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Awards Sponsored by the

CATESOL Education Foundation

For more information, see our Awards Padlet

Community College Student Essay Award

Emilce Sivil relocated from Argentina to the United States seven years ago. At the time, she didn't know any English words or how to drive, and she didn't have any friends or family, so Emi decided to attend college and learn English. Then, after finding support and encouragement from her ESL professors at Orange Coast College, this forty-year-old first-generation college student decided to pursue a career in Interior Design.

Recipient: ​Emilce Sivil ​
Orange Coast College

Community College
Professional Development Award

Cheryl Bucholtz-Magallon has been teaching ESL since 2008. She taught EFL in Costa Rica for one year in addition to teaching both full time and part time for various community colleges and IEPs in Southern California. She is currently a credit and non-credit instructor as well as a student advisor and faculty technology specialist. Ms. Bucholtz-Magallon also works extensively with curriculum updates and implementation of Online Educational Resources.


Recipient: Cheryl Bucholtz-Magallon
Orange Coast College

English Language Research Award

Recipient: Alexis Bloom
Eniko Csomay  
San Diego State University


A graduate student at San Diego State University, Emmanuel Rodriguez is a hard-working student who is committed to pursuing a career in adult ESL teaching and associated research. Emmanuel received his Bachelor's degree from San Diego State University and is currently half-way through in the Applied Linguistics Master's Program at San Diego State University. Emmanuel teaches in the English Composition for International Students Program.

A professor at San Diego State University, Eniko Csomay is a corpus linguist investigating university language, focusing on classroom discourse and student writing. She has published articles in highly ranked journals, e.g., Applied Linguistics, Linguistics and Education, and the Journal of English for Academic Purposes. Her latest edited volume is The Routledge Handbook of Corpora and English Language Teaching and Learning (2022). She was awarded multiple fellowships including a Fulbright and an English Language Specialist. She worked with teachers and teacher trainers in Hungary, (country) Georgia, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, and Singapore.

Gordon Johnson Memorial Award
Awardee 1

Alexis Bloom holds a M.A. in TESOL and a Certificate in the Teaching of Composition from San Francisco State University. She is currently working in her dream job as an associate faculty member in the ESL Department at Santa Rosa Junior College. As an ESL practitioner, she has experience teaching in non-credit and credit programs and have taught a range of courses from beginning literacy to college-level academic writing.


Recipient: Alexis Bloom 
Santa Rosa Junior College

Gordon Johnson Memorial Award Awardee 2

PJ has worked as an ESL Instructor for different universities, community colleges, private institutions, and non-profit organizations for the past 11 years. He has a Masters in Adult TESOL from City University of New York - Hunter College. Currently, he works for the International Rescue Committee and San Diego Community College teaching refugees and immigrants.

Outside of work, PJ loves traveling, reading, improvisational / stand-up comedy, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and hanging out with his black cat, Lil Boogs.


Recipient: Phillip Kim 
International Rescue Committee and San Diego Community College

Rick Sullivan Award

Holly Yi Gao 
USC Rossier School of Education

Holly Yi Gao is a MAT-TESOL candidate at USC Rossier School of Education and CATESOL’s USC Interest Group Assistant Coordinator. Holly’s international education and teaching background include her upbringing in China, a BA in the Swedish Language at Lund University, and teaching ESL/EFL to adults in Sweden and young learners in China. As a multilingual speaker of four, her primary interest is in Second and Foreign Language Education.


Natasha Guerrero


Matthew Hamano
​Azusa Pacific University


Gabrielle Meindl 
CSU Sacramento

After being an assistant English language teacher in Nagano, Japan for two years, Natasha was inspired to further her education and to be able to provide the best English language education to her students. She enjoys studying Japanese, learning to code, playing tennis, building mechanical keyboards, and casual gaming. Natasha is a mom to two puppies, the oldest of four siblings, and she enjoys cold, sunny days the best!

Matthew Hamano has a Bachelors Degree in History from UC. San Diego and is currently in the Master's Program with a TESOL Component at Azusa Pacific University. He is currently working as an ESL Instructor for international F-1 visa students and looks forward to growing professionally as an ESL instructor.

Gabrielle Meindl is a graduate student at California State University, Sacramento’s TESOL program. She has a Bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in Japanese language and culture, and has worked as an English tutor in Japan. Currently, she is employed as a substitute teacher in her local school district. Gabrielle is a highly self motivated student looking to expand her knowledge and experience in English education.


Nayereh Nouri
Alliant Int'l University


 Gabriela Perez
CSU Northridge


Karla Torres
CSU Dominguez Hills

Nayereh Nouri is a doctoral student in TESOL. She is an English tutor over social media, teaching EFL and ESL students. She enjoys supporting language learners, especially new immigrants and refugees, by voluntarily teaching them English since she is passionate about learning and teaching English. Her particular research interest is in the area of social justice and language teaching, language attrition, bilingualism, and bilingual education.

Gabriela Perez studied Linguistics as an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and is currently pursuing an MA in TESL at CSUN. She is  interested in the use of translanguaging as a linguistic and culturally sustaining tool in the classroom and plans to continue her studies to create an equitable and just educational setting.

Karla Torres isa graduate student in the MA TESL program at CSU Dominguez Hills. My current work in the second language acquisition field focuses on using corpora to develop and incorporate engaging learning activities in ESL classrooms. I work as an academic tutor, helping students in subjects like TESL, linguistics, English, and Spanish. My goals are to obtain my Ph.D. and become an ESL and linguistics professor.


Annie Yin

Zhi (Annie) Yin is currently a graduate student at University of Southern California, studying for the degree on Master of Arts in Teaching-Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She earned her bachelor’s degree on Child and Adolescent Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She is a first-generation immigrant to the United States and her educational experiences in both her home country and the United States strongly inspired her to develop a passion toward the education field, especially to help English language learners.


Yanning Zhou

Yanning Zhou is an international student from China who is passionate about education, especially language education. He believes that TESOL education will empower more students in globalization, so he choose to study MAT-TESOL at USC and wishes to make contributions to the TESOL field in the future.

Ron Lee Technology Award

Kazuya Shida is an ESL instructor at University of Southern California, International Academy. He has received multiple awards in excellence in EdTech. Kaz also creates educational content on social media with more than 93,000 followers. Currently, he is exploring the metaverse as a tool to transform language learning experience. He is a fan of Rafael Nadal, Porsche 911(964), Vought F4U Corsair, and Old-Fashioned.

Recipient: ​Kazuya Shida ​University of Southern California, International Academy

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