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Language & Poverty Springboard event

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

SHECP kicked-off the new Springboard event series with a panel discussion – The Language of Poverty on Wednesday, November 2nd at 12PM EDT. Watch the event again anytime –

We are honored to have the following participants joining us:

  • Netta Avineri, Associate Professor TESOL/TFL, Intercultural Competence Committee Chair at Middlebury Institute of International Studies

  • Lynn Cockett, Professor of Communication at Juniata College (Moderator)

  • Aly Colón, John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Media Ethics at Washington & Lee University

Planning a group discussion? Here are some questions you might consider to jumpstart conversations in your community:

  1. Have you ever seen a shift in language result in a shift in attitudes or behaviors? How could small shifts in language promote dignity, increase understanding, and/or help diminish poverty?

  2. Who should be driving changes around language? Researchers? Practitioners? Media? Individuals impacted by poverty? Can you think of any examples of when these groups were not in agreement? What impact did that have?

  3. SHECP describes its work as “[preparing] students for a lifetime of professional and civic efforts to diminish poverty and enhance human capability.” After hearing the panel discussion, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of that description?

  4. How is poverty represented in the language we use in our campus courses and programming? Is this consistent with the language you hear used in the community or in the media?


Netta Avineri, Associate Professor TESOL/TFL, Intercultural Competence Committee Chair at Middlebury Institute of International Studies

“Dr. Netta Avineri is associate professor of TESOL/TFL. She also serves as the Institute’s Intercultural Competence Committee Chair and co-founded the Intercultural Digital Storytelling Project. She teaches Service Learning and Teacher Education courses at California State University, Monterey Bay. Dr. Avineri is passionate about building community partnerships through critical service-learning and narrative. She is committed to collaborative environments in which societal inequities can be both explored and resisted through the inclusion of diverse voices and ways of knowing.

Dr. Avineri is an applied linguist and linguistic anthropologist who teaches Anthropology, Education, Intercultural Competence, Linguistics, TESOL/TFL and Service-Learning courses. Previously she taught at UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Long Beach, and Pierce College. Dr. Avineri has co-developed curricula for service learning in TESOL, international internships, Spanish-English tandem learning, and intercultural competence for practitioners. In addition, she has served as coordinator, consultant, and trainer for language assessment program and writing centers. In 2014 Dr. Avineri was awarded the Russ Campbell Young Scholars Award in Heritage Language Education, and in 2010 she received the American Association of Colleges and Universities K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award. She currently serves as the American Association for Applied Linguistics Public Affairs and Engagement Committee Chair.” (From:

Lynn Cockett, Professor of Communication at Juniata College

“Dr. Cockett earned a bachelor's degree in English with a secondary teaching certification from Messiah College in 1989. She went on to earn a master's degree in library science in 1993 and a doctorate in communication in 2000, both from Rutgers University. Previously, Dr. Cockett worked as an assistant professor and director of undergraduate studies at Rutgers from 2000 to 2001. She also worked as an instructor in Rutgers' communication department from 1999 to 2000. She teaches courses in Organizational Communication, Qualitative Research Methods, Nonverbal Communication, Group Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and a cultural analysis course about the history and cultural impact of Cinderella. Her research interests in communication focus on group interaction, particularly how professional work practices relate to issues of identity. She also conducts research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and is primarily interested in the communication process in the classroom. Dr. Cockett served as the Director of Juniata's James J. Lakso Center for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Her research has been published in Women and Language, The International Journal of Public Participation, as well as book chapters in various books in communication and library studies. She has presented research at the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Eastern Communication Association, Pennsylvania Communication Association, SoTL Commons, and Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, as well as at Library and Information Science conferences.” (From:

Aly Colón, John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Media Ethics at Washington and Lee University

“Aly Colón is the Knight Professor of Media Ethics in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications at Washington and Lee University. Prior to joining Washington and Lee, Colón spent more than 30 years in journalism. He worked for a news service, daily newspapers, public radio, network television and a journalism institute. Most recently, he served as a Director of Standards & Practices at NBC News and Telemundo Network News. He held editing and reporting positions at The Seattle Times, The Everett Herald, The Oakland Press and Fairchild News Service. He also spent a decade teaching professional journalists about ethics and diversity at the Poynter Institute, a global resource in journalism. Editor of Best Newspaper Writing book, more than 400 pages of award-winning journalism used by journalists and university journalism professors. Colón has conducted newsroom training for more than 50 news organizations and has done consulting on diversity, ethics, writing, editing and leadership. He has been a media consultant and independent journalist, and has worked as a corporate communication manager.” (from:


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