Currently the Director of the School of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Studies, having served in this role since 2009, I am also the Director of the National Writing Project at Kent State University and the Co-Director of the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth. I joined the literacy faculty at KSU in 2004, earning tenure and promotion to Full Professor in 2007.
My Northeast Ohio roots began with my primary school years in Stow schools and my secondary years in Fairlawn. After graduating from Copley High School, I earned undergraduate degrees in English (B.A.) and Education (B.S.), as well as a master's degree in Reading from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Before earning my doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati, I taught for five years in the public schools. After earning my degree, I taught for two years at Northern Kentucky University and 12 years at the University of Toledo (UT). I have served in varied leadership roles across the state: President of the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association, having been a local council president several years before that; member of various state of Ohio reading and writing committees; and Praxis III assessor. I presented consistently at the national conventions of the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Middle School Association, as well as state literacy events. While at UT, I directed the Toledo Area Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project, for ten years, as well as the Sandberg Children’s Literature Institute.
My most recent publication is a chapter on leadership in Leading from a Feminist Soul; I have published 15 other chapters on a variety of topics. I have also co-written two books, one with the National Council for the Social Studies, Linking Literature with Life, and a second with Scholastic, Teaching Reading Strategies with Literature that Matters to Middle Schoolers. I have published more than 30 articles in various journals, including the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Middle School Journal, Social Studies and the Young Learner, Social Studies, School Science and Mathematics, and Science Activities, and have written hundreds of book reviews of children’s and young adult literature.
In 2015, I was named the Outstanding College Language Arts Educator by the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts.