Go to the Ready to Read Homepage
Pathways to Literacy Achievement for High-Poverty Children - 
The University of Michigan Palmer Commons Ann Arbor, Michigan

Conference HOME         Presentations         Speakers         Agenda        

Presenters and Contributors

Download this as a PDF (speakerbios.pdf)

MARILYN JAGER ADAMS is the Chief Scientist of Soliloquy Learning Inc., and is internationally regarded for her research and applied work in the area of cognition and education. Dr. Adams is the recipient of the American Educational Research Association's Sylvia Scribner Award for outstanding research. She is Senior Literacy Advisor for Instruction for PBS's Between the Lions, as well as senior author of Fox in a Box, an award-winning, standards-based literacy assessment kit. Dr. Adams has also written/designed three empirically proven instructional programs: on thinking skills for middle school students, on reading and writing for elementary school students, and on linguistic awareness for emergent readers and special needs students. She is cited in the 2000 Politics of Education Yearbook as one of the five most influential people in the national reading policy arena. Dr. Adams received her Ph.D. from Brown University in cognitive psychology and developmental psychology.

DANIEL ANDERSON is a professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dr. Anderson's general area of research is children and media, particularly television. His research has focused on a cognitive analysis of children's television viewing as well as the impact of television on cognitive development and education. In addition to his research, Dr. Anderson and his students frequently do research and consulting for children's educational television programs. Dr. Anderson advised on the development of Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, and Bear in the Big Blue House, among many other programs. He has also been a consultant for Sesame Street. Dr. Anderson's current research focuses on the impact of television on 1- to 3-year-olds, supported by grants from NSF and Sesame Workshop.

DEBORAH LOEWENBERG BALL is the William H. Payne Collegiate Professor and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Dean of the School of Education, at the University of Michigan. She is a co-director of the NSF-funded Center for Proficiency in Teaching Mathematics, a research and development center aimed at strengthening professional education of mathematics teachers. She chaired the Rand Mathematics Panel on programmatic research in mathematics education, co-chaired the international Study on Teacher Education sponsored by the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction, and she is a trustee of the Mathematical Sciences Research institute in Berkeley. Dr. Ball is currently serving as a member of the National Math Panel.

JEANNE BROOKS-GUNN is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Child Development at Teachers College and at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, both at Columbia University. She specializes in policy-oriented research focusing on family and community influences on the development of children, youth, and families. Her research centers on designing and evaluating interventions aimed at enhancing the well-being of children living in poverty and associated conditions. Dr. Brooks-Gunn has authored over 400 published articles and 17 books. She co-directs the National Center on Children and Families and is also involved in such projects as Early Head Start National Evaluation Research Project; the Girls Health and Development Project; Making Ends Meet: How Mothers Manage When Welfare Grants are Cut; the Panel Study of Income Dynamics-Child Development Supplement; and Putting Children First: Summer Fellowship Program in Child and Family Policy.

ADRIANA BUS is Professor of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands. A former reading specialist, she teaches courses in reading, writing and learning problems. She is the leading scholar on the impact of attachment theory on children's emergent literacy development, and on developmental changes in storybook reading among parents and children. Dr. Bus's recent research examines the impact of multimedia storybooks on children's reading skills, and has published many articles in the leading journals in the field of education, educational psychology and child development.

SANDRA CALVERT is currently a Professor of Psychology at Georgetown University, and the Director of the Children's Digital Media Center (CDMC). Dr. Calvert's interdisciplinary work in the information and technology area, spanning the fields of psychology, communications, linguistics, and education, seeks to improve the well-being of children and adolescents by bridging the gap between knowledge generation and knowledge application. At CDMC, she is also examining the roles that interactivity and identity play in children's learning from educational media and from heroic portrayals of DVD content. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, Dr. Calvert's served on the Advisory Panel for Excellence in Children's Television for the Annenberg Public Policy Center at University of Pennsylvania, on the Advisory Board for the Center for Media Education, and on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Tools and Strategies for Protecting Children from Pornography and Other Objectionable Content on the Internet.

BETTE CHAMBERS is currently Vice-President of Development at the Success for All Foundation, where she directs the development of the early childhood, early literacy, evaluation, after-school, and technology programs. Dr. Chambers also directs the research and dissemination of the preschool, kindergarten, embedded multimedia, and computer-assisted tutoring programs. Dr. Chambers has authored or co-authored numerous articles, books, and practical guides for teachers, including Let's Cooperate: Interactive Activities for Young Children and Classroom Connections: Understanding and Using Cooperative Learning. She received her B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University in 1981, and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology in 1990 from McGill University.

