Languages, literacies, and educators opened many worlds, dreams, and opportunities for me. Each of these influences my learning, journey, teaching, and success. I earned my bachelor’s degree (1997) from Kenyon College, a small liberal arts institution in the rural quiet of Ohio. My master’s degree (1999) is in English from The University of Texas at Austin, while my Ph.D. (2001) is from The University of Connecticut, Neag School of Education. I have taught English and Spanish language arts and held a variety of teaching and administrative positions in public schools and higher education.
My literacy and education research focuses on classroom and social contexts that inform students’ learning gains through culturally responsive teaching and socially responsible biliteracies. Moreover, I am interested in how students use their Spanish heritage language to make meaning and form identities through diverse literacies across the disciplines and with learning technologies. Additional research interests include academic writing, multimodal literacies, and children’s and young adult literatures.
My research has been published in journals such as English Journal, English Leadership Quarterly, English in Texas, SIGNAL Journal, and Voices from the Middle, among other periodicals. Book chapters appear in The Critical Merits of Young Adult Literature: Coming of Age (Routledge, 2014), Democracy and Decency: What Does Education Have to Do with It? (2015), and Exploring Teachers in Fiction and Film: Saviors, Scapegoats, and Schoolmarms (2016), among others. Additional research projects are in development or press for publication in journals and edited books as well two book manuscripts: Enacting Adolescent Literacies across Communities: Scribes and Their Rites (Lexington Books, 2016) and Adolescents Coming of Age in Young Adult Literature: ‘When I’m Grown’ (2017).
In my work, I support literacy education and research as well as family literacy in the academy, schools, and civic communities. I am a reader of diverse U.S. and world literatures. When I am not reading, teaching, or writing, I enjoy cooking, hiking, kayaking, storytelling, and traveling. Currently, I am active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and our state affiliate the Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts. Indeed, I am motivated by the zest of teaching and learning, and I enjoy working with colleagues and students in literacy education and research.