Department News Archive - 2014

RLAC Well-Represented at LRA 2014 Annual Conference

Current and former faculty, current students and candidates, and alumni participated in the Literacy Researchers Association annual conference, held on Marco Island, FL, 12/3-6/14.

  • Current faculty: Rachel Brown, Kelly Chandler-Olcott, Marcelle Haddix, Kathleen Hinchman, Zaline Roy-Campbell
  • Former faculty: Donald Leu, M. Kristiina Montero
  • Current doctoral students: Sarah Fleming (English Education), Stella Rwanda (Literacy Education)
  • Current doctoral candidate: Janine Nieroda (English Education)
  • Alumni: Donna Alvermann G'80, Mark Conley G'83, Bryan Ripley Crandall G'12, Michelle Duffy G'13, Elizabeth Lewis G'08, Jolene Malavasic G'07, G'08, G'14

For more information, the program is available on the LRA website (.pdf).

RLA Has Significant Presence at NYSRA Conference

RLA was well represented at the New York State Reading Association’s annual conference, held in Liverpool, NY, from November 9-11, 2014.  Associate dean and professor Kathleen Hinchman presented “Academic, Content-area, and Disciplinary Literacies: Who Is Responsible for Helping Students Develop Needed Skills?” Professor and chair Kelly Chandler-Olcott presented, “Promoting Academic Vocabulary through Multimodal Composing across the Disciplines.” Dean’s associate professor Marcelle Haddix presented “We Are Readers, Writers, Artists, and Producers! The Power of Radical Youth Literacies and Community Engagement.”  And doctoral student Eric Janicki, an English teacher at Eagle Hill Middle School in the Fayetteville-Manlius School District, co-presented “Teacher Takeout: Pick from Our Menu of Best Literacy Practices.”

RLAC Authors Announce Article Publication

RLA professor and chair Kelly Chandler-Olcott, RLA doctoral student Janine Nieroda, and RLA alumnus and Fairfield assistant professor Bryan Crandall have published “Co-planning and Co-teaching in a Summer Writing Institute: A Formative Experiment” in Teaching/Writing: The Journal of Writing Teacher Education.

Wilkinson speaker at University of Bristol

Distinguished Professor of Education, Psychology and Communication Sciences Louise Wilkinson, Ed.D., served as one of the speakers on the topic, "Developing Student Reasoning in Mathematics", at the University of Bristol Graduate School of Education in the United Kingdom on October 7, 2014.

RLA Alum Writes on His "Formula for Improving Education"

Dr. Allen Berger's (Ed.D., Reading Education, '66) Letter to the Editor is included in the September 5th, 2014 issue of Savannah Morning News.

"Writing Our Lives" active during Summer 2014

The "Writing Our Lives" program, founded by RLA faculty member Dr. Marcelle Haddix, worked with the South Side Initiative to offer summer writing assistance to local youths.  More information can be found in the Syracuse University News.

Wilkinson presents at EARLI

Distinguished Professor of Education, Psychology and Communication Sciences Louise Wilkinson, Ed.D., presented her research, Changing Conceptualizations of Multi- and Plurilingualism, at a symposium, Evolving Theoretical Frameworks for Studying Collaboration in Diverse 21st Century Learning Contexts-European Association for Learning and Instruction, in Padua, Italy in August 2014.

Current and Former RLAC Faculty Featured

The New York State Reading Conference will be held in Syracuse in 2014.  Among the featured speakers at the conference will be professor and department chair, Kelly Chandler-Olcott, Ed.D., Dean's Associate Professor, Marcelle Haddix, Ph.D., and professor and associate dean, Kathleen Hinchman, Ph.D..  Also presenting will be John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology, professor of education and director of the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut and former RLAC department chair and faculty member Donald Leu, Ph.D.

For more information and registration materials, please visit the NYSRA website  and enjoy the unique and entertaining YouTube clip announcing some of the speakers.

Haddix and doctoral students participate in Writing Institute

On August 20, 2014, Marcelle Haddix, Ph.D. co-presented a session on "Radical Youth Literacies" with Literacy Education doctoral students Alvina Mardhani-Bayne and Brandi Williams at the Oswego Writing Institute 2014.

9th LRA Research to Practice Show panel on 7/14/14 will include RLAC faculty

Kathleen Hinchman will be part of the panel for tonight's broadcast from 8:00-9:00 pm (EDT)

The purpose of the Research to Practice series is to connect current research and "best principles" to what could/should be happening in the classroom. We'll be using Google Hangouts-on-Air to broadcast and save the shows. This means that you can watch the show live while it is happening...and ask questions. You can watch it on YouTube after the show has completed. Because it is on YouTube you can also share with teachers and students that you believe would be interested in the topics, or the series. The subject of the ninth episode is "Critical Race Theory." The panel includes: Kathleen Hinchman, David Kirkland, Allison Skerrett, and Jud Laughter.

