Biography

I serve as Chair of the Education Department in the Neff Center for Teacher Education at Emory & Henry College. I earned my undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky in Elementary Education and my M.Ed. and Ed. D. degrees at Teachers College, Columbia University in Curriculum and Teaching. I began my teaching career in a general education elementary-level classroom in New York City. Early on in my practice, I realized that students in any given grade level have wide-ranging abilities and needs and, therefore, teachers must know how to differentiate their instruction. Because of my interest in learning differences, I focused my doctoral scholarship on learning dis/Abilities. I spell dis/Abilities with a capital “A” because I believe that students with special education labels have the ability to learn. I believe it’s up to me as their teacher to understand my students’ strengths and shape my instruction from there. I am the director of our special education endorsement program, and I teach a SPED methods class. I teach two elementary/middle school level reading courses in our undergraduate program. I am also the director of our M. A. Ed. Reading Program, a program that leads to certification as Reading Specialist, and I teach several courses in that program, too. My professional interests include dyslexia, literacy education, learning dis/Abilities, and the Central Appalachian culture. Using a sociocultural framework, I am currently studying women in Central Appalachia in order to understand how the culture of that region influences the identities they assume and enact. I also study the relation of culture and the decision-making of teachers in that region. I was the first recipient of the Wilma Dykeman Postdoctoral Fellowship Award: Faces of Appalachia, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Appalachian Studies Association. I also research and publish on the topic of marginalia, a reading comprehension strategy that is effective for students with and without special education labels. I enjoy working with my students who participate in action research projects in area K-12 literacy classrooms.

Research:

Marginalia as a strategy for developing and enhancing student comprehension for students with and without special education labels. Practices of elementary-level educators in Central Appalachia who are including students labeled learning disabled in their general education classrooms.

Student Research: Action Research in K-12 Literacy Classrooms

Upcoming Research:

A Sociocultural Study of Women's Identities in Central Appalachia

Educational Background

  • B.A., University of Kentucky
  • M.Ed., Teachers College, Columbia University 
  • Ed. D., Teachers College, Columbia University