MSU editors lead state journal on literacy

January 16, 2015
Patricia Edwards

Patricia Edwards

Michigan State University faculty members Patricia Edwards and Tanya Wright have been named co-editors of the Michigan Reading Journal, a publication for more than 2,000 educators and scholars focused on improving literacy across the state.

Edwards and Wright, both based in the university’s Department of Teacher Education, are researchers with expertise in language and literacy. Their inaugural edition of the journal was published in December, and they will remain editors for three years.

MRJ is a peer-reviewed publication of the Michigan Reading Association intended to provide working educators and others with useful knowledge and perspectives for improving the teaching of reading. The new editors have begun implementing changes and new features in an effort to re-imagine the journal.

Tanya Wright

Tanya Wright

“We are working to be more inclusive and bring in multiple voices, including the voices of teachers,” said Edwards, who is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame. “We want educators to know about the research but also connect it back to practice. The idea is, how can you use this on Monday morning?”

Along with research articles, there are sections on top policy issues, examples of literacy work happening across the state, professional books of interest and children’s literature to consider using in the classroom.

The new editorial team has also helped introduce ways to expand the journal’s reach. Readers can get updates via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and a fully digital edition of the journal should be available in the future. In addition, prospective contributors can email article submissions to a new email address,

Wright and Edwards will be conducting a survey via email to learn more about what topics are most important to Michigan’s literacy community.

MSU connections

The latest edition of the Michigan Reading Journal (2014, Volume 47, No. 1) includes contributions from several MSU faculty, students and alumni. This includes associate professor of teacher education Laura Apol, who edits a column on children’s literacy, and teacher education doctoral students Laura J. Hopkins and Kristen White, who are serving as editorial assistants. Janine Certo, associate professor of teacher education, also is expected to edit a column on writing.

The following alumni wrote or co-wrote articles:

  • Rebecca R. Norman, Mount Saint Mary College in New York, Ph.D. ’10
  • Kathryn L. Roberts, Wayne State University, Ph.D. ’10
  • KaiLonnie Dunsmore, National Center for Literacy Education, B.A. ’92
  • Brandy Archer, Michigan Department of Education, M.A. ’02
  • Kristyn Stierley, Holt Junior High School, B.A. ’07, M.A. ’10
  • Leah Porter, Wilcox Elementary School in Holt, B.A. ’04, MA ’09
  • Kathy Highfield, Holly Area Schools, B.A. ’88, M.A. ’94
  • Laura Pardo, Hope College, M.A. ’90, Ph.D. ’05