MARY CORCORAN is Professor of Political Science, Public Policy, Social Work, and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the effects of gender and race discrimination on economic status and earnings and on welfare and employment policies. Dr. Corcoran has published articles on intergenerational mobility, the underclass, and sex-based and race-based inequality. She teaches seminars on poverty and inequality and on women and employment. Dr. Corcoran received her Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

HOLLY CRAIG is professor of education at the University of Michigan and research professor at the Institute for Human Adjustment. Her interest areas are normal language processes in children and language differences and disorders across the life span. She serves as Director of the University Center for the Development of Language and Literacy (formerly the Communicative Disorders Clinic). Current research focuses on the role of language skill in academic underachievement, particularly to the contribution of the Black-White Test Score Gap. Dr. Craig received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

SANDRA K. DANZIGER is a Professor of Social Work and Director of the Michigan Program on Poverty and Social Welfare Policy at the University of Michigan. Her primary research interests are the effects of public programs and policies on the well being of disadvantaged families, poverty policy and social service programs, demographic trends in child and family well-being, gender issues across the life course, program evaluation, and qualitative research methods. Her current research examines barriers to employment among single mothers making the transition from welfare to work. She is a Principal Investigator on the Women's Employment Survey and the Implementing Welfare to Work programs in Michigan study. Other areas of research/scholarly interest: Social Welfare Policies, Social Services for Families and Children, Poverty and Well-being.

SHELDON DANZIGER is the Henry J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Research Professor at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on welfare reform and on the effects of economic, demographic, and public policy changes on trends in poverty and inequality. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-Director of the National Poverty Center, and Director of the Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy. Professor Danziger received his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1983 - 1988.

JOHN FANTUZZO is the Diana Rausnitz Riklis Professor of Education at University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Fantuzzo's research involves extensive work with the School District of Philadelphia's early childhood education programs, building research and service capacities. His research focuses on the design, implementation, and evaluation of school- and community-based strategies for young, low-income children in high-risk urban settings. In recent years, he has conducted longitudinal studies in Head Start that (a) relate to the impact of community and family violence on school readiness, (b) examine the development of approaches to learning, and (c) investigate the effects of early social/emotional adjustment problems and early school success. His is also involved in population-based studies that make use of citywide, integrated databases across agencies serving young children. Dr. Fantuzzo and Dr. Dennis Culhane, a professor in the School of Social Policy and Practice, worked with the City of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania to create the Kids Integrated Data System (KIDS)-the only such municipal database in the U.S. Dr. Fantuzzo is a recent recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Involvement and the National Head Start Research Mentor awards.

CLAUDE GOLDENBERG, a native of Argentina, is Executive Director of the Center for Language Minority Education and Research (CLMER) and Associate Dean of the College of Education, California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Goldenberg's publications have appeared in numerous academic and professional journals, and he has been on the editorial boards of Language Arts, The Elementary School Journal, and Literacy, Teaching and Learning. His current projects focus on Latino children's literacy development, home-school connections to improve achievement, and the processes and dynamics of change at individual school sites.

JORGE E. GONZALEZ is an Assistant Professor of Education Psychology and Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Gonzalez works closely with Deborah Simmons, and Dr. Durodola Pollard on issues related to language and literacy for Spanish-speaking low-income children. Together, they examine the impact of instructional design and instructional features on school achievement for children with disabilities.

CHARLES GREENWOOD is a Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at University of Kansas. He is the Director and Senior Scientist at the Juniper Gardens Children's Project and Institute for Life Span Studies. His research areas include development of evidence-based instructional and behavioral intervention practices, special education research, formative evaluation and continuous progress monitoring. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah.

CHARLES KINZER is a Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in literacy education and works extensively with technology as it relates to literacy instruction. Dr. Kinzer's areas of specialization include language and literacy; impacts of technology, specifically: on vocabulary development and reading comprehension; memory processes in reading and writing; models of reading and composing; computer, multimedia, and "future literacies." He serves on numerous editorial boards, including The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Literacy Research, The Journal of Special Education Technology, the NRC Yearbook and Reading Online, and he has directed several nationally funded projects.

DEBORAH LINEBARGER is an Assistant Professor of Communication in the School of Communication attheUniversity of Pennsylvania. She is interested in both new and traditional media and how attentional processes are guided by the features inherent in each medium especially as it pertains to the cognitive and social development of young children. Her work has focused on describing the effects of early and concurrent television viewing on adolescent academic and social outcomes, the use of print on television to improve literacy skills in preschool through 3rd graders, and the relationship between media use and language development in infants and toddlers.

NANCY MADDEN is the President and CEO of the Success for All Foundation (SFAF) and leads the continual development of curricula, training model, and organization. Success for All, a comprehensive elementary reading curriculum, is now in over 1,500 schools nationwide. Together, with husband Robert Slavin, they have devoted their lives to creating better prospects for low-income children through an evidence-based approach to education reform-doing what demonstrably works. Dr. Madden is the author or co-author of three books and more than 100 articles.

VONNIE MCLOYD is a Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is interested in the impact of economic disadvantage, work-related transitions, and parental job characteristics on family life and child development, the mediators and moderators of these impacts, and the implications of research on these issues for both practice and policy. Dr. McLoyd also has a longstanding interest in how race, ethnicity, and culture shape child socialization and development. She is currently the PI for an NIMH-funded project that assesses models linking economic hardship to adolescent mental health through various family-level mediators and tests the replicability of these models across five longitudinal samples. She is also one of several investigators assessing the long-term impact on family functioning and child development of New Hope, a work-based anti-poverty program tested in a random assignment experimental design.