Haddix honored by NCTE & CEE

Marcelle Haddix has been elected as a trustee of the National Council of English Teachers Research Foundation. In addition, her article, "Urban Fiction and Multicultural Literature as Transformative Tools for Preparing English Teachers for Diverse Classrooms", published in the April 2013 issue of English Education, has been selected as the winner of the 2014 Janet Emig Award. This award is given annually to the article "that most contributes to our thinking about English teacher education and most informs our research." Dr. Haddix will receive her award during the NCTE Annual Convention in Washington, DC, November 21-24, 2014.

RLAC Alumnus Asked to Help Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the National Writing Project

Bryan Ripley Crandall, Ph.D., director of the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield University, was asked to do a celebratory blog for the NWP 40th anniversary.


Congratulations to Marcelle Haddix on being appointed as a Dean’s Associate Professor in recognition of her scholarly accomplishments and professional leadership.

SOE Research & Creative Grant Competition Winner

Congratulations to Janine Nieroda, English Education doctoral student, for being one of the winners of the 2014-15 SOE Research & Creative Grant competition!

Thursday Morning Roundtable Announces Meritorious Community Service Award to RLAC Alumna

Thursday Morning Roundtable (TMR) presented its Meritorious Community Service Award to Margaret Charters (M.S., Literacy Education Birth-Grade 6, '05) at its April 17, 2014 meeting.

Alvermann & Hinchman book reviewed in TC Record

"Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents' Lives: Bridging the Everyday/ Academic Divide", edited by RLAC alumna Donna Alvermann (Reading Education Ph.D., '80) and Kathleen Hinchman, professor and director of doctoral programs (Reading Education M.S., '80; Reading Education Ph.D., '85), was reviewed by Bronwyn T. Williams in the April 25, 2014 issue of the Teachers College Record.


Our congratulations go out to Tess Dussling, Reading Education doctoral candidate, and her Future Professoriate Program mentor, Dr. Kathleen Hinchman, for receiving a Certificate in University Teaching.

English Education Ph.D. Alumnus to Present at LSU Conference & Seminar

Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall (Ph.D., English Education, '12) will present a workshop entitled "Questioning 'the What' of Refugee Narratives: Framing Global Awareness Through Young Adult Literature" as part of the "YAL ... What is it good for? Absolutely Everything" conference & seminar in Baton Rouge, LA June 2-6, 2014.

RLAC English Education Undergraduate Will Serve as Marshall at Commencement

Margaux Grace Deverin, dual English & Textual Studies and English Education senior, has been chosen to be the 2014 Commencement Marshall for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Congratulations to RLAC Students Chosen as Teaching Mentors

Theresa Dussling, Reading Education doctoral candidate, Nyaboke Nduati, Literacy Education doctoral candidate, and Janine Nieroda, English Education doctoral student, have been selected as Teaching Mentors in the Graduate School Competition. Selected for their excellence in teaching and overall graduate study and representing all colleges and disciplines form across the university, the largest responsibility of Teaching Mentors is to serve as the "core faculty" during the Teaching Assistant Orientation Programs. The Teaching Mentors serve as small group leaders and mentors to approximately 300 new TAs each August. Following the August Orientation, Teaching Mentors are invited to participate, on a limited basis, in the development and implementation of TA Program activities throughout the academic year.

Marcelle Haddix chosen to participate in Inauguration

Marcelle Haddix at the Great Universities panelAs a part of his Inauguration, Chancellor Kent Syverud invited a distinguished and diverse panel of Syracuse University experts to participate in a thoughtful conversation about “Great Universities in the Next 25 Years.Dr. Marcelle Haddix, Assistant Professor and Director of English Education Programs, School of Education, was chosen to sit on that panel.

Brown Co-Authors New Book

Building Comprehension in Every Classroom book coverRachel Brown, associate professor and director of the Literacy Education M.S. programs, & Peter Dewitz (2013). Building Comprehension in Every Classroom: Instruction with Literature, Informational Texts, and Basal Programs. New York: Guilford Press.

This book presents a practical model and specific unit- and lesson-planning ideas for enhancing students’ reading comprehension in any 2-8 classroom. The authors provide innovative suggestions that help teachers construct a comprehension curriculum organized around literature, informational texts, or a basal reading program. Vivid case examples and vignettes bring to life ways to build the knowledge strategies, and motivation that children need to engage with different types of texts and become proficient, enthusiastic readers. Graphic elements throughout the volume link instructional and assessment practices directly to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Invited Research Presentation in Italy by RLAC Faculty Member

The University of Padua sent out the following citation announcing a research presentation by Distinguished Professor of Education, Psychology and Communication Sciences Louise Wilkinson, Ed.D. and Robin Danzak from Sacred Heart University:

Methodological and Theoretical Issues in Bilingual Writing Research. Invited research presentation at the University of Padua: Faculty of Psychology and Social Science. March 26, 2014.

