Mary Cazabon

Mary T. Cazabon is a Senior/Program Research Associate at WestEd, a Learning Innovation ThinkTank in Woburn. Dr. Cazabon brings experience in design and inception of innovative research-based programs for English learners; evaluation of longitudinal field-initiated research; proposal writing and grant management; education reform efforts to address needs of underserved student populations; and development of curriculum and policy documents and national resources on the education of English learners.

Under the Cambridge (MA) Public School District Field Initiative Bilingual Research Project funded by the U.S. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Cazabon directed a project on how second language learners acquire bilingualism and proficiency in two languages and cross-cultural competencies. As a result of this three-year project, longitudinal data and research findings were made available to district administrators, principals, teachers, and parents.

Cazabon has conducted numerous studies on student preferences regarding friendship using sociometric measures and studies relative to the over- and under-representation of linguistic minorities in special education programs. She directed the five-year Cambridge (MA) Public School District Bilingual Education Reform Project (CBERP) that helped the district develop responsive and inclusive programs integrating language minority and majority students in dual-language environments. She has served as expert witness in legal issues dealing with culturally and linguistically diverse students. Cazabón currently serves as Chair of the Confucius Institute's Educational Advisory Board for the Teaching of Mandarin in Massachusetts and New England at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

She frequently presents at national and regional conferences. In addition, she has given courses and trainings in numerous school districts and universities, including Brown University, Lesley College Graduate School, University of Massachusetts, Boston Graduate School, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. Over the years, Cazabon has received numerous awards, including the Appreciation Award for Dedicated and Inspirational Service to the Amigos School, Cambridge, MA (2006); Portuguese Continental Credit Union Honor for the Education and Promotion of Culture and Language of Portuguese Students (2000); and Massachusetts Commissioner of Education's Certificate of Outstanding Success in the Dedication to the Education of Students in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1995). She received a BA in French language and literature from Boston University, an MA in bilingual/multicultural studies and English as a second language from Boston State College, and an EdD in leadership in urban schools from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Vivian Tam

Vivian was born in P.R. China, spent her junior and senior high school years in the pre-1997 Hong Kong, and graduated with a B.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from New York University. Vivian has a Master of Arts degree in Applied Linguistics from UMass-Boston. She is also a certified Chinese teacher for JK-12, and holds a school principal/assistant principal license in the State of Massachusetts.

Vivian is fluent and literate in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and Japanese. Prior to answering her calling to joining the teaching profession, Vivian worked in the corporate world as a public relation specialist with the biggest retail corporation in Tokyo, Japan. From Japan, she returned to the U.S. with her family as an immigrant and expanded her working experiences from corporate marketing to corporate banking in San Francisco, and on Wall Street.

Vivian started her second career in public education when her daughter turned two years of age as she was intrigued by the vast global learning potential of a multilingual and multicultural environment her child is growing up in. She started to work as an teaching assistant at the Cambridge Public Schools, acquired a graduate degree in Applied Linguistics, and a teaching license, and a school principal license along the way. Over the last seven years, Vivian has also taught upper elementary and middle school in Cambridge, Brookline, and high school in Concord-Carlisle. In her current role as the Project Coordinator for the Chinese Immersion Program at the Cambridge Public Schools, Vivian developed the first dual-language Chinese immersion program in a greater Boston public school. She recruited teachers, set program structures, designed curriculum, outreach to families and communities, develop ongoing professional development, incorporate technology in teaching and learning for both students and teachers, and constantly seeking best research and best practices to ensure the best learning outcomes for all children.

Vivian frequently presents at national language and education conferences. She believes strongly that all children have the ability to learn and to succeed in life. Vivian is inspired to be a change agent in the education world.