Dr. Salma G. Waly
Dr. Salma G. Waly is an educator and a life-long learner who strongly believes in the power of dialogue in bridging gaps and bringing communities together. She started her career as a special education teacher; an experience that helped her realize the role that one can play in the lives of others. She then realized that for her to make the biggest impact, she has to become a well-rounded educator who specializes in more than one area of education. Therefore, she started her Master’s program in TESOL through which she began to teach refugees from Asia and Africa, adults and undergraduate students. She helped prepare Arabic-speaking groups of students to study internationally by teaching them English as well as introducing them to the culture of the United States. She also trained professionals in the business and medical fields to better communicate in English and develop the skills and capacities to work in multicultural and multilingual settings. Throughout her teaching career, Dr. Waly developed TESOL programs to cater to the needs of various groups of learners.
In March 2015, Dr. Waly completed her PhD dissertation at the School of Education of the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Throughout the course of her PhD study, she taught graduate student teachers. She also taught Arabic to English-speaking undergraduate students. Dealing with students and teachers from various backgrounds inspired her to focus her research work on that role that both teachers and academic institutions can play in reinforcing youth civic identity and community engagement. She published work on teacher identity during sociopolitical change movements. Her dissertation focused on how schools and academic programs can prepare youth to be active citizens in their communities. Even though the data of the research was collected internationally, Dr. Waly used research on urban education and civic engagement to establish the base of her study.
Currently, Dr. Waly works directly with NYC public school teachers so that they are better prepared to teach English language learners, immigrants and refugees. She is fortunate to have the opportunity to assist teachers in the various boroughs of NYC so that she can gain a better understanding of the challenges that teachers face and the efforts that educators and researchers can make to support them and their students. Dr. Waly is also a consultant for non-for-profit organizations in which she helps develop literacy programs and curricula for Syrian refugees. She lived in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United States and traveled to different parts of the world. She always looks forward to visiting new places and meeting new people.