Joanne Dowdy

Joanne Dowdy, Ph.D

Professor retired
Contact Information


Dr. Dowdy completed her Ph.D. in Literacy Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  She combines her education in literacy with her theater degree from Juilliard to help teachers become more effective in the classroom.  Dr. Dowdy’s primary research interests include documenting the experiences of Black women involved in education from adult basic literacy to higher education.



B.F.A. in Theater, The Juilliard School, Theater Center, NY, M.A.T. in English, Teachers College, Columbia University, NY, Ph.D. in Literacy Studies, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC


Black women and young adults on their Literacy journey

Research Methods



  • Dowdy, J. K. (2017). Minding their own business: 5 female leaders from Trinidad and Tobago. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Dowdy, J. K., & Gao, Y. (Eds.). (2016). Pump it up: Literacy activities for the classroom. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • Dowdy, J. K., & Cushner, K. (Eds.). (2014). Reading between the lines: Activities for developing social awareness literacy. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
  • K. Cushner, & Dowdy, J. K. (Eds.). (2014). From the margins to the mainstream: Activities to enhance social justice awareness in social studies and the social foundations of education. Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
  • Dowdy, J. K. (2014). Olympic hero: Lennox Kilgour's story. Florida: Caribbean Press.


  • 2017 Awarded scholarship to attend Prof. J. Bleak’s course “Mediation: Theory and Training,” at the Center for Applied Conflict Management
  • 2016/17 Teaching Fellow: Center for Teaching and Learning, Kent State University
  • 2015/16 Advanced Leadership Institute: National Writing Project at Kent State University
  • 2014 Awarded scholarship to attend Dr. William Kist's course on New Literacies
  • 2012 Faculty Excellence Award for Research: Kent State University
  • 2009 Winner of American Educational Research Association Narrative and Research Special Interest Group's Outstanding Book Award
  • 2009 Faculty Excellence Award for Research: Kent State University
  • 2005 Diversity Teaching/Research: Kent State University Award
  • 2003 Moulton Scholars Award: Kent State University
  • 1999 Barbara Jordan/W. E. B. DuBois Georgia State University Award for Outstanding Faculty, Atlanta, GA
  • 1991 Teacher of the Year Award. New Hanover High School, Wilmington, NC

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