Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction - Teacher Education

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Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction Michigan State University
Language and Literacy Education > Faculty

Faculty Profiles

Michigan State is home to over two dozen faculty with a primary interest in language and literacy education, including some of the most prominent literacy scholars in the world. Below are faculty based in the College of Education. For a list that includes faculty outside the College of Education, visit the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC). For a more interactive experience check out the Master of Arts in Literacy multimedia page.

Laura Apol
Ph.D., University of Iowa
Laura Apol is an associate professor of literacy with a focus on children’s/young adult literature and creative writing (poetry). Apol has published scholarly articles on historical children’s literature, the intersection between children’s literature and literary theory, the pedagogy of children’s/YA literature and international children’s literature; she has also published articles on facilitating creative writing for children and for adults, and conducts creative writing workshops and classes for teachers and students on all levels. Her poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals and anthologies, and she is the author of several collections of her own poems: Falling into Grace, Crossing the Ladder of Sun (winner of the Oklahoma Book Award for Poetry), Celestial Bodies (winner of the Overleaf Chapbook Manuscript Competition) and Requiem, Rwanda, her newest full-length collection, drawn from her work using writing to facilitate healing among survivors of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, and translated into Kinyarwanda under the title Emwe N’imvura Irabyibuka (Even the Rain Remembers).
Janine Certo
Ph.D., Virginia Commonwealth University
Janine Certo is a poet and associate professor in the Department of Teacher Education. Her interests include contemporary poetics, aesthetic philosophy, sociocultural perspectives of writing, poetic inquiry, arts-based educational research, childhood education and beginning teacher learning. She is author of "In the Corner of the Living," first runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in New Ohio Review, Crab Orchard Review, The National Poetry Review, Ruminate, Cider Press Review, Pittsburgh Quarterly, Italian Americana and elsewhere. She is also author of the book "Children Writing Poems: Poetic Voices in and out of School" (Routledge, 2018), which focuses on sociocultural and sociolinguistic aspects of children's poetry writing. Her articles and essays appear in journals including Journal of Literacy Research, Pedagogies, Journal of Aesthetic Education, English Education, Language Arts, The Reading Teacher and English Journal. Her writing has been supported by grants from The Spencer Foundation and the Humanities and Arts Research Program (HARP) at Michigan State University.
Patricia Edwards
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Patricia Edwards is a professor of teacher education, the first African American president of the Literacy Research Association (formerly the National Reading Conference), and the 2010-2011 President of the International Reading Association. She has developed two nationally acclaimed family literacy programs: Parents as Partners in Reading and Talking Your Way to Literacy. Her research focuses on issues related to families and children: engaging hard to reach families, developing a scope and sequence of parent involvement, compiling different types of demographic family profiles, parent involvement and teacher thinking, parent involvement in the reading/writing process, parent support of children's oral preparation for literacy, portfolio instructional conversations with parents during regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences, and parents' stories of literacy and teachers' reactions to these stories. Her current research focuses on a broader question - how does the world read? During her graduate student days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she became curious about this question. Therefore, when she became the newly elected Vice-President of the International Reading Association (IRA) in May 2008, she immediately thought that she would return to this question of interest. In addition, I was motivated to ask this question because the International Reading Association has councils and affiliates in more than 100 countries and one of our popular slogans is "We teach the world to read."
Carol Sue Englert
Ph.D., Indiana University
Carol Sue Englert is a professor of special education. Her research interests include literacy instruction for students at risk for school failure with a specific focus on the examination of discourse in literacy events. Her more recent work involves a collaborative research project with special education teachers to design, implement, and integrate a literacy curriculum emphasizing the role of oral and written language in a discourse community.
Douglas K. Hartman
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Douglas K. Hartman is a professor of technology, learning, and literacy with appointments in Teacher Education and Educational Psychology and Educational Technology. His research focuses on the use of technologies for human learning in a number of domains (e.g., school, community, work, sports).
Mary Juzwik
