Gita Martohardjono is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and is the Director of the Second Language Acquisition Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is currently collaborating on several research projects within and outside the City University system. Her area of specialization and research is second language acquisition; in particular, the acquisition of syntax by non-native speakers. She holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Cornell University and an M.A. from Université de Montréal, Canada. Her publications have focused on the cross-linguistic comparison of the development of sentence structure from the perspective of generative theory. Selected publications include: “Second Language Acquisition: Theoretical and Experimental Issues in Contemporary Research,” (with S. Epstein and S. Flynn) in Behavioral and Brain Sciences; “What Do We Really Mean by Transfer’?” in The Current State of Interlanguage (Philadelphia: John Benjamins) and “Is there an Age Factor for Universal Grammar?”(with S. Flynn) in the The Age Factor in Second Language Acquisition (Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters). Dr. Martohardjono is also Executive Officer of the Linguistics Program at the CUNY Graduate Center and the Associate Director of the Research Institute for the Study of Language in Urban Society (RISLUS) there. Dr. Martohardjono has also done extensive research with Dr. Elaine Klein (co-founder of Bridges) on Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE) and the researchers have published several reports and papers that have helped provide the research foundation for Bridges to Academic Success.
Dr. Susanne Cappendijk is known as a broad, strategic, creative, and visionary thinker. She poses questions in the context of the “big picture” and what the potential impact may be on the entire organization or system, and not just in the context of her own personal situation. Susanne is a talented neuroscientist with in-depth expertise in pharmacology. She is an entrepreneur and consultant on innovative healthcare and life science commercialization projects, and a seasoned strategic financial leader in a successful, private software company, Genivia, Inc.
This unique and diverse skillset, combined with Susanne’s can-do, make-it-happen-now attitude, takes her well beyond normal professional activities to a true excellence level. These skills are exemplified by her community leadership with various business incubators and non-profit organizations. Susanne’s deep passion for science and business building leadership drove her to design innovative STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics) curricula infused with principles of Art, STEAM.
In April 2017, Susanne founded EDsnaps Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that empowers underserved female-identifying students to become independent thinkers, authentic leaders, and valuable contributors to the socio-economic community. By exposing female-identifying students to STEM and engaging them in applying it to real-world tasks, EDsnaps is building leadership pipelines to increase diversity in the 2026 STEM workforce.
Susanne holds a BS in Biology from Utrecht University and a PhD in Pharmacology from Erasmus Medical University in Rotterdam. She also received an MBA from Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Nancy Cloud is Professor Emerita in the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College. Prior to her work in Rhode Island, she served as the Coordinator of the M.Ed. in TESL Program at Hofstra University. While in New York, she helped develop the first and second editions of the Annotated Teacher Resource Bibliography on the Education of Over-Age Limited English Proficient Students with Interrupted or No Formal Schooling for New York State Education Department’s Office of Bilingual Education. This resource lists publications that discuss the issues, materials and best practices for students with limited schooling.
She has worked in urban secondary schools in Rhode Island with middle and high school ESL and content area teachers to strengthen the delivery of instruction for English Language Learners with Limited Formal Schooling (LFS). They developed units of study in Science, Mathematics, and Social Studies for LFS/SIFE Students, a complete curriculum to aid LFS students to bridge to the regular ESL program options.
Since 2011 to the present, she has served as a Senior Consultant for Program Design/Curriculum Development on Bridges. Dr. Cloud has contributed many publications and presentations to the field of education and language learning.
Deborah J. Short, PhD., has served both as an external evaluator for the Bridges project and, more recently, as a reviewer of the Bridges LL SIFE curriculum. She is the Director of Academic Language Research & Training and provides professional development on sheltered instruction and academic literacy worldwide. As a former Division Director at the Center for Applied Linguistics, she co-developed the research-validated SIOP Model for sheltered instruction and directed research on English language learners for the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Rockefeller Foundation, and U.S. Department of Education. Previously, she taught English as a second/foreign language in New York, California, Virginia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her publications include professional journal articles, SIOP Model books, and ESL textbooks for National Geographic Learning.
Alberto Bursztyn, professor of school psychology, chairs the Department of School Psychology, Counseling, and Leadership at Brooklyn College. He is also professor of urban education at the CUNY Graduate Center, where he has served as chair of its Admissions Committee. Born in Argentina, Bursztyn is an alumnus of Brooklyn College who has worked in New York City public schools as a teacher, counselor, school psychologist and administrator. At Brooklyn College he initiated the bilingual/multicultural specialization in school psychology, and served as program head of special education and as assistant dean of the School of Education. Within professional psychology, he has served as vice-president for education, training and scientific affairs of Division 16 of APA. He chaired the Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and has served on the editorial board of The School Psychology Quarterly. Bursztyn is also a visual artist who works in a variety of media.