Dr. James Cummins is a Professor with the department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at OISE, University of Toronto. Dr. Cummins holds a Canada Resarch Chair (Tier 1) and has been a recipient of the International Reading Association’s Albert J. Harris award (1979). He also received an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from the Bank Street College of Education in New York City (1997). In recent years, he has been a co-investigator on a large-scale SSHRC-funded project entitled “From Literacy to Multiliteracies: Designing Learning Environments for Knowledge Generation within the New Economy.” He is currently involved in a project to validate the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Steps to English Proficiency assessment tool. He is also conducting a research review on English Language Learners’ academic trajectories. Dr. Cummins has co-authored several books on literacies in education, and has seen his work translated into Japanese and Spanish.
Nadeen Ruiz currently serves as a bilingual teacher educator at the University of California at Davis. She was previously Chair of the Bilingual Multicultural Education Department at California State University Sacramento, and Director of Elementary Education at Stanford University. A recipient of two outstanding teaching awards at Stanford, and one at CSU Sacramento, Dr. Ruiz has over 30 years of experience as a bilingual teacher, teacher educator, and researcher. She is co-founder and co-director of the Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) Project, a research and professional development program that focuses on effective literacy instruction for bilingual students in both general and special education classrooms. Dr. Ruiz received her Master’s and Ph.D. from Stanford University in Language, Literacy and Culture with a Ph.D. minor in linguistics. She is author of numerous books and articles in the area of effective education for Latino students, and is regularly invited to speak on this topic at both national and international venues.