2023 Executive Board Election

Welcome to this year’s executive board election.

The candidates have written both professional and biographical statements so that you might get to know them better. Please scroll down the page to read all the candidate statements. They are listed in alphabetical order.

When you have made your decision, choose the candidates your prefer and click “Vote”. You may choose up to TWO, and the two receiving the most votes in this election will become the new board members. The individuals elected will take office at the conclusion of this year’s conference and serve a 3-year term.

This poll is no longer accepting votes

Please choose up to two of the following individuals.

Mahmoud Amer

Professional Statement 

I would be honored to serve CALICO in any capacity, the Executive Board no less. I have been a member of CALICO for a decade, and I have attended every annual meeting since CALICO in Denver, Colorado (2015). My work and scholarship have been at the heart of what CALICO does since 2004, when I began building mobile apps for the S60 Symbian platform (the software that powered millions of Nokia devices before Android and iOS). If elected, I pledge to continue supporting the mission of the organization, reach out to our colleagues and further our collaboration with a variety of stakeholders and organizations.

CALICO meetings have enabled me to see the breadth of knowledge and variety of perspectives we bring to our profession. I believe that CALICO occupies a very unique position. Because many of us in CALICO play the dual role of both creating digital content, as well as being the instructors to many of our students, we are uniquely qualified to examine how technology can transform learning and teaching. I am deeply committed to socially-responsible and open-access technology in education, and equally committed to supporting and training the next generation of teachers in the use of technology to transform learning and teaching. To this end, I believe CALICO should continue to be involved in the process of developing the standards for teacher education in the use of technology in language learning, to better assess the tech readiness of the next generation of teachers of world languages. The Covid-19 global pandemic exposed areas of concern vis-à-vis the shift to remote and online learning, and I believe CALICO has the infrastructure (dedicated members, premier journal, and the annual meeting, to name a few) necessary to lead in these areas. This involvement in computer-assisted language teaching standards will further broaden the scope of CALICO and bring in members from a variety of educational and professional backgrounds.

I look forward to serving our organization, and want to thank you for considering my candidacy.


Dr. Mahmoud Amer is a Professor of Applied Linguistics and the Chairperson of the Department of Languages and Cultures at West Chester University. Dr. Amer is an Adobe® Certified Expert®, a CompTIA® Certified Technical Trainer (CTT++), and has deep expertise and special interest in leveraging emerging technology (mobile devices and wearables) in language learning. Dr. Amer has authored and worked on a variety of computer-assisted technologies, including his most recent project which is a game-based learning platform, Vocabee (www.vocabee.org). He has recently contributed a book chapter titled Assessment without borders: Modernizing placement tests for diverse contexts in Technology-Assisted Language Assessment in Diverse Contexts: Lessons from the Transition to Online Testing during COVID-19, Edited by K. Sadeghi. (Routledge, 2022).

Maria Díez Ortega

Professional Statement

I feel honored to have been nominated to serve CALICO as a Board Member. CALICO was one of the first conferences I attended as a PhD student in 2017. The innovative research presented at Flagstaff inspired me to pursue a career in CALL. More importantly, the supportive and welcoming environment provided me with a sense of belonging, making CALICO feel like my professional family.

I have served as chair and co-chair of the Graduate Student SIG for three years, and on the CALICO board as the graduate student representative for one year. During my time in the SIG, I initiated outreach efforts to increase visibility of the organization. I organized workshops and panels, social and networking events virtually and in person, collaborative research projects, and I worked on growing the SIG newsletter. If I were elected as a member of the executive board, I would be dedicated to facilitating opportunities for mentoring, offering guidance and resources to early-career scholars and graduate students, continuing and expanding the work I started in the SIG. Whether through structured workshops and panels, one-on-one mentorship, or networking and social gatherings, I would work to maintain and grow this supportive community. As a mentor and mentee, I have seen firsthand the impact that guidance and support can have on growth and success. This, in turn, can positively impact the future generation of scholars and the continued relevance and innovation of the field of CALL.

Moreover, I believe one of the strengths of CALICO lies in its commitment to being an open and diverse environment for everyone working at the intersection of technology and language education. I am committed to finding ways to keep creating opportunities for an inclusive and accessible future in CALL. A first step would be to advocate for annual travel awards for graduate students, K-12 teachers, and language educators from underrepresented groups and educational settings. Through a combination of awards, professional development opportunities, and a supportive network of peers and mentors, CALICO can foster an inclusive future for language education.

I am very fortunate to have found my academic community early in my professional career here in CALICO. I believe that, if elected, my passion and dedication to the field and organization would allow me to make a meaningful contribution.


