I received a Bachelor of Arts (1995) from The University of Waterloo in French Teaching Specialization and a Bachelor of Education (1995) from Brock University. As an Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) I taught French as a Second Language and English as a Second Language for a few years in public and private schools in Ontario and Québec. I later pursued graduate studies in literacy and language education. I received a master’s degree (1999) from Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, IL) and a doctorate (2004) from The University of Georgia (Athens, GA).
I am passionate about pedagogy — the art and science of teaching. My university teaching was recognized with the Meredith Professors Teaching Excellence Award at Syracuse University (2007). More recently, I was honored with an Alumni Excellence award (2014) from Northern Illinois University for excellence in teaching, research, and service to the literacy research community.
My research is informed by community-engaged research, which aims to use the space of research to engage with practical problems defined by community stakeholders and whose solutions are of interest to a larger community. One of my overarching goals is to give voice to marginalized individuals and communities.
My most recent work examines the impact of early literacy instructional interventions on the English language and literacy development of low literacy adolescent refugees, also known as students with limited or interrupted education. To extend my work with adolescent refugee students I completed the Global Mental Health: Trauma and Recovery Certificate Program through Harvard University (2015).
My research can be found in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, The Journal of Children's Literature, Middle School Journal, and Oral History Forum histoire orale.
I am willing to supervise graduate students researching issues related to educational access and language and literacy development of refugee children and youth, topics related to the decolonization of education and topics related to the literacy development of English language learners in elementary and secondary school settings.
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