Paige Ware, a lead researcher for Project CONNECT, is a Professor of Education in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and serving as Associate Provost for Faculty Success at Southern Methodist University. Her research examines interactive technologies for fostering intercultural engagement among youth within local and international partnerships, and also mixed reality simulations for supporting teacher learning about language education. Her work has been funded by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Post-Doctoral Fellowship, the TESOL International Research Foundation for English Language Education (TIRF), and the Department of Education.
Nancy Montgomery, a lead instructor for Project CONNECT, is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development who teaches primarily ESL classes for Project CONNECT and other graduate courses including Content Methods and Reading and Writing in the Content Area for secondary students. Her areas of interest are Special Education and the ESL Refugee student at the secondary level.
Priscilla Lara-Blackburn is the Project Director for Project CONNECT in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education at Southern Methodist University. Her work supports the coordination of several federally funded projects (OELA, NIH, and IES). Her research interests focus on teacher professional development and supporting English Learners and their families.
Brenna Rivas, a lead researcher and Principal Investigator for Project CONNECT, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Her primary research interests and aims lie in the development of materials, interventions, and practices that support the language and literacy development of early elementary-aged students. Her work on both federally (OELA, NIH, and IES) and locally funded grants includes training on academic language supports for English language learners and implementing interventions for culturally and linguistically diverse and at-risk populations.
Jillian Conry, a post-doctoral researcher and instructor with Project CONNECT, is an evaluation coordinator in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on ways to support English learners as well as their teachers and families by leveraging technology.
Sumei Wu is a post-doctoral researcher and instructor for Project CONNECT at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests focus on the use of telecollaboration and practice-based learning for language teacher professional development, in particular their intercultural learning, teacher noticing, and the integration of technology in language teacher education (especially virtual reality simulations).
Ann Marie Wernick is curriculum developer for Project CONNECT and a Graduate Research Assistant and doctoral student at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests coalesce around understanding and supporting teacher learning for both pre-service and in-service teachers. She is particularly interested in designing collaborative learning spaces for teachers to enact skills, receive feedback, and construct knowledge.