Meet Steinbeck Chapter’s Vibrant New Leadership

Dec 22nd, 2016 | By | Category: Chapters, Steinbeck
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Ondine Gage


—Under vibrant new leadership, the Steinbeck Chapter of CATESOL has hosted a film event and a conference-share potluck, and it is gearing up to hold the Northern Regional Conference at Pacific Grove Middle School on April 1, 2017. SAVE THE DATE!!! Special thanks to Netta Avineri as outgoing chapter coordinator!

the Steinbeck chapter's new board members

Meet the new Steinbeck leadership (from right): Kristen Arps, Adult School and Community College representative; Rogers Walker, social media coordinator; Don Hansen (back) graduate student rep; Tiffany Galicia, CSUMB IEP rep; Kara Mac Donald, chapter coordinator; Jen Peck, MIIS IEP rep; Michelle Bagwell, University Level rep; Ondine Gage, treasurer; and Julie Anne Krolak, secretary.

Evening of Film and Discussion

The Steinbeck Chapter of CATESOL presented The Graduates/Los Graduados at our annual “Evening of Film and Discussion,” generously hosted at California State University, Monterey Bay, College of Education. Students from both CSU, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS) were informed by this documentary.

The October 20 screening was a timely reminder of the dilemmas faced by our Latina/o youth, especially involuntary immigrants, such as the DACA children growing up in the US.* As student Sam Cocheran commented, this film provides the backstory on students’ lives: “It was enlightening to see … [that] the three young men in the film were able to make it through their own endeavors.” Another student also reported being especially moved by the story of one student whose bond with an adult helped him move away from crime. As Clayton Davis said, “This struck home with me because I … knew three kids in my high school who also broke into the school one night and stole some computers. However, they did not have anyone in their corner to back them up at their trial and they were sent to juvenile hall. This decision managed to follow them into adulthood and drastically altered their possibilities in life. I wonder how their lives may have been different if they had a better support system behind them at that time in their lives.” The film moved these preservice teachers to see the potentially positive roles that we can play in students’ lives.

Even faculty were moved, as Dr. Gallardo showed in his comment: “It is so important to bring the ‘lived experience’ of these youth into the classroom.” Moreover, as a Latino himself, he reflected that it is “… very touching to realize how fortunate I am to have had the life path that I have been afforded and to remember that what I do as a professor of color matters so very much.”

Conference-Share and Potluck

Steinbeck Chapter members share what they've learned from conferences and celebrate with a potluck.

Steinbeck Chapter members share what they’ve learned from conferences and celebrate with a potluck.

After the success of our annual “Film and Discussion Night,” the Steinbeck Chapter also hosted a Conference-Share and Potluck gathering on December 1, 2016, for local members to gain highlights from both national and international conferences. Local Steinbeck members had attended TESOL, ACTFL, CATESOL, ALA in Vienna, Young Rhetoricians Conference, and the First Annual California Reading Apprenticeship Conference in 2016. Generously hosted by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, members shared good food, presentations, and favorite highlights from the conferences.

April 1, 2017—No Fooling! Save the Date for the Northern Regional!!

April 1, 2017, is the date set for the Northern Regional Conference to be held at Pacific Grove Middle School on the Monterey Peninsula. Mark your calendars and watch for the CALL FOR PROPOSALS. Our vibrant new leadership looks forward to working with the conference organizers, Michelle Bagwell and Judith O’Loughlin.

Thank You, Netta!

Finally, a heartfelt thank-you goes to Netta Avineri, who stepped down after two years as chapter coordinator. Netta has done so much to build chapter activity! Working in conjunction with her graduate students and colleagues at MIIS, and the CSUMB Education and World Language Programs, she pioneered conference themes such as “Intercultural Communication in the Language Classroom” and “Language, Education, and Social Justice.” Moreover, she left the chapter in great shape, setting in place new leadership representing the many institutions in the Tri-county area, headed by Chapter Coordinator Kara MacDonald. We thank you, Netta!!


*”The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a policy begun by President Obama in 2012 which provides undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. under the age of 16 deferred action from deportation and a temporary 2-year work permit. To be eligible, these young people must be in good standing with the law, in school, a high school graduate, or honorably discharged from the military” (Homeland Security, 2015, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). Retrieved from


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