I am excited to come on board Think Bilingual Austin as the new appointed Executive Director and supporting its mission in multiculturalism and bilingualism in our communities! A little background about me, I have lived in the Austin area for about half my life (the better half!). I was born in Mexico City and grew up in Southern California. When my family moved to Houston I was torn between California and Texas and finally settled in Austin. I received my master’s in sociology from Texas State University and taught Sociology of the Family and Multicultural Relations at my alma matter. While teaching sociology as a lecturer I also was a full-time bilingual teacher in Austin ISD and Manor ISD. My teaching experiences led me to pursue a second master’s in educational leadership and policy at NYU where I focused on social and education reform. During my program I had the opportunity to study and live in South Africa for 6 months to learn how their social and multilingual policies impacted their schools and communities. In returning to the U.S. I moved back to Austin and started working as a bilingual educator and administrator. In 2015, I started a not-for-profit project Biliteracy Club Communities of Austin (BoCCa) that focuses on alternative bilingual learning spaces in schools and communities. As the Executive Director of Think Bilingual Austin my goal will be to continue to further the missions of both Think Bilingual Austin and BoCCa and find ways for each to complement the other so that Austin continues to be a community that embraces and supports multilingualism and multiculturalism within and beyond the school community.
B.A. – Sociology – California State University – Fullerton
M.A – Sociology – Texas State University – San Marcos
M.A. – Educational Leadership and Policy – New York University
Current Board Members
Angela Pack Zia is Founder and President of the Board of Directors of Think Bilingual Austin, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Prior to Think Bilingual Austin, Angela worked in international business development and management, consulted in a number of economic development and corporate social responsibility projects, and volunteered in a variety of ESL and tutoring programs. Angela has a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Political Science from Georgetown College. After her daughter was born, Angela knew that she would raise her to be bilingual and multicultural. However, in doing so, she discovered that this effort created unique challenges in both finding the right resources that met her and her family’s needs at each stage of her child’s development and in creating and maintaining the will that her daughter needed to continue this effort. Having learned much over the years in pursuing bilingualism and multiculturalism, Angela created the non-profit, Think Bilingual Austin, to help others in our community and abroad in their pursuit for bilingualism and multiculturalism.
Alex Argüello, is the president of Core Goals Consulting, which provides leadership and development services for businesses, non-profits, associations, and schools/universities. The firm specializes in integrating its proprietary transactional documentation software (SlingDoc) as well as implementing fundraisers for non-profit organizations. Alex has developed and implemented innovative experiential learning programs for many years from elementary school to University level, including his 13 years as the Director of the Texas Association of Future Educators. His most recent contribution to this field was the founding of Amigos de Russell Lee, a non-profit organization with a cost effective model for providing Spanish instruction for elementary students. Together, Alex and his wife are dedicated to ensuring that their two children remain connected with their heritage language and culture.
Garrett is currently an advisor for Dell Technologies working in the Internal Consulting and Audit Group. He is also a graduate of Dell’s Financial Development program, a two-year global rotational program designed to provide participants diverse financial and budgeting experiences across Dell’s finance organization. Prior to starting at Dell, Garrett earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in finance. Upon graduation, Garrett moved to Beijing for a year to study Mandarin at Tsinghua University . Garrett continues to grow his language skills today by attending classes outside of work as well as working with foreign exchange students in local programs. Through his experiences, Garrett recognizes bilingualism and multiculturalism are both essential in today’s ever-changing social, cultural, and professional landscapes.
Daniela has a B.A. in Architecture from Universidad Tecnológica de México. After 6 years in this career she became a mother. Becoming a mother inspired her to find an education for her daughters that would fulfill their potential and help them be better humans beings. Daniela changed her career to become a Montessori teacher. Daniela taught 2 years in a preschool and kindergarten classroom in México city before moving to Austin, Texas. Daniela is currently completing her Montessori Early Education program from Age of Montessori MACTE accreditation and volunteering at Magnolia Montessori.
Felicity is partner at fibercove, a coworking space in Austin, TX and COO of Tipit, LLC an Austin based web design firm. With a background in communications, Felicity previously worked as marketing director for a United Nations affiliated NGO. She spent 10 years in the technology industry, managing the growth of a thriving technology design company. in 2015, she launched fibercove, a full service coworking, meeting and event space dedicated to productivity; it was recently recognized by Austin Inno as one of the “Fifty on Fire” for 2016. Felicity graduated from Vanderbilt University and holds a dual-masters in Public Policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and an MA in Communications from the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin. She is raising her daughter and son in a Spanish dual-language environment and values language acquisition as a key learning experience.
Dr. Hind Louali is the founder and the director of Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the FrenchSchool of Austin, a French specialized language immersion institution, following the general guidelines of the French Ministry of Education, with an integrated French music and performing arts program. The school supports an internal preschool, elementary and middle school, and has been serving residents of greater Austin, Texas, for more than 12 years. Hind has a doctorate and a Ph.D in medicine. After few years in her career, she founded the school, with her parents, a family of educators and curriculum development professionals with a wealth of experience in education, and in language immersion programs. Hind speaks several languages, and she was raised in a trilingual and multicultural environment throughout her schooling and adult life. She is a passionate advocate for bilingualism and multiculturalism, believing that, the ability to speak and understand more than one language has more than just language skills at skate, but also additional cognitive, academic, social and employment benefits.
Zach is an account executive a Cohn & Wolfe, working within the firm’s corporate reputation practice counseling companies on strategic communications, public affairs and social media services. Zach has worked with clients ranging from Fortune5 companies to local nonprofit organizations, helping them grow organically through unique storytelling and brand positioning. Prior to Cohn & Wolfe, Zach earned his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University in strategic communications and public relations. In addition to Spanish coursework, he also worked as an assistant professor for local Lubbock bilingual students teaching creative and news writing, as well as serving as a brand ambassador at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters office helping plan local community events, educational workshops, and bilingual activities. Zach is continuing to further is Spanish language education through language classes and workshops, and recognizes that dual-language environments and values that propel multiculturalism forward are essential in today’s education landscape.