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2022 Elections

Before you vote, read up on candidates in the biographies and statements below. Use the link in the email message you received to access the online ballot.

The election will close on 31 March 2022 at 11:59 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time).

Candidate List

Scroll down for bios and statements.

Vice-president/President-elect (term: two years as VP, two years as President, two years as Past-president)

  • Lee ABRAHAM (Columbia U)
  • Mahmoud AZAZ (U Arizona)
  • Liudmila KLIMANOVA (U Arizona)
  • Mande MENKE (U Minnesota)
  • Boris YELIN (Northeastern U)
Arabic Section Convener (term: two years)
  • Muhamed AL KHALIL (New York U-Abu Dhabi)
  • Khaled AL MASAEED (Carnegie Mellon U)
French Section Convener (term: two years)
  • Tara HASHEMI (California State U - Fresno)

Graduate student representative (term: two years)
  •  Rachel FLOYD (U Arizona)
  • Mary Ellen RUTEMEYER (Michigan State U)

Candidate bios and statements


Lee B. ABRAHAM (Columbia U)

"Lee B. Abraham serves as Director of the Spanish Language Program and is a senior lecturer in Spanish in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University. 

Lee has administered multi-section and multi-course language programs taught by graduate teaching assistants, part-time faculty, and full-time faculty at large and small public and private institutions that have different curricular and administrative opportunities and challenges. Lee’s experiences with these different stakeholders in language programs provide an important foundation for collaborating and engaging with our membership, section heads, and colleagues in other professional organizations in order to build on AAUSC’s more than 40 years of success as a crucial advocate for the vital role of language program administrators in higher education and in our mentoring of graduate students, as future leaders who will adapt and innovate in unprecedented times.

Lee has taught undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in Spanish language and linguistics, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics. and language teaching methods.

Lee co-authored a chapter in Language Learning Language Teaching in the Linguistic Landscape (Eds. Malinowski, Maxim, and Dubreil). Lee’s work has appeared in Language Teaching Research, Foreign Language Annals, and other journals. Lee co-edited Electronic Discourse in Language Learning and Language Teaching."

"AAUSC is a vital professional organization and advocate for language education that is uniquely positioned to create additional opportunities to collaborate across institutions.

We would build upon existing collaborations to further amplify the impact of our crucial work by working with AAUSC section heads and membership on the following initiatives 

1) To expand the scope of AAUSC by seeking partnerships and collaborations with other national and international professional organizations to offer virtual and face-to-face workshops and professional development opportunities throughout the year (and at conferences) as well as jointly publishing on curriculum development and other topics of mutual interest

2) To partner with the MLA and ACTFL to publicize our important work and role in higher education as language program administrators and teacher educators in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and other venues.

3) To continue to collaborate with our membership on their new initiatives as vital partners in our collective work

4)  To collaborate with other organizations such as the Graduate Student Councils of the American Association for Applied Linguistics and the American Educational Research Association.

5) To increase mentoring, networking, and publication opportunities for our membership by sharing experiences and resources across institutions."

Mahmoud AZAZ (U Arizona)

I am an Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition & Teaching and Arabic Language, Linguistics & Pedagogy and Distinguished Fellow at the University of Arizona. Nationally, I currently serve as Arabic Sector Head (AAUSC) and serve on the MLA Executive Committee of Applied Linguistics and the Executive Board of the Arabic Linguistics Society. Recently, I have joined the UA Academic Leadership Institute (Office of Leadership and Organizational Development) where I have received professional training in academic administration (PatternShifts, LLC) at the institutional level. I hold a Ph.D. with Distinction from UA. My research focuses on Arabic SLA from linguistic and sociocultural perspectives. It has appeared in top-tier journals in SLA and applied linguistics. Additionally, I edited the 34th volume of Perspectives on Arabic Linguistics (John Benjamins); co-authored a textbook on Egyptian Arabic (Georgetown University Press); almost completed a monograph on instructed SLA of Arabic (Routledge Press), and published two translated monographs on Arabic intellectual history. I coordinated the basic Arabic program and currently direct the Arizona in Egypt program. My innovative work won multiple recognitions including the UA Provost’s and Dean’s Awards. With these qualifications and background, I can support the AAUSC President and Executive Committee in their national mission.        As the VP role is essentially an apprenticeship to the Presidency, I intend to offer lend support, offer ideas, and execute tasks that will help move the AAUSC’s initiatives forward. Through this supporting role, I will not only train for the Presidency, but I also hope to create initiatives that may help all of the AAUSC members. One idea I have is a challenge (with a prize) between all the institutions represented by the AAUSC to complete a diverse set of objectives ranging from hosting a recruitment event to rebranding courses. Often, in the midst of all the work we do as faculty, these tasks are left by the wayside, but they are vital not only to the survival of our programs but also so that they may thrive.