Mery Díez-Ortega is a Spanish Professor at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) in Olympia, Washington. She completed her graduate studies in Applied Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Her research interests lie at the intersection of task-based language teaching, CALL and SLA. She has over 11 years of teaching experience in the United States and Europe, where she has taught courses in L2 pedagogy and second language acquisition, English for academic purposes, and Spanish and English as foreign languages. During her time in CALICO, she has organized and led in-person and virtual workshops, panels, research projects, and social events as the chair of the CALICO Graduate Student SIG. Mery has served as board member of the Hawai‘i TESOL organization for four years. She has also served as board member for Multi‘ōlelo, a multilingual platform that aims to make research findings accessible to the broader language community that received the Esperanto “Access to Language Education Award” during CALICO 2022. Mery has also received the 2021 CALICO Robert A. Fischer Outstanding Graduate Student award, the 2021 American Association of Applied Linguistics (AAAL) Graduate Student Award, and the 2020 Duolingo Dissertation Research Grant. As a professor at SPSCC, her goal is to develop OER materials for the Spanish program to make in-person and online language education more accessible.

Robert Elliott

Professional Statement

I consider myself a practitioner of language teaching technology first and foremost. When I first began my career as an ESL instructor in the 1990s I found it easy to carve out a niche as a CALL “expert.” I was active in TESOL and combined technology with my interests in prosody and took leadership roles in the pronunciation (SPLIS) and ITA Interest Sections.

In 2007 I moved to the University of Oregon (UO) and began working with Native American languages at the Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI). Since my father is Native, this shift allowed my personal and professional lives to converge. I collaborate with Native communities and contribute my professional expertise in documentation, archiving, materials development and teacher education to revitalization efforts of numerous tribes and communities. I’ve also led efforts to move training programming online, critical after COVID-19.

I became active in CALICO in 2015. I’ve presented research, lead half-day workshops, and organized panels; I am past chair of the Teacher Education SIG. At the UO in 2021, I became director of both NILI as well as the Yamada Language Center, where I support LCTL and all language instructors with technology support and professional development opportunities.

Should I be elected to the CALICO board, I would be a voice for issues of endangered languages, language revitalization and Native education. The UN declared 2022-2032 to be the Decade of Indigenous Languages, and we are living in a post BLM world. The zeitgeist is focused on social justice. My goal is to make permanent inroads for such issues at CALICO, so that social justice in our field is not just a passing flavor-of-the-month. Other contributions would come from my background with pronunciation and prosody, developing online programing, training pre- & in- service teachers, and focusing on research informed praxis.


Robert, a first generation college graduate, attended Santa Monica College, UCLA and San Francisco State. He first worked as an ESL instructor at Mission College, University of San Francisco, City College of San Francisco and Stanford. In 2008 he moved to Oregon and began working with Native American languages at the University of Oregon’s (UO) Northwest Indian Language Institute (NILI). He is now the Director of both NILI as well as the Yamada Language Center at UO. He is past chair of TESOL’s Speech, Pronunciation and Listening IS and CALICO’s Teacher Ed SIG. He is a Diné/Navajo descendant.

Liling Huang

Professional Statement

I have been fortunate enough to find my aspiration in CALL since I attended CALICO as a member in 2013, which has become my enchanted passion ever since. I would be a great addition to the team because of my ability to collaborate well with others, my practices of CALL related research and teaching, and my willingness to commit time and efforts to fulfill the responsibilities. If elected, I would be happy to develop a sustainable outreach program that utilizes different strategies including surveying the needs of the target audiences, collaborating with other organizations and creating Slack communities to bring more diverse potential members (e.g., world language educators, graduate students and international scholars) to CALICO. I also think that hosting a conference in the most visited cities can attract more in-person participants. I would be happy to help organize future conferences or propose to host it in my university if possible, and actively seek for funding, facility and technology support for the event. I am currently involved in the CALICO IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access) working group, and I would appreciate the opportunity to continue contributing to CALICO by serving on the board.


Liling Huang is a senior lecturer at Boston University and a Ph.D. student at University at Buffalo. She completed her M.A. at Carnegie Mellon University. She has taught Chinese language and content-based courses, developed online and blended courses, and a graduate-level pedagogy course. She was awarded ACTFL DL SIG/CALICO Online Teaching Award (2020), Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award (2018), and CLTA Cengage Learning Award for Innovative Excellence (2017). She has presented nationally and internationally, conducted nationwide workshops, and published in the fields of CALL and language pedagogy, including the Routledge Handbook of Chinese Language Teaching. Her current research investigates the impact of critical place-based virtual exchange on learners’ intercultural competence and perspective transformation.