Rebecca L. Walkowitz
Dean of Humanities
Distinguished Professor
School of Arts and Sciences
Rutgers University 





Nicole M Houser, Ph.D.
Director, Rutgers English Language Institute (RELI)
Associate Teaching Professor
Department of English-Writing Program 

Dr. Houser specializes in applying critical and contextualized approaches to the curricular development of First Year Writing, English as an Additional Language, and World Language programs. She has written and taught courses for all levels of learners of English and Spanish, as well as Introduction to Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Translation, Intercultural Communication, and special topics courses on language ideologies and linguistic discrimination in the United States. Dr. Houser has given numerous presentations on culturally responsive and inclusive pedagogy and how the critical examination of language is central to interrogating, challenging, and transforming historically exclusionary policies and practices in higher education. Her current research focuses on developing collaborative curricula and institutional programming toward a model of linguistic diversity and social justice.


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Doaa Rashed, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor
Director, Language Engagement Project (LEP)
School of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Rashed is a translingual, transnational teacher educator, a program strategist, and works to advance diversity and inclusion of the study of languages and cultures across the curriculum. She is the Director of the Language Engagement Project at Rutgers University-New Brunswick where she oversees the development of multidisciplinary modules, courses, and activities offered to bilingual and multilingual undergraduate students. Rashed previously served as Director of the MA TESOL Program and Co-Director of the TESOL International Training Programs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Here research focusses on translingual identities, the intersection between language, culture and identity, and identity as pedagogy. She was the recipient of the Recipient of the Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Researcher Award from the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE).

 "Hegemony is a cultural encasement of meanings, a prison-house of language and ideas, that is ‘freely’ entered into by both dominators and dominated” McLaren, P. (2009, p. 67) 


Thomas Stephens, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Faculty Director, The Language Center (TLC)

Thomas Stephens is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese, and the Director of the Language Center. He provides leadership to The Language Center, the Language Engagement Project, and the Language and Social Justice Initiative. Professor Stephens is the co-author of “Dictionary of Latin American Identities” with J. Maddox IV (University Press of Florida Editorial Board, 2021).

He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, most notably the Academic Excellence Grant, Rutgers University, Graduate Program in Bilingualism. For a full list of Professor Stephens' scholarly contributions and service to Rutgers, click here.




Kristen Syrett, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Undergraduate Program Director (UPD)
Presidential Term Chair in Experimental Linguistics
Chair, RAC

Department of Linguistics
Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS)

Dr. Syrett’s research spans two main areas of Linguistics: child language acquisition and psycholinguistics, with a focus on semantics and pragmatics and the semantics-syntax interface. She experimentally investigates how we assign meaning to words and utterances, particularly in a discourse context from age two to adulthood. Parallel to this research is a dedication to advocacy in the field of linguistics and academia, with a focus on inclusive language, diversity, and women and gender equality. She was the recipient of the Early Career Award from the Linguistic Society of America and a two-time recipient of the LSA’s service award; has been an active mentor and member of the Committee on the Status of Women in Linguistics and an Associate Editor for multiple peer-review journals in the field; and has been recognized for her teaching here at Rutgers.


Postdoctoral Fellow

Carly Dickerson


Carly Dickerson, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate
Language and Social Justice Initiative

Dr. Dickerson is a sociolinguist with a focus on language & gender, heritage speakers, and the Albanian language. Her dissertation examined the sociolinguistic knowledge that US-based heritage speakers of Albanian have acquired about their heritage language. She’s also worked on how notions of gender (and specifically masculinity) are constructed, perceived, and performed in Albania. In addition to her work with the Language and Social Justice Initiative, she teaches linguistics courses on sociolinguistics and field methods, specifically from a sociolinguistics perspective and aimed at developing skills for working with communities of speakers.  



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Katherine Armbruster
Administrative Assistant
The Language Center (TLC)




Patty Blum


Patricia Blum
Administrative Coordinator
The Language Center (TLC)
Language Engagement Project (LEP)