Over the past four years, I have worked with two AAUSC Presidents, witnessed and contributed to the Association’s initiatives, including launching SLRP. In addition, I have closely worked with the MLA, AAAL, SOLPHIE, and AATA at the national level. Although each one of these venues leads in their own way, the AAUSC with its focus on language program direction is well-positioned at the fore in a world that is crammed with challenges. The Covid-19 pandemic coupled with recent incidents in the U.S. and overseas have resulted in intended and unintended consequences that call for critical reconsideration of language programs in higher education institutions. Issues of social justice, equal access and technological mediation, equality and inclusion, and critical multilingualism are now pivotal in curricular and professional development initiatives by members of the collegiate foreign language ecosystems. As Vice President, I will work with the President and the Executive Committee to support the Association’s national mission and goals. I will prioritize advocacy for language education and program direction and further advance venues of collaboration with other associations. Based on my recent academic leadership training, I will work with the President to maximize resources and strengthen the Association’s business acumen for long-term sustainability.  


Liudmila KLIMANOVA (U Arizona)

I'm Assistant Professor of Russian and Second language Acquisition, and Russian Language Program Director at the University of Arizona. My background and professional experience are closely tied to language program administration and training of junior FL faculty. I have served on the AAUSC Board as Slavic Sector Head for over 6 years since 2016-2022. During this period, I was able to almost triple the membership for the Slavic Sector. I held annual sector meetings at ACTFL conferences and organized a number of professional meetings for Russian LPDs. More recently, I have spearheaded the creation of a special interest group on the teaching of Slavic language through the lens of social justice and anti-racism (SJOLT). The AAUSC SJOLT group holds two meetings annually with the goal to increase collaboration among LPDs in Russian and Slavic Studies on curricular development initiatives and teaching training. 

During my service as Slavic Sector Head, I contributed a number of initiatives to AAUSC such as Innovation in Language Program Direction Award and Interactive Map of Slavic Language Programs in the United States (housed  by the LLC platform). As Vice-President, I would be interested in creating new professional development opportunities for LPDs and coordinators, particularly, in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I would introduce the following initiatives to better advocate for our organization and for the work that we do: 1) I will institute an Ad-Hoc Committee on the development of initiatives that promote professional training for LPDs and coordinators; 2) I will develop a program to enhance our donor relations and promote collaborative grant writing to improve language programs across the country. By articulating to potential donors the importance of AAUSC work to advance foreign language learning, AAUSC can broaden its appeal, establish and grow the endowment and support the establishment of new professional awards and sustain existing travel grants and fellowships for graduate students as well as potentially expand the AAUSC membership to include K-12 program coordinators and create opportunities for collaborations between K-12 and university programs. 

Mande MENKE (U Minnesota)

"When I began my position as the LPD of the Spanish and Portuguese language programs at the University of Minnesota, I quickly found myself overwhelmed by the complexity of the job and unsure of who to consult about various aspects of the position. At my first AAUSC meeting, I met colleagues who shared advice and mentored me in this position; since then, annual meetings, informal meetups at other conferences, and AAUSC publications have shaped and informed my work as an LPD. Eight years later, I find myself ready to contribute to this organization that has been one of my primary professional communities.

Curriculum, pedagogy, and teacher development (both TA and non-tenure line) are at the center of my work, both as an LPD and an active researcher in applied linguistics. I research the acquisition of Spanish by both child and adult learners, focusing on phonological development and syntactic complexity, and also teacher learning around multiliteracies pedagogy. Advancing the teaching and learning of languages so that students can effectively participate in diverse communities drives my work. I would bring my experience as a language teacher, LPD, language teacher educator, conference organizer, and researcher to the role of Vice-President/President-elect."      

I am excited by recent AAUSC initiatives such as the partnership with SOLPHE, the SLRP journal, and the online member resources, which connect and support our work as LPDs and coordinators. In addition to continuing these initiatives, I’d like to explore other ways of coming together as a community to advance our collective work: How can we reach additional colleagues? What additional resources would support our work? What other partnerships might we leverage to advance our work? Organization and collaboration will be key to this work, and I would look forward to learning from and working with the current Board of Directors if elected.

