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Board of Directors

Eurydice Bauer is the John E. Swearingen Chair of Education and Professor in the department of Instruction and Teacher Education at UofSC. She is Director of the Center of Bilingualism Matters @ UofSC. Her research focuses on understanding the language and literacy development of culturally and linguistically diverse student. 

Lenny Sánchez is an Associate Professor in Language and Literacy Education at UofSC. He is co-Director of the Center of Bilingualism Matters @ UofSC. His research focuses on cultural and critical literacies. 


Yang Wang is an Associate Professor in Language and Literacy Education at UofSC. She is co-Director of the Center of Bilingualism Matters @ UofSC. Her research focuses on reading comprehension, reading assessment, English language teaching and learning, and biliteracy.



Kyungjin Hwang is a PhD candidate in Language and Literacy at UofSC. She is an executive assistant of the Center of Bilingualism Matters @ UofSC. Her primary research interests include ESOL/bilingual education, heritage language maintenance, and multimodal translanguaging pedagogy. 

Executive Board 2020-21

Amit Almor is an Associate Professor at UofSC. His research areas are psycholinguistics, neuroimaging of language and language impairments, the processing of anaphoric expressions in discourse, sentence production and comprehension, lexical representations and processing, and the connection between language and memory.

Ernesto Bernal is the World Languages and ESOL Programs Coordinator for Richland School District One. Bernal has been working in the United States for a decade trying to bring learning opportunities to students and teachers that open their minds to new challenges inside and outside of this country.

Mark A. Bounds earned his Master of Science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the College of Naval Command and Staff. He is the Head of School at East Point Academy in West Columbia, SC.

Kara Brown teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social foundations, comparative education and qualitative research methods. Her research focuses on language policy, minority schooling and teacher migration. She is also an Executive Team member for the Bilingualism Matters Center.

Valerie Byrd Fort is a PhD student in the Language and Literacy program, and the Coordinator for Cocky's Reading Express, UofSC's Literacy Outreach Program. She teachers courses about children's literature to pre-service teachers and to future school and youth services librarians at the School of Information Science @UofSC. Her research focus is on diversity in children's literature.

Liz Lawrence-Baez is the Dual Language Immersion Lead Teacher at Polo Road Elementary School in Richland School District Two. Her professional interests focus on teacher training, specifically international teachers, and biliteracy development among immersion students.

Dawn Samples is the Director for Avant MORE Learning. Dawn provides professional learning and administrative support to educators in the US and internationally, helping them reach their program‘s proficiency goals. 

Liza Speece is the Coordinator for World Languages and Dual Language Immersion for Lexington School District One. She was previously the World Language Teacher Support Specialist for Lexington One. Prior to this position, Liza taught Spanish at the elementary, secondary and college levels, third grade Spanish immersion, and ESOL.


  • Eurydice Bauer, Ph.D.
  • Lenny Sánchez, Ph.D.
  • Yang Wang, Ph.D.
  • Ernesto Bernal
  • Lydia Carnesale 
  • Ruta Couet
  • Dawn Samples
  • Teresa Turner
  • Banu Valladares

Bilingualism Matters Center @ University of South Carolina

1530 Wheat Street, Room 228 

Columbia, SC 29208

Last Updated: December 23, 2022   

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