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Hey! Welcome! We are so happy to collaborate with you.

Hello and welcome to .edu Exchange. We are teacher educators working to help teachers build more inclusive and equitable classrooms and also striving to create equal space for diverse and innovative perspectives in higher education. As college faculty, we often do academic reading and writing, yet we find that this feels disconnected from active collaborative dialogue with other educators. We created this blog to start more conversations among educational professionals. What's working? What's not? Let's exchange ideas to change education.

-Rachel & Leila

Who we are: 


​Dr. Rachel Toncelli is as Assistant Professor in the TESOL & Bilingual Education program at Rhode Island College, where she regularly teaches courses in Applied Linguistics and Language Acquisition Theory. Her research focuses on eliminating cultural deficit thinking through critical positionality and community inquiry in teacher preparation. She received a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the Università degli studi di Firenze and an M.Ed. in TESOL from Rhode Island College. She received her doctorate in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Northeastern University. Prior to her work at Rhode Island College, Rachel worked at Brown University where she was the Director of English Language Learning and Assistant Dean of the College. While at Brown, Rachel co-founded the International Writers’ Blog, a platform for international and multilingual writers to explore cross-cultural experiences. Rachel and her husband have three bilingual children and a puppy who only understands Italian.


Dr. Leila Rosa is currently an Assistant Professor in the TESOL & Bilingual Education program at Rhode Island College. Her research centers on English language acquisition, trauma and its impact on the educational placement and identification of students who are English language learners in urban settings. She has taught courses in the Department of Educational Leadership with the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and the Department of Special Education at the University of South Florida. Her publications include, dance lessons: preparing pre-service teachers for co-teaching partnerships; Action in Teacher Education, “Doing Diversity...?” Preparing Teacher Candidates Using a Developmental Model. in Mcray, E., McHatton, P., & Beverly Cheryl; Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions for Culturally Competent and Interculturally Sensitive Leaders in Education.

Guest Collaborators:


Dr. Nancy Cloud is Professor Emerita, Feinstein School of Education and Human Development at Rhode Island College in Providence Rhode Island.  She directed graduate level teacher preparation programs in both Rhode Island and New York for 26 years in which she prepared both ESL and bilingual/dual language teachers for K-12 programs. 

Dr. Cloud’s publications deal with the design and delivery of effective instruction for English Language Learners.  Currently retired from college teaching, she works in schools as an educational consultant in Rhode Island and across the country.

Ms. Rabia Bashir is a graduate student at Rhode Island College, where she is learning to become a secondary school teacher in math. She grew up in Pakistan before moving to Rhode Island with her husband. She has three kids, and she enjoys watching cartoons with them and reading cookbooks.


Mr. Roberto Vargas Tapia is currently a teacher at Veterans Memorial Elementary in Central Falls RI, where he works with emergent bilinguals in an inclusion classroom. He received his Master’s of Education in Teaching Speakers of Other Languages with Honors in the year 2022. He enjoys teaching, the outdoors, cooking, soccer, and music.

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