Boris YELIN (Northeastern U)

I am currently the Section Coordinator for Portuguese, and I am also in charge of placement for Spanish and Portuguese. Working with a less commonly taught language I am greatly aware of the challenges that they face and the flexibility, creativity, and perseverance necessary to build up these programs. I also have also been a part of my department’s Task Force aimed at recruitment, retention, and visibility initiatives on campus. Beyond my administrative and service capacities, my research in multilingualism and subsequent application to pedagogy as well as my varying levels of proficiency with the other languages of the AAUSC provide me with a breadth of insight into the diversity of the AAUSC’s members and what their needs may be.

As the VP role is essentially an apprenticeship to the Presidency, I intend to offer lend support, offer ideas, and execute tasks that will help move the AAUSC’s initiatives forward. Through this supporting role, I will not only train for the Presidency, but I also hope to create initiatives that may help all of the AAUSC members. One idea I have is a challenge (with a prize) between all the institutions represented by the AAUSC to complete a diverse set of objectives ranging from hosting a recruitment event to rebranding courses. Often, in the midst of all the work we do as faculty, these tasks are left by the wayside, but they are vital not only to the survival of our programs but also so that they may thrive.

ARABIC Section Convener

Muhamed AL KHALIL (New York U-Abu Dhabi)

Muhamed Al Khalil is an applied linguist and associate professor of practice of Arabic at New York University Abu Dhabi. He is the university’s founding director of the Arabic Studies program (2010-2019). He holds a Ph.D. with Distinction in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona (2005), a Master’s in Applied Linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1998), and a Bachelor’s in English Language and Literature from Damascus University (1993). His career has spanned work in both the United States and the Middle East: From teaching Arabic to American students at the University of Arizona (1998-2001) to teaching Arabic writing courses to young Emirati women at Zayed University in Dubai (2002-2005); from leading an American study aboard program in Jordan for Vermont-based School for International Training (2006-2008) to leading a Writing and Rhetoric program for Michigan State University in Dubai (2008-2010). Muhamed is engaged in applied computational research on Arabic and has published key refereed papers on Arabic readability and lexicography. He leads the NYU-based SAMER project (Simplification of Arabic Masterpieces for Extensive Reading), a grant-funded initiative which is working to create more learner-suited reading resources for Arabic through the graded simplification of Arabic literary masterpieces.

Over the past two decades, quick developments in online connectivity and travel have created a new reality for education in the world – leading top universities in the West to expand their educational domains beyond national borders. For the past 11 years I have worked for New York University which has become a leader in international education. In the field of Arabic, this has caused the university to shift from a traditionally binary view of East-West civilizational interaction into a more diffused multiplicity of civilizational engagements. Then in the past two years the Covid-19 epidemic has further disrupted traditional educational models, particularly how languages are studied and taught. Language programs at universities in the US and beyond need to evolve in response to change. I will thus draw on my experience in international education and technology-aware research to advance two programmatic initiatives through collaborative and interdisciplinary outreach: The first initiative will seek to encourage Arabic programs to adopt a more pluralistic view of the Arabic language and its diverse learning environments in the world. The second will guide Arabic programs to adopt more data-based research to upgrade their design and delivery of language curricula and resources for better targeted proficiency teaching.

Khaled AL MASAEED (Carnegie Mellon U)

Originally from a Bedouin community in Jordan, Khaled Al Masaeed is currently Associate Professor of Arabic Studies and Second Language Acquisition, and the Coordinator for Arabic Studies at Carnegie Mellon University. In his research, teaching, and program direction, Khaled is dedicated to improving communicative competence for Arabic students through integration of spoken dialects and a focus on pragmatic development. He has directed and co-directed study abroad programs in Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco. His numerous research publications have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and handbooks (e.g., Applied Linguistics, The Modern Language Journal, Foreign Language Annals, etc.). Khaled’s efforts to share his work go beyond publishing venues, and have included lecturing, giving paper presentations, and serving on PhD dissertation committees in the US, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, The Netherlands, UAE, and the UK. His focus as a program coordinator has been finding ways to prepare students to participate in the multidialectal reality of Arabic-speaking communities. In his experience working with instructors and TAs, Khaled prioritizes instructor professional development through sharing best practices that contribute to the development of interactional proficiency and communicative competence for L2 learners. Khaled also strives to integrate technology in language teaching to cultivate students’ linguistic and cultural competence.

