Luisiana Melendez, Associate Clinical Professor and Director of the Billengual/ESL Certificate Program, Erikson Institute, Chigago, Illinois
Soon after immigrating to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1991, Luisiana Melendez became a member of NAEYC. She was then a bilingual kindergarten teacher. Currently, Luisiana is an associate clinical professor at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, as well as the director of the bilingual/ESL certificate program. She feels especially proud of the program’s focus on the developmental strengths and learning characteristics of young, emergent bilinguals. She believes this focus helps prepare educators to capitalize on these strengths in their work with linguistically diverse children. For fun, Luisiana is a film enthusiast—drawn particularly to the thrillers and noirs of the 1940s and ‘50s.