervisor for the Advanced Graduate Certificate in TESOL. In addition, she is the ENL Teacher Leadership Coach for the Greater Capital Region Teacher Center.  Gretchen received her Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University at Albany, where she is focusing on the influences of Culturally Responsive Teaching, collaborative instructional environments, and sustained ESOL-focused leadership practices on teaching and learning. She has presented at the NPD Directors' Meeting, NYS TESOL, TESOL International, and NABE.

Ashley Fifer, VP Conference-Elect

Ashley Fifer holds Master's degrees in both Spanish and TESOL from NYU. After teaching Spanish at the K-12 level, she switched to her real passion: ELLs in higher education. She has taught First-Year Experience Courses at Marymount Manhattan College and taught in the CUNY CLIP program at Bronx Community College. Currently, she is a Lecturer in the LINCC Program at Nassau Community College, where she has been for 11 years. She has published for Idiom, as well as presented at New York State TESOL Conferences, Long Island ESOL Conferences and TESOL International Conferences. She is also a part of the Conference Planning Committee for the annual Long Island ESOL Conference. She has previously served as Co-Chair of the Higher Ed SIG and VP of Membership for NYS TESOL.  Her presentations and interests include teaching civility/appropriate academic language and behavior in the university classroom and bridging the gap between IEPs and mainstream college classes.

Fran Olmos, Registration Chair, Yonkers Public Schools

Fran has been an ENL teacher in the Yonkers Public Schools for the last 30 years, working with children in Pre K to 8. She received her BS in Elem Ed (N-6) with a concentration in Spanish, from SUNY Oswego and upon graduating spent three years teaching grades 3, 4 and 6 in a bilingual elementary school in Mexico City. Upon returning to NY, she worked two years in the Elmsford UFSD as an ESL teacher while attaining her MS Ed in TESOL from the College of New Rochelle. Fran has been very active in NYS TESOL during the last 20 years. She started out by working on several Hudson Valley ODMACS and then was asked to become Hotel Liaison and then Registration Chair for the NYS TESOL Annual Conference. She joined the NYS TESOL board in 2002 as Membership Chair which led her to becoming 2nd VP - Conference Chair which was held in White Plains in 2007. She then became President of NYS TESOL in 2009. In 2013, Fran was asked to fill a last minute vacancy and became the 2013 Conference Chair which was held again in White Plains. Fran has also presented at NYS TESOL conferences, was Registration Chair for the 1999 TESOL International Convention (NYC) and has been NYS TESOL Publications Chair. She is also active in her school's PTA unit and has won the Honorary Life Membership Award (formerly The Jenkins Award).

Carmen Diaz, Proposal Chair

Carmen Diaz has been in education since 2002. Prior to arriving in New York, she was an elementary school classroom teacher in Connecticut and was her school’s expert in serving English Language Learners, in both instruction and compliance. Each year, ELs were placed in her mainstream classroom to receive the supports and interventions necessary for ambitious language gains along with academic content. As her expertise improved, she became a leader for her peers and an advocate for all newcomer families in the district. Her work included collaborating with curriculum coordinators to write CCSS-based curricula for grades 2-6 that were inclusive of the needs of ELs as well as teaching adult ESL. This adult education course focused on the combined goals of English language development and preparation for GED and naturalization exams. She moved to New York State in 2015, and is presently the Associate Director of Elementary Learning at the Albany Charter School Network. In this capacity, she has become a leader of TESOL best practices for content teachers and specialists in public schools. As an Instructional Coach, she supports teachers in making growth toward their annual goals. With her team, she designs professional development, revises and reviews curricula, creates assessments, and helps to build the capacity of new and veteran teachers as well as administrators. She also trains administrators in the basics of compliance to ensure ELs are served according to their legal rights. A specific professional skill set she possesses as an educator is in educational technology. She is passionate about technology integration and supports teachers and students in incorporating technology to empower all learners. As a Google Certified Trainer, she delivers a range of professional development sessions for teachers in using Google Apps for Education as well as Chromebooks and devices to enhance academic instruction. Summarizing, she feels strongly about the rights of ELs and advocates for them in a variety of areas. Instructionally, she believes that ELs deserve the opportunity to embrace and excel with technology to prepare for the careers of the future. She is also well aware of the federal, state, and local legal foundations that support equity for ELs in education. As Interim VP of Advocacy, she will be responsible and cognizant of the needs of NYS TESOL. She will bring her insights on policy change and implication for ELs in New York to support NYS TESOL in making decisions and finding a formal position. She will work with the Advocacy Committee and attend statewide and national gatherings meant to increase efforts in supporting ELs in order to glean new information that can help NYS TESOL improve its own support and efforts. She will also explore opportunities to make connections with educational technology organizations in- and out-of-state to begin to solidify a partnership that will further prepare our learners for their future with technology. Not only will this connection pave the way for increased potential for our ELs, but it will also work in tandem with the NYSED goal to examine and increase technology use by ELs within classrooms. These will be the first steps toward increasing equity in career and educational opportunities for ELs, especially within the field of technology.

