Financial Manager: TBA
Sonnya Espinal brings to Project ALERTA a passion for education and a commitment to helping under-served youth overcome obstacles and succeed in life. Born in Colombia and transplanted to the suburbs of New Jersey at the age of 5, Espinal had to prevail over many barriers herself in order to accomplish her goals and attain success. Espinal believes that through self-confidence, determination, hard work and collaboration, one’s dreams can become reality. Prior to joining the ALERTA team at UMass Boston, Espinal served as program manager in the Youth Pathways Division of Commonwealth Corporation, where she focused on raising students’ academic performance while providing access to work experiences and other real-world activities. Espinal also possesses significant professional experience in education, as an adult ESL teacher and high school Spanish teacher in the U.S., and as an English teacher abroad in Japan. She has also volunteered extensively in various nonprofit organizations to work with the international and immigrant population and to promote cultural diversity. Espinal holds a BA in Spanish from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania and a MA in intercultural relations from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.
Peter Golden is a founding member of the Boston Writing Project (1979), the first Massachusetts site of the National Writing Project, and served as its summer institute codirector for 25 years. During that period he also designed and led institutes on teacher research, literature and writing, and writing across the curriculum. In 1990, he was the academic coordinator of the Hemingway Institute, an NEH-funded project designed to improve the teaching of Hemingway and the teaching of writing by using the Hemingway manuscripts at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston. He has made numerous conference presentations on teaching writing at the local and national level for the National Writing Project and the National Council of Teachers of English. In addition he has extensive classroom experience: he taught in Boston public secondary schools for over 30 years, attaining lead teacher status. A trained mentor teacher, he has worked closely with colleagues new to the profession, and guided numerous student teachers from area colleges through their practicum experience. In 2005 he was nominated for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. He is a member of the National School Reform faculty and a trained coach of the Critical Friends Group.
Project ALERTA and TAG Founder Lucia Mayerson-David worked at the university for four decades before her passing in December 2011. At the ILT, she developed and participated in several programs that have defined the urban mission of this university, especially within the Boston Public Schools. Specifically, Mayerson-David designed and directed model K-16 intervention strategies for Latino and other under-served students, such as the Talented and Gifted (TAG) Latino Program, Project ALERTA, GEAR-UP, the Teacher Development Collaborative, and Teach Boston. Mayerson-David was a member of several inter-collegiate committees and served as chair of the Latino Coalition, a group actively involved in the development of an agenda linking the university to the Latino community. She also was a member of several educational and political committees at the local and state level, including Governor Deval Patrick's Extended Teaching and Learning Time Subcommittee, and she served as vice president of OISTE, the Massachusetts Latino political organization. Mayerson-David taught at both UMass Boston and Boston University. She studied economics at the University of Chile, earned a degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, and an MEd in psycho- and socio-linguistics from Boston University. She also completed advanced studies in second language acquisition and bilingual education at Boston University.
A former high school English teacher and a teacher of young children with and without disabilities, Glenn Mitchell has been a faculty member within the College of Education and Human Development since 1990. She has designed and taught a number of courses in the Graduate Special Education Program and has served as graduate program coordinator and associate chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Mitchell has served as the academic liaison on several federally-funded special education teacher preparation grants and was the principal investigator on a state-funded inclusion capacity-building grant with the Boston Public Schools. She has designed and conducted numerous professional development workshops in the areas of individualized assessment, differentiated instruction, classroom and behavior management, and literacy. Glenn graduated from the University of Houston and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, an MA from Lesley University, and a PhD from Boston College.
Ilyitch Tabora is the associate director for the Talented And Gifted (TAG) Latino Program. She began working as the TAG Coordinator in 2003, but has been part of the TAG program for many years. As a high school student at the Boston Latin School, Tábora was the president of the TAG Latino Club, and served as a teacher assistant in the Summer TAG Program for many years. Upon entering college, Tábora served as a TAG tutor at Boston Latin School, and as a study skills teacher in the summer. She graduated in 2003 from Boston College with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a minor in Latin American studies. In 2005, Tábora earned her master's degree in social work (MSW) from Boston College, where she concentrated in community organizing, policy, planning, and administration. Aside serving as the associate director of the TAG Program, Tábora also volunteers her time as a mentor in the PANAS Mentoring Program, as an organizer at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), and as a member of the Elections Advisory Council to the Boston Election Department.