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mary Juzwik studies issues in English education, including narrative processes and classroom discourse; dialogue in teaching and teacher education; dialogic writing theory, instruction, and practice; and most recently, religious literacy practices, pedagogies, and traditions. Her award-winning teaching and research around these issues engages with scholarly traditions such as narrative studies, interactional sociolinguistics, rhetorical theory, and religious studies. Alongside numerous articles, essays, reviews, and commentaries, she authored The Rhetoric of Teaching: Understanding the Dynamics of Holocaust Narratives in an English Classroom (Hampton, 2009) and co-authored Inspiring Dialogue: Talking to Learn in the English Classroom (Teachers College Press, 2013) and Reading and Writing Genre with Purpose in K-8 Classrooms (Heinemann, 2012). She co-edited Narrative Discourse Analysis for Teacher Educators (Hampton, 2011) and is outgoing co-editor of Research in the Teaching of English.
Troy Mariage
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Troy Mariage is an associate professor of special education. His research interests are in the areas of literacy instruction for students with mild disabilities in elementary classrooms. He has conducted work in early reading instruction, writing instruction, and cognitive strategy instruction that leads to self-regulated learning. More recently, he has extended his work by seeking to understand how to create schools as learning organizations that create the capacity for continuous learning and improvement. Currently, he is conducting a study to explore how teachers can provide concurrent academic and social support for students with significant learning and behavioral difficulties.
Cynthia Okolo
Ph.D. Indiana University
Cynthia Okolo is a professor of special education. Her research focuses on improving academic outcomes for students with disabilities through the integration of technology into the classroom. She also studies how Universal Design for Learning (UDL)-aligned instructional practices can improve learning and behavior. Her current projects involve the development of literacy tools and strategies for using digital reading materials and teacher preparation for the implementation of UDL. Most of her work has been conducted in middle and high schools and in diverse classrooms that include students with and without disabilities. She is Past President and Professional Development Co-Chair of the Technology and Media Division of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Rand Spiro
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
Rand Spiro is a professor of educational psychology and educational technology. His research concerns new modes of learning with technology to promote what are often called “21st century skills,” especially the ability to deal with novelty in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing world. Spiro’s theory, applied in his research, is “Cognitive Flexibility Theory,” which provides a highly specified approach to the use of technology for the development of the ability to respond adaptively to new, real-world situations (instead of relying on pre-stored templates in memory). His research areas include: deep and open learning on the web, instructional hypermedia systems to promote the attainment of high proficiency learning goals, knowledge acquisition in complex subject areas, new literacies and new forms of reading comprehension in the online world, case-based learning with technology for independent knowledge application in non-routine situations in the professions (e.g., teaching, medicine), expertise and acceleration in the development of expertise, assessment of 21st century skills and learning in areas of grand social challenge (e.g., climate change).
Randi Stanulis
Ph.D., Michigan State University
Randi Stanulis is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education. Her teaching and research interests focus on teacher learning, from the perspective of novices learning to teach, and from experienced teachers learning about their own practice while mentoring others. She has worked with teachers and principals in Lansing, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland and Saginaw to develop university-school partnerships that support mentor and beginning teacher learning and development within high-poverty settings. In these schools, she focuses on helping to develop a "culture of talk" where teacher learning is valued and teachers study their practice, specifically how they can increase student voice and critical thinking through discussion-based teaching. Mentor teachers study together in inquiry groups to improve their own practice and to provide an opportunity for professional dialogue. Leading the cross-college Induction Group Team as part the reform initiative, Teachers for a New Era, provided the frame for the way that collaborative induction work is designed. Stanulis also serves as director of the Office of Medical Education Research and Development in the MSU College of Human Medicine.
Gary Troia
Ph.D., University of Maryland
Gary Troia is an associate professor of special education. His research interests include the connections between oral language and literacy in typical and atypical learners, writing assessment and instruction, and teacher professional development in literacy. His recent work involves examining alignment between states' content standards and assessment frameworks in writing and how alignment between these influences writing outcomes and enables students to meet postsecondary writing expectations. He also is examining predictors of writing quality within a multi-level linguistic framework to help researchers and educators develop better measurement tools for writing.
Tanya Wright
Ph.D., University of Michigan
Tanya Wright is a former kindergarten teacher whose research and teaching focus on curriculum and instruction in language and literacy during the early childhood and elementary years. Her research examines instructional practices that promote oral language, vocabulary, and knowledge development for young children. Wright is co- author of several books for teachers and parents including, "All About Words: Increasing Vocabulary in the Common Core Classroom PreK-2." Her work has been published in journals such as American Educator, The Elementary School Journal, The Reading Teacher, Reading and Writing, and Reading Research Quarterly.
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