Publicity Chair

Mark Aaron Polger
Mark Aaron Polger is an Instruction/Reference Librarian at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York and an Information Literacy instructor at ASA College in New York City. His professional and research interests fall within the intersection of providing user friendly (web & print) experiences in the promotion of services, resources, and events. He has been involved in promoting the annual conference since 2012. In his role as Publicity Chair, Mark will help promote the annual conference across multiple listservs, social media, and other communication channels. Mark will help in providing a user friendly web page for the NYS TESOL 48th Annual Conference as well as help develop promotional materials to generate awareness and "buzz". He will help promote the conference using the Twitter hashtag and communicate with current and relevant information regarding the annual conference. Mark will work with the VP Conference to ensure consistent and ongoing communication with NYS TESOL members and the general community so they will be informed of the progress of the annual conference. The Publicity Chair will disseminate the Call for Proposals, Call for Volunteers, Call for Exhibitors, and the Pre-Registration for the annual conference.

Sarah Elia, Entertainment Chair, SUNY New Paltz

Sarah Elia is a lecturer at the Haggerty English Language Program at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz. She also teaches at the International College of Chongqing University of Education in Chongqing, China. Sarah is editor of Secondary Accents, the Newsletter of the Secondary Schools Interest Section of TESOL International Association. She has taught English to adult learners at Dutchess Community College and The Cabrini Sisters “Center for New Americans”, both in New York. She has written articles for publications including the blog of the American Historical Association, History News, a magazine of the American Association for State and Local History, and The New York Times Learning Network. International Educator magazine highlighted her in an article about educational technology. She has presented at the NYS TESOL Annual Conference, Applied Linguistics Winter Conference, SUNY Language PACT and TESOL International Convention. She has been active in NYS TESOL serving as President, Second Vice President, Assistant Chair and Scheduling Chair of the 43rd Annual Conference, and Chair of the 44th Annual Conference. She holds a B.A. in music from Bard College and an M.S. in TESOL from SUNY New Paltz.

Exhibitor Liaison

Linda Pelc

Volunteer Coordinators

Susan Gorga, co-chair

Susan Gorga started her ESL career in the Peace Corps. She has been teaching at the Intensive English Language Program at the University at Albany for 25 years. In addition, she has taught in Poland, Brazil, Romania, and China.

Claire Nolan, co-chair

Claire Nolan came to teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages as a second career.  Before that she worked as a printer. Claire has been teaching for about  twenty-five years - in public schools to both kids and adults, in refugee programs and in colleges and universities. Claire is currently teaching at the University at Albany (SUNYA) in the Intensive English Language Program.  Claire is also a storyteller - you can take that any way you like.

2018 Awards 

Meredith Van Schuyler, Chair

Meredith has been an active member of NYS TESOL since pursuing her master's degree at New York University. She has served as awards chair since 2006, and prior to that was Regional Chair on the Executive Board and Elementary SIG coordinator. Meredith's experience in TESOL has been diverse. She taught EFL in Japan, worked as the academic director of an Intensive English Program, instructed adult ELLs, and for the past 13 years has taught elementary and high school ENL in public schools on Long Island. She has written several articles for Idiom, and is also an original member of the Long Island ESOL Professional Committee at Molloy College. She continues to see NYS TESOL as an important resource and advocate for those dedicated to the instruction of ELLs.