About Linguate Academy
Emergence of Linguate Academy:

In response to the need for real-life exposure to cultural competencies in second language acquisition and the unique challenges of multilingual education, a small group of leaders from various international communities convened in Southern California to discuss the implementation of a language immersion program that would be equitable and inclusive to all students. In 2010, all involved were deeply passionate to a vision that offered families and students a community that provided support to strengthen fluency and comprehension in second language acquisition, learning strategies to improve performances in science and technology and to ensure the services were also accessible to low income families. Although many ideas were discussed, the core group determined that developing a state nonprofit organization was the strategy that held the most promise for impacting the demonstrated need.

The core group brainstormed and conducted a strategic plan and feasibility study over a 2-year period. Although these initial studies were conducted in Southern California it gave the core team the experience and framework necessary for future development. In the spring of 2016, Linguate Academy was officially established in the State of Illinois.

Programs are geared towards after school (and summer school) enrichment to support language immersion beyond the classroom (grades K-5) while strengthening children in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM). Furthermore, Linguate Academy understands that providing cultural awareness helps with the language immersion experience. Mandarin is Linguate Academy's first focus language. Please refer to the Programs page for additional details and current programs. 

Vision:

Linguate Academy vision is to be a comprehensive multilingual education provider promoting bi-literacy and lifelong learning. 

Mission: 

Linguate Academy is a nonprofit organization 501 (c)(3) headquartered in Illinois (EIN: 81-3829840). Our mission is to produce well rounded global citizens through research, theory and practice by providing holistic approaches to multilingual education.

Guiding Principles: 

The Linguate Academy Board of Directors and staff developed the following beliefs, values or tenets that guide our work.

In order to be empowered for the choices and challenges of a diverse and rapidly changing society-

Our students will be:

1. Individuals who value and care for themselves, others and the environment

2. Quality producers who take pride in their work

3. Collaborative, self-directed and reflective learners who enjoy and value learning

4. Critical thinkers who are creative problem solvers

5. Effective communicators

6. Contributing community members

7. Global citizens who respect diversity


Board of Directors:

President / Co-founder - Mr. Michael George

Mr. Michael George is the President and Co-founder of Linguate Academy.  Mr. George has a growth mindset philosophy and is committed to achieving breakthrough results. As a technologist with strong business acumen he utilizes his skills to optimize marketing processes and streamline business development. As an educator, he conducts research and integrates best practices to improve student learning while strengthening communication among collaborators.
 
As a servant-leader he has worked with the Chicago Lawndale Amachi Mentoring Program as an Education Pioneer fellow improving marketing and communication initiatives. Additionally, Mr. George taught Mathematics at Wirt Emerson VPA Academy as a teaching fellow for the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. He attained a Masters in Education from Valparaiso University and a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Bowie State University. 

Executive Director / Co-founder – Dr. Nikisa George 

Dr. Nikisa George (nee Jordan) is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Linguate Academy. Dr. George attained a Ph.D. in Enviornmental Sciences with a focus in Atmospheric Physics. Nikisa’s PhD was the first large-scale observational study of planetary boundary layer (PBL) heights using Cloud Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) that revealed certain issues with a NASA climate model. She has over 20 scientific publications and has held many leadership roles. Dr. George is dedicated to academic excellence and believes that every child has the ability to learn and become a Champion.

Dr. George is committed to giving back to her community. While at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), she was a PROMISE Peer Mentor. PROMISE supports diversity and works to increase the graduate student population in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Dr. George has served as a science fair judge on several occasions for different elementary schools. She has received multiple academic achievement and volunteer awards.  

Director- Mr. Michael Chitavi

Mr. Michael Chitavi current responsibility is Chief Operating Officer for Linkage Capital Partners. Mr. Chitavi has implemented leading edge best practices and world-class processes within Linkage Capital related to capital management, quantitative research, fundraising, operations and compliance. Previously, Mr. Chitavi was the Investment Officer at Linkage where he managed the allocation of capital, led the business research of securities and economies and conducted quantitative analysis.

Mr. Chitavi holds an M.B.A. in Analytical Finance from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is currently pursuing Quantitative Finance Doctorate in Business Administration (D.B.A) at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. He is a certified public accountant (Kenya) and teaches undergraduate-level classes in accounting at Chicago State University. He is also a member of American Finance Association.


Director- Dr. Elisabeth Arevalo


Dr. Elisabeth Arévalo-Guerrero is a Visiting Lecturer of Spanish and Intercultural Communication in the Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication (MLLI) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).  She received her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture (2009) as well as her MA in Intercultural Communication (2003) in the same University, where she was also an academic advisor, language mentor in the Intercultural Living Exchange Program, and PROMISE peer mentor where she collaborated with Dr. Nikisa Jordan.

Dr. Arévalo-Guerrero has taught foreign languages, pedagogy, and intercultural communication in Higher Education both in the US and Spain, and has been an active collaborator in several Intensive English and Spanish Language programs in the US. In addition she has designed and facilitated several Intercultural Communication Trainings for teachers, students, US navy, and business professional. Her research interest focuses on the development of intercultural sensitivity and intercultural communicative competence. She loves traveling, arts and crafts from all over the world, and enjoys interacting with members of other cultures. She truly believes in learning other languages as a life long journey for self-discovery and as one of the best ways to become a world citizen.

Core Team Members:

Chinese Immersion Teacher - Qian Fu
 
Teacher Fu is a native of China and is from the Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, Peoples Republic of China. Teacher Fu is currently majoring in Early Childhood Education. She enjoys teaching the Chinese language and culture to her students. Teacher Fu believes students should understand the Chinese culture while learning the language. Her endeavor is to make learning come alive and be of value to her students! 

Chinese Immersion Teacher - Yun (Karen) Cao

Professor Cao has a B.A. in Language and Literature from Yangzhou Normal University from Yangzhou, China. She also has a M.A. in Traditional Chinese Philosophy and Literature from Wuhan University from Wuhan, China. She has been a teacher since 1983 and consistently strives for excellence.