Rebecca Bergey is a senior researcher in the Center for English Language Learners at AIR. Her primary responsibilities include designing curriculum, facilitating professional development, and conducting research that supports the education of English language learners and dual language learners. She has over a decade of experience working with multilingual students, as both a National Board Certified secondary ESL teacher and trainer/coach of pre-service and in-service teachers.
Most recently, she has worked on both implementation and research related to innovative forms of teacher professional development, including video-based coaching and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and participated in a one year Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship in Xalapa, Mexico. Her publications include articles in International Multilingual Research Journal, Hispanic Journal of Behavior Sciences, Linguistics and Education, and Applied Linguistics.
Jill Eisenberg is the Vice President of Business Development, Curriculum & Literacy Strategy at LEE & LOW BOOKS, the largest independent children’s book publisher specializing in diversity and multiculturalism. Before joining LEE & LOW, Eisenberg was a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan, where she taught English as a foreign language to children in grades 2–6. She served as a 2011 Teach for America Corps Member teaching ELA for third grade in the Bay Area, California. She has been passionate about best practices for supporting English Learners and parent engagement ever since. For over eight years at LEE & LOW BOOKS, she oversees strategic partnerships and provides product and literacy expertise to schools, districts, and literacy organizations.
Patricia García-Arena, PhD.
Dr. García-Arena is a principal researcher with 20 years of experience and content knowledge in a variety of areas, including ECE systems, dual-language learners, language socialization among young children, and qualitative research. She is an accomplished project manager, well-versed in managing complex, face-pace projects, recruiting study participants, training field staff for qualitative interviewing and quantitative assessments, and facilitating qualitative focus groups in both English and Spanish. For instance, for the initial Illinois PDG B-5 grant, she worked closely with the Illinois Governor’s Office of Early Child Development as the project director for the needs assessment and a senior staff member on the state’s Preschool Development strategic plan, assisting with meetings with key stakeholders and leading the development and execution of the qualitative focus group interviews for those two projects. Currently, she is the ethnography study lead for the Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST) Phase II Evaluation and leads the protocol development for the outcome/impact study. In this role, Dr. García-Arena is overseeing the design and execution of an in-depth qualitative ethnography design study that will conduct qualitative interviews with families, monthly over a 4-year period, to provide a comprehensive perspective from the point of view of families on what their day-to-day experiences raising young children in Tulsa are like, including their interactions with systems and service providers.
Dr. García-Arena has significant knowledge of early childhood systems and child development. Prior to joining AIR, she worked at the Erikson Institute graduate school of education in Chicago, where she taught graduate courses in child development and worked on research projects focused on early childhood policy. Dr. García-Arena also worked on Illinois early childhood education, care policy, and system issues while a senior research associate at the Ounce of Prevention Fund She received her doctorate in psychological studies in education with an emphasis on child and adolescent development from Stanford University. She holds a master’s degree in human development and psychology from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in child development and psychology from Tufts University. Dr. García-Arena is a native Spanish speaker.