Project Ignite is funded by a National Professional Development Grant from the Office of English Language Acquisition from 2021-2026. Building on the efforts and accomplishments from a previous NPD funded grant, Project EnACTeD (Engaging and Advancing Community-centered Teacher Development), Project Ignite continues the teacher preparation and professional development opportunities.
Project Ignite supports preservice ESL teacher preparation, ESL add-on licensure, and professional development for inservice teacher through UNC Greensboro’s TESOL program.
This project allows us to continue and expand the collaborations among UNC Greensboro, Guilford County Schools, Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools, and NC DPI to advance ESL and DL/I teacher preparation in North Carolina.
Meet the Staff
Melody Zoch, PhD
Lead Principal Investigator
Dr. Zoch is an associate professor of literacy in the Teacher Education and Higher Education department at UNC Greensboro where she teaches literacy and TESOL classes. She oversees the design, implementation, and evaluation of the project in close collaboration with the Co-PIs and evaluation team. She leads team meetings, coordinates efforts of the university and district partners, and leads the preservice teacher components of the project.
Jamie Schissel, PhD
Dr. Schissel is an associate professor of TESOL in the Teacher Education and Higher Education department at UNC Greensboro. She leads the development and implementation of the ESL/DL add-on licensure program. She works with school district coordinators to identify and advise inservice teachers for the ESL/DL add-on licensure program and consults with district coordinators to provide inservice teachers with ESL and DL classroom teaching and learning opportunities.
Ye He, PhD
Dr. He is a professor of TESOL in the Teacher Education and Higher Education department at UNC Greensboro. She leads the planning and delivery of the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), which includes working with facilitators for the PLCs and teachers. She also supports the evaluation team.
Angela Neblett is a higher education administrator with extensive experience in higher education finance, managing complex projects, and coordinating multiple communities for shared goals. She specializes in creating adaptive processes for effective communications and contingency planning. Angela has held many leadership roles in the School of Education, such as facilitating the School’s first Staff Council and serving as its first chair.
Tiffany Tovey, PhD
Dr. Tovey leads the evaluation activities for the project. She leads the design and administration of evaluation instruments, oversees the establishment and maintenance of the project database, and prepares evaluation reports and presentations to stakeholders.
Brian Hutchins, PhD
Dr. Hutchins, external evaluator with SERVE Center, focuses on the evaluation of the impact analysis of student outcomes. Dr. Hutchins works closely with Dr. Tovey and Dr. He to manage the design, sampling, data collection, data analysis, and reporting on project impact.
Dr. Jennifer Arcila
Dr. Arcila assists Dr. Zoch with the design and implementation of project activities related to preservice teachers in the MAT program. Jenny provides support with recruitment, field experience supervision, and facilitating seminars for preservice teachers.
Graduate Research Assistant for in-service programming
Sara assists Dr. Schissel with the design and implementation of project activities related to inservice teachers in the ESL Add-on Licensure program.
Ricardo Bernal De La Ossa
Graduate Research Assistant for PLC programming
Ricardo assists Dr. He with the design and implementation of project activities for Project Ignite Professional Learning Communities.
Graduate Research Assistant for evaluation
Malitsitso assists Dr. Tovey with evaluation activities that include data collection, data analysis, and reporting.
Graduate Research Assistant for evaluation
Nathasha assists Dr. Tovey with evaluation activities that include data collection, data analysis, and reporting.
In addition to the project team, the Advisory Board consists of faculty and collaborators from local school districts and in the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI).
- Dr. Barb Levin, Professor Emeritus at UNC Greensbor, Real World English coordinator and instructor
- Dr. Mariche Bayonas, Associate Professor of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at UNC Greensboro
- Dr. Scott Howerton, Clinical Associate Professor of Elementary Education at UNC Greensboro
- Dr. Leslie Baldwin, World Languages Director, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
- Diana Castano, Bilingual Program Instructional Coach, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
- David Sisk, English Learner and Title III Programs Director, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
- Dr. Mayra Hayes, EL Director, Guilford County Schools
- Kimberly Pilling, Director of Global Languages, Guilford County Schools
- Ivanna Mann Thrower Anderson, ESL/Title III Consultant, NCDPI
- Dr. Emily Bivins, ESL and DL educator (retired)
- Analia Wells, Guilford County Schools