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Invited Speakers

Rebeca Ontiveros-Chavez, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center

Sat, Nov. 7th
@ 8:30am

"Working Together for Undocumented Student Success"

An excerpt from the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center website:

The Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) is a legal resource center for Michigan's immigrant communities. MIRC works to build a thriving Michigan where immigrant communities experience equity and belonging.

Learn more about MIRC on their website.

About Rebecca Ontiveros-Chavez, Staff Attorney, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center:

Rebeca is an attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center’s (MIRC) Washtenaw County office. She represents unaccompanied immigrant children and individuals in the metro Detroit area on various immigration matters. In 2019, she was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Foreign Language Board of Review as the Limited English Proficiency Populations Advocate. Rebeca has played an integral role in creating the Immigrant Justice Lab, an interdisciplinary team-based approach that brings students together from different disciplines at the University of Michigan to assist in asylum cases. She also advocates for racial equity as a member of the Michigan Advocacy Program’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is committed to ensuring that all youth have access to higher education regardless of immigration status and helps lead the Michigan Coalition for Undocumented Student Success.

As a law student, she was the executive articles editor of the Michigan Journal of Race & Law and co-president of the Latino Law Students Association. She was also a student-attorney for the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic and the Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic. Before law school, Rebeca worked for U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and was the communications director for the Congressional Hispanic Staff Association in Washington, D.C. She earned a BA in political science from the Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2009 and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 2016.

Kelly Alvarez, Michigan Dept. of Education

Sat, Nov. 7th
@ 10:30am

"Michigan K-12
MDE EL Updates"

During this interactive session we will focus on the many moving parts in the EL field from the Michigan Department of Education. Kelly Alvarez will provide EL MDE updates, share PD opportunities for 20-21 school year, give an update on the exciting work that is happening on the ESL Advisory Committee among a variety of topics covered in this session.  Participants will gain a deeper understanding and have a chance to ask questions and provide feedback to MDE.

About Kelly Alvarez, English Learner Education Consultant, Office of Educational Supports, MDE:

Ms. Alvarez is an English Learner Educational Consultant for Michigan Department of Education in the Office of Educational Supports in the Special Populations Unit.  She has extensive experience as a dual language immersion teacher, as a principal, and as a director of school innovation focused on getting improved results for students of color and English Learners. She is passionate about culturally responsive teaching and improving instruction for English Learners in both elementary and secondary settings.  Ms. Alvarez’s undergraduate work was focused on elementary education, mathematics, science, and English Learners.  She holds a master’s degree in Bilingual Bicultural Education with an administrator endorsement.

Panel of Speakers from Michigan State University

Sat, Nov. 7th
@ 10:30am

"Post-Secondary ESL Programs: Surviving Tough Times"

Post-secondary ESL programs are experiencing full-force the great current upheavals in education. We teach via machine and around national firewalls to students half a world away. Our colleges and universities face record budget shortfalls. Even before the pandemic, enrollment had been shriveling because of political and cultural desiccants, foreign and domestic. Yet here we are,  determined to see it through. But how? This presentation lays out broad strategies and specific tactics for a post-secondary ESL program to survive—and even thrive—under such conditions.  The presenters draw on their experiences and on a variety of reported cases at colleges and universities around the United States.

About the Panel of Speakers:

English Language Center, Michigan State University

Dustin DeFelice, Director

Patricia Walters, Associate Director

Lawrence J. Zwier, Associate Director


Special Programs, Michigan State University

Mark Albee, Coordinator