College of Education > About > Centers & Initiatives > BiLD Lab > Who We Are

Who We Are


Sunny Park-Johnson, Ph.D.
College of Education, DePaul University

Sunny Park-Johnson is an Assistant Professor and Director of ESL and Bicultural Education Minor. Her research interests include bilingual language development, the linguistic and social aspects of code-switching, and the intersection of theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, and education.


Carolina Barrera-Tobón, Ph.D.
College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, DePaul University

Carolina Barrera-Tobón is an Assistant Professor in the Modern Languages Department and the Director of the Heritage Language Program in the Spanish Section. Her research interests include sociolinguistics, bilingualism, language acquisition, the Spanish in the United States and the application and intersection of these fields within education.


Jazmin Brito
Jazmin Brito

Jazmin Brito is an undergraduate research assistant and future educator. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education in the Social Sciences with minors in ESL and Bicultural Education and Sociology. Her research interests include U.S. history, the histories of marginalized groups, social inequalities, the maintenance of heritage languages, culturally responsive education and sociolinguistics.

Joe Fosom
Joseph Folsom

Joseph Folsom works as a research assistant for the Colleges of Education and LAS. As an undergraduate student he studies Spanish, Arabic, and Russian. He hopes to one day lead research of his own in the field of linguistics.

Melissa Sztuk
Melissa Sztuk

Melissa is an undergraduate at DePaul University majoring in Spanish and Chinese Studies with minors in History of Art and Architecture. Her research interests include Spanish aquisition, bilingualism, Latin American studies, and Mexican art history and literature.

Affiliate Students

Megan Marshall
Megan Marshall

Megan Marshall is a PhD student in the department of Hispanic and Italian Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a teaching assistant in the Spanish heritage language program at UIC. Her research interests include heritage language maintenance and assessment, language and identity, and bilingual language acquisition and biliteracy.

Hanae Kim
Hanae Kim

Hanae Kim is a doctoral student in Literacy, Language, and Culture at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Her research interests include Korean as a world language education, heritage language education, Korean language teacher preparation, peer and parent support in language development, and school community collaboration.