Panel Discussion

WELCOME HOME: How NEPA Helps Refugees from around the Globe Settle in Their New Country

Sonya Sarner has been Program Manager at Catholic Social Services for 14 years.  Before that she was a case manager at CSS, her first job in the US.  She is an accredited representative through the Department of Justice, whereby, as a non-lawyer, she can practice immigration law and represent clients before USCIS.  She has an MS in genetic science from the University of Zootechnics and Veterinary Medicine in Bulgaria.  Recently she earned the “2018 Health, Hope and Wholeness Hero Award” from the PA Department of Human Services.

Bonnie Alco holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from The Pennsylvania State University. She has followed a career in international education and language acquisition with experience at USIA in the Fulbright Program, at Marywood where she directed the international office and created an intensive English program for incoming international students.  She completed her professional life as a professor at the University of Scranton in linguistics. Bonnie is a member of the Elk Mountain Ski Patrol.

Marilyn Pryle is an English teacher at Abington Heights High School in Clarks Summit, PA. She also organizes the ELL Conversation Group for local refugees at the Lackawanna Children’s Library. She is the author of several books for teachers, most recently Reading with Presence (Heinemann) and 50 Writing Activities for Meeting Higher Standards (Scholastic). Marilyn has also taught in Boston, Philadelphia, and Nepal, and was recently named Pennsylvania’s 2019 Teacher of the Year.

Erin Keating, Ed.D, is the Chief of Leadership Development and School Operations in the Scranton School District. Formerly, she was the principal of the Wyoming Valley West Senior High School, in Plymouth, PA. In the Scranton School District, Erin works with student support systems to ensure all students are academically, emotionally, and behaviorally prepared for school. As part of these responsibilities, Erin has engaged with multiple initiatives to support refugee and migrant students.