Zaira R. Arvelo Alicea, PhD

English language expert, writing lover, and passionate educator.

Dr Zaira Arvelo stands arms crossed
Puente a metas de comunicación

The beginning

After a decade as professor and academic writer, I left academia to use language and training to empower people beyond university walls.


Over 13 years! Say what? My first passion.

I have facilitated and designed educational experiences since 2006 when I was barely 21.

I have taught pre-basic, basic, and intermediate, conversational, composition, reading, and technical English to college students from diverse majors. In my specialty area (teacher preparation), I have taught children's literature, the teaching of English as a new language, advanced composition, and the teaching of writing.

Through night school programs and government contracts, I have worked with non traditional students like unemployed professionals and displaced adults. 

Using platforms like Moodle, Blackboard, and WebCT, I have also taught hybrid and online courses. 

My formal training includes a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education, a Masters of Art in English Education, and a PhD in Literacy and Language.

My certifications include: 

  • Secondary Level Teacher (Puerto Rico Department of Education)
  • Teacher of English as a New Language in K-12 (Purdue University) 
  • Online Teaching (University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla)


Research was my second love. It found me during my first year in the master's program. 

I specialize in educational research with qualitative and mixed methodology.

I have collaborated in research projects at Purdue University and the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez (UPRM) in phenomena like: effectiveness of STEM education at the college level, elementary level scientific literacy, English for future animal scientists, and the relationship between social skills and reading. 

As principal investigator, I have designed studies on literacy and bilingualism with Latino communities in the US. I have researched classroom participation and its relationship to online gendered dynamics, and community literacies and their role in children's social skills.

My credentials include:

  • Institutional Review Board approval by Purdue University and UPRM to conduct research with human subjects and vulnerable populations    
  • CITI training attesting to my ability to look after participants' well-being and confidentiality
  • Formal training to administer and score tests of literacy, reading, and social skills 

I enjoy electronic data analysis using software like Nvivo and Atlas.ti.


Writing came into my life in 2008 when I completed my masters.

For many years, my writing was highly structured, out of my control, complicated, and the typical slow and painful process every academic knows. I published in peer-reviewed journals, institutional and local magazines, and book chapters. I employed the objective tone and lengthy syntax that characterizes academic writing.

Then, I started using a friendlier tone. Several factors contributed to this change including my experiences during hurricane Maria and my transition from academic to business owner.

I discovered that the educated writer in me had had her voice and creative genius stolen. Twelve publications later, I wrote my first Spanish piece.

Since 2017, I have published in local and international newspapers, I wrote my first children's short story, and a piece in a business magazine. None of these publications were years in the making and they have reached thousands of readers.



Anansesem: The Caribbean Children’s & Young Adult Literature Magazine. Read it here

Business to Business Puerto Rico Magazine. Read it here

Dr. Arvelo has been featured in

The Voice of Witness Book Project: Mi María

Narrator in a large-scale oral history project studying the impacts of Hurricane María on the people of Puerto Rico.

Dr. Echo Rivera's Creative Research Communications Blog

Listed as resource that aids academics before the presentation design phase.

Dr. Eva Lantsoght's Blog PhD Talk

Random thoughts on the process of doing a PhD.

BTCPay Directory

Directory showcasing merchants, charities, apps and projects using BTCPay Server.

Shop + Hire

Directory which includes Puerto Rican professional freelancers.