Team CoLang

To get in touch with the CoLang organizers, please reach out to

CoLang 2024 Local Organizing Committees


Luis Barragan (SRPMIC)

Luis Barragan is the manager of the O’odham Piipaash Language Program for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He is committed towards community based language revitalization and works towards training OPLP staff in all areas related to linguistics, language documentation, pedagogy and technology. He previously worked as Senior Curator (Languages) at the Huhugam Heritage Center for the Gila River Indian Community. He has also taught courses in Linguistics for the American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI) at the University of Arizona.

Tyler Peterson (Arizona State University)

Tyler Peterson is an assistant professor of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in the Department of English at Arizona State University. His work focuses on the documentation, revitalization, and maintenance of endangered indigenous languages in Arizona, Canada, and Polynesia. His research as a linguist involves the study of how meaning is expressed through language, with a special interest in exploring how everyday technology and contemporary media can be used as a tool for language documentation and engaging community language learners. He works actively with communities in Arizona and the Southwest, collaborating with tribal language programs in helping build their capacities for language revitalization.

Program Coordinators

Samantha Prins, Program Coordinator (University of Arizona)

Samantha Prins is a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. She holds a BA in Linguistics & Spanish from Western Washington University and an MA in Linguistics from the University of Montana. Before coming to Arizona, they served as the program coordinator for CoLang 2020. Their training is in Indigenous language revitalization, North American languages and linguistics, and morphosyntactic theory. Her current work focuses on nominal morphology in Algonquian and the intersections of linguistics and community language work.

Saki Gejo, Program Coordinator (Arizona State University)

Saki Gejo is a graduate student in the Linguistics and Applied Linguistics program in the English Department at Arizona State University. Her research interests are language documentation, preservation, syntax and morphosyntax. She has been working with the OPLP since 2022 to understand, perverse, and document the Piipaash language.

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Local Organizing Committee for CoLang 2024

Kelly Washington, Institute Design Advisor, Cultural Resources Department Director (SRPMIC)

Kelly Washington is a member of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC). His passion and efforts toward language and culture revitalization/maintenance started at a grassroots level and has developed into a lifelong occupation. From 1995 through 2004, he served as materials development specialist, education specialist and curriculum development specialist for the SRPMIC O’odham-Piipaash Language Program. He subsequently served as director of the Huhugam Ki: Museum and now as director of Cultural Resources for the SRPMIC. Having learned linguistics in a self-taught manner, one of his goals is to help bridge the gaps between academia and community-based language revitalization efforts.

Arizona State University Local Organizing Committee for CoLang 2024

Jacob Moore, Vice President & Special Advisor to the President for American Indian Affairs

Jacob is responsible for the intergovernmental affairs between ASU and tribal nations and communities. Previously, Jacob Moore worked as an Economic Development Analyst and Special Assistant on Congressional and Legislative Affairs for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.  He previously served as a member of the Arizona State Board of Education. Mr. Moore is currently on the board of directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, ASU Morrison Institute, WestEd, Arizona Minority Education Policy Analysis Center (AMEPAC), and Tohono O'odham Gaming Enterprise. Mr. Moore earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and an Executive MBA from the Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey College of Business and is a citizen of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Widline Luctama-Compere, Project Leader, Operations Project Management Office, Knowledge Enterprise

Widline is the dedicated project manager for CoLang 2024 for all the Institute activities at ASU. She has expertise in managing large-scale events, executing comprehensive projects. Her background garnered a wide range of experience with notable government, non-profit, and private institutions while implementing new HR software, improving leave programs, and revamping administrative processes. Widline earned a bachelor's in Diplomacy and International Relations and a master's in Healthcare Administration at Seton Hall University. She is an Ed.D candidate in the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University, researching effective leadership and implementation strategies for cloud platform integrations through a design thinking methodology.

Stephany Esquivel, Project Manager, Operations Project Management Office, Knowledge Enterprise

Stephany serves as the supporting project manager for CoLang 2024. With a background spanning both government and private sectors, she has applied her expertise to various domains, including policy development, operational enhancements, and program implementation. Transitioning to Arizona State University a year ago, Stephany gained valuable experience in event management while assisting a new center at the College of Law. Stephany holds bachelor's and master's degrees from ASU's College of Health Solutions, specializing in addressing challenges within the healthcare system through process engineering, policy development, and organizational leadership. Her commitment lies in developing efficient processes and fostering success in her professional endeavors.

Christina Carrillo, Business Services Program Coordinator, Department of English

Christina is a Program Coordinator for the department of English at ASU Tempe. She serves as grant manager for CoLang 2024, Christina’s background and expertise range from k-12 substitute teacher to large scale event planning for private, non-profit organizations. She has also developed and maintained medical healthcare procedures and administration processes.

American Indian Language Development Institute Liaison and CoLang Institute Design Advisors

Ofelia Zepeda, Director, AILDI (University of Arizona)

Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O'odham), AILDI director, is a Regents' professor of linguistics and affiliate faculty in American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona. She teaches Tohono O'odham language courses and survey courses on American Indian languages. Her research areas include language variation, language policy, and issues of endangered languages. She has published numerous articles in these areas. She is also author of The Tohono O'odham Grammar and of two books of poetry, much of it written in the O'odham language.  Dr. Zepeda is also  the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship  for her work on Indigenous languages. She has served on numerous boards and is currently a trustee of the Tohono O'odham Community College. Dr. Zepeda has been involved in AILDI practically since its inception as an instructor and founding co-director. Her breadth of experience in the field of language revitalization continues to guide the institution

Wilson de Lima Silva, NAMA Director, Department of Linguistics (University of Arizona)

Wilson de Lima Silva is an associate professor of Linguistics, and director of the M.A. program in Native American Languages & Linguistics (NAMA program) in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. He teaches Descriptive Linguistics for Native American Languages, Language Maintenance & Revitalization, and Historical Linguistics. He works with Desano community members, in the Amazon region of Brazil and Colombia, with projects related to documentation and language maintenance of the Desano language. His research areas include linguistic description, typology, Indigenous language documentation and description. He has conducted fieldwork on several Amazonian languages. He has been collaborating with AILDI initiatives since 2018, when he joined the Linguistics Department at the University of Arizona.

Kirsten Goodrow Lopez-Avila, Project Coordinator, AILDI (University of Arizona)

Kirsten Goodrow Lopez-Avila is the AILDI Program Coordinator and Outreach Instructional Specialist. She has worked with the University of Arizona for the last 3 years providing administrative support and coordination to various departments. In her work at AILDI, she has assisted with outreach and projects specializing in American Indian and Indigenous communities, including coordination of the summer institute. She is passionate about public service and has a background in customer service. She obtained her BS in Social Science from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing her MA in Human Rights Practice at the University of Arizona.