Current LAI GSA Officers

Introducing LAI GSA Officers 2017-2018!


NICHOLENichole Barrett (President): When I started the CiSL program in 2014, I had no idea how influential this department and the people that make up its community would be. As I enter into my fourth year with a concentration in English Education, I look to those who came before me to help me lead. I am honored and excited to be your 2017-2018 president. I promise to keep cultivating the same LAI community that helped me figure out who I am and where I belong. I love all things popular culture. I love all things Shakespeare. I love all things Harry Potter. I love the remix and the mash-up. It is these things that have inspired my research. I firmly believe that popular culture, digital media, and digital technologies belong in the ELA classroom and it is my goal as a researcher to help teachers feel comfortable implementing these approaches. There are so many different ways to know and I will continue to honor each and every one of them.

Here’s to a great school year! Please feel free to email me: or stop by our office in the basement of Baldy (Room 6).



chris-photo-2Chris Jarmark (Vice President & Alumni Relations):

Hello everyone! I am very excited to have the honor and privilege to serve as both your LAI GSA Vice President and first ever Alumni Relations Coordinator for the 2017-2018 academic year. Currently in my fourth year of doctoral studies focusing on English education in the CISL program, I have had the pleasure of meeting and learning alongside of many incredible minds. The community that has been cultivated in LAI is truly an amazing one and one in which I am proud to be a part of. With each step forward, our colleagues and friends are there to cheer us on and to support us. This is the type of community that I would like for us to continue to foster as we move forward—support when we need it, recognition for our achievements, and opportunities to learn and to work collaboratively with each other and our professors.

Prior to coming to UB I earned my BA in English Literature from D’Youville College and my MA in English Literature from SUNY Buffalo State College. While at D’Youville I served two terms as the editor of the college magazine, Sketch, cultivating an artistic community in which all members of D’Youville (past and present) were valued and recognized as artists with meaningful stories to tell—no matter the medium. It was during this time that I truly found myself falling in love with writing and the arts—the very things that have since driven my research interests. My Masters studies built upon this as I considered the ways in which the arts
provided individuals a cathartic outlet to explore the issues of equity, oppression, and cultural identity. I have since built upon these interests, focusing my attention towards the ways in which teachers and students make and communicate meaning and understanding through various modes and the arts, as well as how their personal narratives influence their understandings of academic materials.

I have a deep love for live music, photography, and writing. Pop culture fuels much of my life. I am also a lover of the kitchen and the magic that can be made in there.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me, Wishing you all a wonderful school year!





KATIEKatarina (Katie) Silvestri (Secretary): I am excited to serve as your LAI GSA Secretary for the 2017-2018 school year! I am in my fourth (and hopefully final) year of my doctoral studies in the CISL program with a focus in literacies. I work as a GA in UB’s Center for Literacy and Reading Instruction (CLaRI), currently serving as their Research Project Manager. I am also teaching Language, Literacy, and Culture in the fall semester. I’ve worked previously as an elementary school teacher (Kindergarten, first, fifth) and adjunct instructor (reading, writing) at Niagara County Community College.

My research interests involve social semiotics and multimodality, New Literacies, and the methodological issues that are inherent in data collection, analysis, and representation in both of these domains. In specific, I am interested in how elementary age girls develop their identities and affinities in highly-gendered spaces (i.e. STEM subjects) through literacy practices in schools and other learning environments. I live in Tonawanda with my husband, Dan, and our two cats, Ringo and Niko. I love being outside, running, biking, walking, and pretending to know how to garden – I especially love food and cooking! I am also a musician, and I love 70s era funk and progressive rock.

We’ve got a lot of exciting events planned this year and hope you join us for one soon! Feel free to email me at with any questions, ideas, comments, etc.




ERICAErica Demler (Treasurer): Hi! I am thrilled to be your Treasurer for the 2017-2018 school year! I have just started the second phase of the CISL doctoral program, with a concentration in Mathematics Education. I earned my BA in Mathematics Education from Niagara University and went on to complete my Masters degree in Mathematics Education at UB. I have worked as both a tutor and instructor and my teaching experience is mainly at the college level. I started teaching mathematics courses at Bryant & Stratton College and then became an adjunct at UB. I am the Mathematics Coordinator for the Learning Center on campus and I also work with the Gifted Math Program.

My research interests are centered on teacher knowledge and the mutliple modes that can be used to represent mathematical ideas. I am especially interested in focusing on postsecondary mathematics instructors who teach developmental mathematics courses. I live in Cheektowaga with my husband Patrick and our shih-tzu/poodle, Reese. When I’m not working or schooling, I love to bake, go camping, and work on fixing up our house!

I’m excited for the events we are planning and look forward to meeting more LAI students this school year!



aijuans-pictureAijuan Cun (Senator):

Hello everyone! I am very happy and excited to serve as your LAI GSA Senator for the 2017-2018 school year! I received my Masters at SUNY Fredonia in 2014, and then began my Ph.D in the CISL program with a concentration in Literacy Education in the Spring 2015. My research interests involve exploring identity formation of international students within higher education. I am also interested in exploring lived experiences of immigrant and refugee families. I am looking forward to serving as your senator and getting to know you all! Please feel free to contact me via email at


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