Research Projects


  • [ONGOING] Emergence of Writing Education in South Asia, a study of curriculum, pedagogy, and policy and programs about the instruction/promotion of academic writing (within various disciplines and contexts) in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. Outcome: book project.

  • “On Their Own Terms” (2016-18), a study of writing pedagogies and engagement of global perspectives in Romania, Colombia, India, Nepal (with CCCC grant mentioned below). Outcomes: described under “Grants, Funding” section below. [description to be added]
  • [DATA COLLECTION COMPLETED] Writing Support for International Graduate Students in the Academic Disciplines: This IRB-approved research project seeks to identify best practices in terms of curriculum and pedagogy, service programs and initiatives, and institutional policies affecting the growth of international graduate students as writers. Extending from my dissertation (which studied links between perception about language variation and practices of teaching/learning academic writing among engineering faculty and their graduate students), this study focuses on effective practices, programs, and policies across the disciplines, also situating the learning/teaching of writing in the broader context of academic transition and professional development. As such, I interviewed nearly 200 individuals–including faculty and staff in writing programs and in the academic disciplines who directly/indirectly support these students with their writing; administrators and experts who contribute through units like the library, international center, counseling center, career center, and so on; and international graduate students themselves–in 21 universities across the United States. While there is extensive research on the challenges faced by international students across the levels and disciplines (especially on their language proficiency), there are two significant gaps in the scholarship especially at the graduate level. The first is an insufficient attention to the bigger picture of how these students learn to read, write, and communicate successfully as they enter and adapt to a new academic culture, specialized disciplines, and higher level of education. The second is a need to go beyond identifying needs and fault-finding into identifying and theorizing successful practices, programs, and policies. As such, I ask: How are US universities responding to the increasing proportions of international graduate students in many disciplines when they do so best? How are they most effectively addressing curricular gaps and helping these students catch up on basic academic skills while also assisting them to meet demands of highly specialized fields of knowledge? What support, services, resources, mentorship in and across the academic and service units best help them learn the many components of academic writing most quickly and effectively? Outcomes: book manuscript in progress; 2 journal articles to be submitted in 2018.
  • [STAGE 1 COMPLETED] Translating Success, a web-based participatory action research for the study of academic transition of international students, approved by Stony Brook University IRB Office. The objective of this project is to develop and provide resources to (as many as possible of) the nearly three quarters of a million international students and scholars who come to US academies every year, by inviting them to share and learn from one another’s experience, while creating a database of informative and inspiring stories. Instead of attempting to study this vast and diverse population as “subjects” of a research, this project seeks to facilitate “participation” of members toward taking “action” for addressing challenges through participation and sharing of experience, while also inviting experts and researchers to share their ideas. The project’s website is www.translatingsuccess.orgOutcome: Chapter in Bista & Foster edited collection; book-length project envisioned by 2020.
  • [COMPLETED] International Teaching Assistants in the STEM Fields, an IRB-approved research project that examines (through case studies) how international, nonnative English speaking teaching assistants in different STEM departments approach writing-intensive assignments and activities for undergraduate students. Outcome: planning to update and resubmit in 2018.
  • [COMPLETED] Collaborative Technologies: Optimizing Potentials, Addressing Challenges, a faculty development project for the center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (TLT), Stony Brook University. Funded by the TALENT Grant initiative of the TLT, and developed in partnership with a colleague from my home department, this one-year project was designed to inform faculty across campus about the dual potentials of collaborative cloud-based educational technologies: on the one hand, the affordances of such technologies toward enhancing teaching and learning, and on the other the possibility of violation of student privacy, including those protected by FERPA regulations. The project involved faculty development workshops presented through TLT and resources for teaching with technology now available on the Writing Program’s website. Outcome: described under “Grants, Funding” section below.


  • Presidential Distinguished Travel Grant, Stony Brook University, 2018 ($1950), for attending the World Englishes conference in Manila, Philippines and transnational collaborations in Bangladesh and Nepal.
  • Research Initiative Grant. Conference on College Composition and Communication (National Council of Teachers of English), 2016-18 ($9,600), for research in Colombia, Romania, Nepal, and India; with Ligia Mihut (Barry U., Florida), Santosh Khadka (California State U. Northridge), Sara Alvarez (U. of Louisville).
    CCCC sponsored panel 2017; conference panel (Bogota, Colombia); drafting in progress for article to be submitted to major Composition journal; “writing for the public” (e.g., guest article).
  • FAHSS Grant (Faculty in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences) (2016-17): Translanguaging in/as Translation. Led by Eriko Sato, for Multilingual and Intercultural Research Center, Stony Brook University, 2016-17, $3000.
    Outcome: Guest speakers invited to Stony Brook University.
  • Presidential Diversity Mini Grant, 2015-16 ($3,000), with Alfreda James (Stony Brook U. Career Center).
    Outcome: developed and offered professional development workshops for international graduate students.
  • Presidential Diversity Mini Grant, 2014-15 ($5,000), with Mawii Ralte, Gene Hammond, Katherine Kaiser.
    Outcome: developed and offered academic transition workshops for international undergraduate students.
  • TALENT Grant (Stony Brook University Faculty Center), 2013-14 ($3,000), with Christopher Petty.
    Outcome: studied faculty use of emerging technologies; presented talks/workshops at CCCC, SUNYCOW, and on campus; wrote a series of posts on department blog; planning to submit a journal article in 2018.
  • Professional Development Awards (sought for conference expenses), United University Professions (UUP), Stony Brook University, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

GRANTS APPLIED (not funded)                                                                         

  • National Science Foundation Grant, NRT-IGE. “Faculty Writing Fellows Program to Strengthen Graduate Writing in the Disciplines.” Member of grant team led by Dr. Nancy Goroff (1 of 8). Requested: $499,778. 2016.
  • National Education Academy (Spencer) Grant, “Writing Support for International Graduate Students.” Requested (standard): $70,000/year sabbatical. 2016.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities (SBU internal assessment). Standard: $12,000. 2016.
  • FAHSS (Faculty in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) grant, “Promoting Academic Writing in the Disciplines” (book project). Requested.: $3,000. 2014, 2015.
  • TALENT Grant, Faculty Center, Stony Brook University. Requested: $3,000. 2015.
  • National Institute of Humanities, with Bill Torgerson. Requested.: $70,000. 2015.


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