2018/19 Gardiner Fellows

Gardiner Fellows


Salamah Adjoua-Mullen currently works as a school library media specialist in the Uniondale School District working with grades K-5. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and earned a Master's degree in Library Science from Queens College. She also obtained an Administration degree from Long Island University.  Salamah is a Nationally Board Certified teacher. Her research interests include culturally sustaining pedagogy, social justice curriculum and classroom communities.


Karen Larson Buechner has been teaching English Language Arts for 25 years at all levels from grades 7 - 12.  Ms. Buechner has taught writing in the Program of Writing and Rhetoric at SUNY Stony Brook and is a fellow of the Long Island Writing Project. She has presented workshops on secondary literacy at such venues as the Long Island Association for Curriculum and Development (LIASCD); the Teaching of Writing Festival at Suffolk Community College; the Long Island Language Arts Council (LILAC); TAC-D Summer Institute at NYU; Long Island English to Speakers of Other Languages (LI ESOL); and, the Applied Linguistics Winter Conference at Teachers College. Areas of expertise include literacy education, multi-literacy approaches to student learning, and dialogic discourse. Ms. Buechner has also been the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to India where she studied language and culture.


Signy Emler currently teaches social studies on Long Island, and over the past 18 years has worked collaboratively to introduce a humanities-based, dialogic approach to instruction. Signy received an MA degree in teaching social studies and M.Ed. in Organizational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has presented workshops on social studies standards, discussion-based pedagogy, courageous conversations, and equity literacy. She also initiated a pilot study on the impact of mindfulness and attention training on adolescents and teachers in the Lindenhurst School District. Signy is committed to facilitating equity through pedagogy and political action. Her research interests include dialogic teaching, detracking and critical pedagogy.


Kathleen Murray currently teaches English as a New Language in an elementary school on Long Island, where she has taught for the past 17 years. She earned her post Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Stony Brook University, a Master's degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from St. John's University and holds a Bachelor's degree in political science and Spanish from Binghamton University. Her research interests include the effects of poverty on schools and the education of English language learners.


Livia Gama Fagundes is currently an elementary school teacher in the New York City Public Schools, and an adjunct professor at Queens College and LaGuardia Community College where she teaches various education courses. Livia received a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education and a Master's degree in Literacy both from Queens College. She also holds a second Master's degree in educational leadership and is certified as a school building leader. Her research interest is the validity of assessments for English language learners.


Mary Stephens currently serves as the Director of English as a New Language and World Languages.  Mary earned her Bachelor's degree in English with a focus on the English language from SUNY Binghamton.  She earned a Master's degree from Hofstra University in TESOL. She also holds a certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from SUNY New Paltz. Mary held certification in English as a New Language from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Mary's research interests include an examination of how the racial and ethnic composition of a teaching staff impacts student achievement.


Nicholas Vasiliades has 7 years of interdisciplinary teaching experience at St. Anthony's High School, and also serves as a moderator of Equity Club, a student-run organization dedicated to promote a culturally inclusive environment within the school community. In addition to these responsibilities, Nicholas is a member of the Faculty Incentive Committee, selective team of educators tasked with facilitating the exchange of qualitative instructional practices and fostering a professional learning community at the school.


Robert J. Windorf graduated from Hofstra University with a C.A.S. in Educational Leadership, and from St. John's University with a P.D. in Instructional Leadership. He also holds a Master's degree in Adolescent Education, a Master's degree in Near Eastern Studies and a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Russian Language and Literature. Prior to entering the education field full-time, Robert worked more than 20 years for various corporations in the international financial services industry. He then worked for seven years as the director of administration and finance for an international not-for-profit social services organization, where he also briefly served as its co-representative at the United Nations. Robert is a member of Molloy College's English Language Arts Education Advisory Board and Special Education Advisory Board. His dissertation study will focus on global citizenship education, specifically involving measuring students' global awareness attainment.