My passion as a program coordinator and researcher has been finding ways to prepare students to participate in the multidialectal reality of Arabic-speaking communities. As a program coordinator, I have found it very powerful to share best practices among colleagues that contribute to the development of interactional proficiency and communicative competence for our students. Unfortunately, these kinds of professional development opportunities are not always as accessible or frequent as we might like. If elected to be the Arabic section head, I plan to create a forum for this kind of sharing on a wider platform, reaching out to colleagues and graduate students in Arabic Studies to collaboratively organize two webinar panel discussions each year--one in the fall and another in the spring. I envision that the fall webinar panel will focus on research-informed pedagogy and best practices in teaching and learning L2 Arabic as a multidialectal language. The spring webinar panel will focus on professional development for graduate students and junior faculty and will feature potential topics such as time management, navigating the academic job market, how to succeed after you secure a position, etc.

FRENCH Section Convener

Tara HASHEMI (California State U - Fresno)

Originally from France, Paris, I took upon the position of Asst. Prof. of French at Fresno State in 2019 after completing a Ph.D in SLAT at the University of Arizona. My research and scholarly interests are anchored in the topics of Multiliteracies pedagogies, language teacher professional development, textbooks, technology in language teaching and culture. Currently, I oversee the French Program and have undertaken a review of the 4-year curriculum to be more aligned with the multiliteracies framework. I am also leading a French Teacher Academy for the California Central Valley French educators (high school and community college) where I provide them with professional development on how to apply a multiliteracies framework in their classrooms. 

My most recent publication examined Graduate Student Teachers' (GSTs') perceptions of their professionalization in FL programs which have adopted a literacy-based approach to teaching French in the United States. Link here:

Given the current alarming situation in enrollment in our French classes, I would like to take the role of FRENCH Section Convener to provide French educators with a venue to brainstorm ideas on how to better approach the tough times ahead. While I will serve as liaison between the main organization and attend the Annual Meeting, I also hope to encourage the gathering of a group in which French educators feel supported and not so isolated. 


Rachel FLOYD (U Arizona)

As an active member of the Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) Student Association at the University of Arizona, I have served as both graduate student representative to the SLAT Executive Council, directly representing SLAT graduate student interests to faculty, and as President, continuing to support all graduate majors and minors in the program. Through chairing the committee for a graduate student conference, attending professional conferences, and being active on professional social media, I have made professional connections with graduate students and faculty at various universities who are also members of AAUSC. Some of my research focuses on professional learning and preparation for graduate students and recent alumni from graduate language programs; I can bring insights from this research to the Board. Additionally, I have received the Certificate in Language Program Administration and interned with the German Language Program Director giving me a practical understanding of issues with which AAUSC is concerned. This experience and knowledge that are directly related to the AAUSC Graduate Representative position are all in addition to a wealth of teaching, research, grant, service, and curriculum development experience which serve as a necessary foundation.

To share a holistic view of the perspectives and interests of current graduate students, I will first need to ensure they are known. I will survey current graduate student members to solicit perspectives and feedback and then synthesize them for the Board. This could be presented statistically, graphically, or anecdotally. I can measure interest, and if there is enough, I will create and support social media groups and opportunities to connect at major conferences for graduate student members. I will also reach out to previous graduate student representatives to identify how the position was fulfilled in the past to continually improve it. 

Mary Ellen RUTEMEYER (Michigan State U)

Hallo! I am a second-year PhD student at Michigan State University. I have spent six years teaching German in US higher education. My experience has been split between graduate teaching assistant and adjunct teaching roles, all in beginning language programs. My academic and professional interests focus on classroom practice and teacher training. In my research, professional experience, and coursework, I am building skills relevant to my career goals in language program coordination. I have, with mentorship and collegial support, carried out research on language learner agency in the basic language classroom. I’ve served as a section coordinator for beginning German courses. My coursework includes classes on language program direction, research methodologies for second language studies, second language acquisition, language pedagogy, language ideologies and identities, and assessment in language learning. I also attended local, regional, and national conferences on language pedagogy, working to stay aware of recent developments in classroom and administrative aspects of the language program Finally, I also have experience serving as a representative between graduate students and faculty in my current program, communicating relevant program updates and opportunities to my grad student colleagues. 

If I were to serve as graduate representative for AAUSC, I would focus on building up communication specifically with the other graduate students in the organization, as well as work to recruit new graduate student members by targeting outreach to language and applied linguistics programs in the US. Since many graduate students do not get specific training in language program administration during their graduate studies, I would proactively seek out and distribute information on relevant training and networking opportunities. Where training opportunities are lacking, I would work with my peers to advocate for workshops and resources. Through establishing communication with graduate student members of AAUSC, I would hope to serve as a bridge between the Board of Directors and the grad student constituent of the organization. 

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