For all students, writing is not just an academic task; it is also a socio-cultural practice that carries with it the identity and prior experiences of the author. For bilingual students in the U.S., the challenges are two-fold, as they are learning English as a second language at the same time they are learning to write in English, the language of instruction in U.S. schools. Wilkinson & Danzak discussed the conceptual framework guiding their program of research and the methodological challenges arising from cross-cultural data collection and interpretation. They illustrated the key points with examples from their current research studies with plurilingual students, who are participating in collaborative writing projects in Yucatan, Mexico and Florida, U.S.; these students produced multilingual, expository texts to inform their peers in both countries about important issues in their respective communities.

SUNY Buffalo Lecture Series features RLAC faculty member

Marcelle Haddix, assistant professor and coordinator of the English Education programs, will speak on April 10, 2014 as part of the Secondary Education Lecture Series, presented by the SUNY Buffalo State English Education Student Association. More information about her work and her talk, entitled "Are You Still Helping That Community?" can be found on the association's Facebook page. In addition, you can view the entire presentation on YouTube.

Hinchman & 2 Other Alumnae Involved in Upcoming Book

Kathleen Hinchman, professor and director of doctoral programs (Reading Education M.S., '80; Reading Education Ph.D., '85), and Heather Sheridan-Thomas (Reading Education Ed.D., '00) are serving as co-editors of the upcoming Second Edition of Best Practices in Adolescent Literacy Instruction. The foreword to the book is being written by another RLAC Alumna, Donna Alvermann (Reading Education Ph.D., '80). The book will be released on May 20, 2014, and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

RLAC & SOE partnering with local school district

Professor and Department chair Kelly Chandler-Olcott presented a session entitled “Writing Processes Across the Curriculum, K-12” during Solvay Union Free District’s superintendent’s conference day on March 24, 2014. Dr. Chandler-Olcott and other SOE colleagues, including Interim Dean Joanna Masingila and Assistant Professor Jeffrey Mangram, are developing a new partnership with Solvay teachers and administrators that will involve enrichment for Solvay students, field experiences for pre-service teachers, and professional development for all involved.

Haddix part of Speaker Series in Colorado

Marcelle Haddix, assistant professor and coordinator of the English Education programs, spoke on March 4, 2014 at the Colorado State University English Department Speaker Series, Literacies of Contemporary Civic Life. Her talk, entitled "Are You Still Helping That Community?" was streamed live on YouTube and can be found at

Marcelle Haddix to receive AERA Division K Early Career Award

Congratulations Professor Marcelle Haddix, on being selected to receive the AERA Division K Early Career Award. AERA Vice President A. Lin Goodwin noted, "Dr. Haddix truly exceeded all of the criteria for this award in her commitment and focus on populations marginalized by mainstream teacher education practices and policies. More particularly, she investigates the ways the literacy practices of people of color have taken center stage in educational research over the last fifteen years. Another significant aspect of Dr. Haddix’s research agenda involves her community-based work, which examines partnerships—among families, teachers, schools, and students—that are needed to improve the writing achievement of African American youth, especially African American adolescent males."

RLAC to be represented at the National Council of Black Studies

Brandi Williams, a Literacy Education doctoral student, will participate in a panel focusing on "Crises within Black Communities: An Analysis of Space and Transformation". The 38th annual conference will be held in Miami, FL, March 5-8, 2014 with the theme: "Challenging Racial Terrorism: Black Resistance and Community Building across the African Diaspora".

Published Articles & Presentation from Blachman Research

Trustee Professor Benita Blachman and colleagues, including RLAC alumnae Dr. Maria Murray (Ph.D., Reading Education, '09) and Dr. Kristen Munger (Ph.D., Reading Education, '10), published an article in the February, 2014 issue of the Journal of Educational Psychology, entitled “Intensive Reading Remediation in Grade 2 or 3: Are There Effects a Decade Later?” This research was sponsored by a grant to Professor Blachman from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Results from this project were also presented in Hong Kong in July 2013 by Professor Murray at the Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR). Professors Munger and Blachman also published an article in the August, 2013 issue of Psychology in the Schools, entitled “Taking a ‘Simple View’ of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills as a Predictor of Multiple Measures of Third-Grade Reading Comprehension.”

Wilkinson & Rwanda to Present at JoLLE

Distinguished Professor of Education, Psychology and Communication Sciences Louise Wilkinson, Ed.D., and Literacy Education doctoral student Stella Rwanda, as well as Robin Danzak from the University of Padua, will present "We Can Be A Change Agent:" Bilingual Adolescents Express Identity and Agency Through Persuasive Writing at the Jolle 2014 Conference on Literacy for/and Social Justice, to be held in Athens, GA on February 14-16, 2014.