Ruslana Westerlund

Associate Researcher

Ruslana Westerlund, Ed.D., is a Ukrainian-American multilingual and multicultural person.  She received her Master’s in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Cherkasy National University, Ukraine in 1995, and Doctorate in Education from Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota in 2014.  She is now an associate researcher in Educator Learning, Research, and Practice at WIDA. Her responsibilities include designing and conducting a longitudinal study of the 2020 edition of the English Language Development (ELD) Standards Framework by the educators at various levels and across the consortium. Her current interests include the use of Systemic Functional Linguistics to enact equity for multilingual learners. Her publications on this work are used by many educators and curriculum leaders to examine access to disciplinary literacy by MLs. 

Before coming to WCER, Ruslana worked as an ELD Specialist at K-12, teacher preparation programs at undergraduate and graduate levels, and served as an ELD and refugee student specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education. In that role, she managed Title III, Title I as well as Office of Refugee Resettlement grants and collaborated with various state departments to provide wrap-around services to refugee children. She is a blogger, consultant, and thought leader in the field of ML education. She is also an adjunct associate professor teaching courses in linguistics for social justice and teaching methods for multilingual students at Bethel University.  Most recently, she authored a cross-cultural memoir From Borsch to Burgers (a metaphor for cross-cultural living), available on Audible, iTunes, Kindle, and Amazon. You can find her on Twitter @RuslanaWesterl


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