LOUISA MOATS specializes in reading and writing instruction and the identification and treatment of dyslexia and other learning disorders, Dr. Moats has worked as a consultant and licensed psychologist with individuals, schools, and state boards of education. Author of several books and numerous journal articles dealing with language learning disabilities, she is a member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Vermont and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School. Dr. Moats is on the national board of the Orton Dyslexia Society and serves as a national board member of the International Dyslexia Association. She was Project Director for the District of Columbia component of the NICHD-Houston-Washington, D.C., Early Interventions Project. She is currently Literacy Research and Professional Development Director, SoprisWest Publishers, and President, Moats Associates Consulting, Inc.

SUSAN B. NEUMAN is a Professor of Education at the University of Michigan, specializing in early literacy development. Her research and teaching interests include early childhood policy, curriculum, and early reading instruction, and she is currently involved in a number of research projects all working to change the odds for children in poverty. Dr. Neuman has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. She is author of many books, and articles on the impact of environment on children's literacy development. Currently, her interests focus on the development of vocabulary and content-rich curriculum on low-income children's literacy learning.

PEGGY O'BRIEN is the Senior Vice President, Educational Programming and Services at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Dr. O'Brien oversees CPB's high priority efforts to develop and expand the reach of educational programming and services, including creating innovative children's programming and building capacity in the areas of local content, education services, community partnerships, and outreach. Dr. O'Brien served as Executive Director at Cable in the Classroom, the cable industry's education foundation, where she had been executive director.

ALLAN PAIVIO is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of a general theory of cognition, called dual coding theory, which assumes that all human cognition entails the cooperative activity of multimodal verbal and nonverbal (especially imagery) processing systems. The theory has guided his research for more than 40 years on problems related to memory, language, and other aspects of cognition. The theory and research have been described in more than 100 publications out of a total of about 200 to-date scholarly chapters, research articles, and 5 books. Dr. Paivio received his PhD from McGill University in 1959.

SHAROLYN POLLARD-DURODOLA is an Assistant Professor of Bilingual Education Programs within the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include the study of the development of early literacy in Spanish and English, vocabulary acquisition (Spanish and English), teacher preparation, and classroom observation systems. She received her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from University of Houston. Working closely with Deborah Simmons, she focuses on instructional features that promote language learning for children at risk.

DAVID ROSE is the founder of the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), with a vision to expand opportunities for all students, especially those with disabilities, through the innovative development and application of new technologies. Specializing in developmental neuropsychology and in the universal design of learning technologies, Dr. Rose lectures at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he has been on the faculty for twenty years. He has been the lead researcher on a number of U.S. Department of Education grants and is currently the principal investigator of two national centers created to develop and implement the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS). In 2004, he was named one of education's "Daring Dozen" by the George Lucas Educational Foundation's Edutopia magazine.

KATHLEEN ROSKOS is a professor of education at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, teaching courses in reading instruction and reading diagnosis. She recently completed two years of public service as the Director of the Ohio Literacy Initiative at the Ohio Department of Education, providing leadership in P-12 literacy policy and programs. Dr. Roskos studies early literacy development, teacher cognition and the design of professional education for teachers and has published research articles on these topics in leading journals. She is currently a member of the e-Learning Committee and the Early Childhood Commission of the International Reading Association and a leader in the Literacy Development for Young Children SIG of that organization.

BRIAN ROWAN is the Burke A. Hinsdale Collegiate Professor in Education at the University of Michigan. Dr. Rowan is a sociologist whose scholarly interests lie at the intersection of organization theory and school effectiveness research. Over the years, Dr. Rowan has written on education as an institution, on the nature of teachers' work, and on the effects of school organization, leadership, and instruction practice on student achievement. His current work includes a large-scale, longitudinal study of the design, implementation, and effectiveness of three of America's largest comprehensive school reform initiatives.

DEBORAH SIMMONS is Professor of Education Psychology at Texas A&M University. Her areas of expertise include school-wide reading improvement, primary-grade identification and intervention for reading difficulties, general education classroom-based reading practices, peer-mediated interventions, lesson and curriculum design for classroom teachers including principles of effective teaching (design and delivery), and curriculum evaluation and adaptation. Over the years, Dr. Simmons has published numerous books, book chapters, and research articles. She has authored and co-authored many articles in refereed journals and serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals. She also served on the Assessment Group of the Reading First Initiative for the U.S. Department of Education.

ROBERT SLAVIN is Professor, Co-Director of the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk at Johns Hopkins University and Chairman of the Success for All Foundation. Dr. Slavin has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles and 15 books. He received the American Educational Research Association's Raymond B. Cattell Early Career award for Programmatic Research in 1986, the Palmer O. Johnson award for the best article in an AERA journal in 1988, the Charles A. Dana award in 1994, the James Bryant Conant award from the Education Commission of the States in 1998, and the Outstanding Educator award from the Horace Mann League in 1999.

ELLIOT SOLOWAY is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan, holding joint appointment in the Department of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, the School of Information, and the School of Education. For the past 15 years, Dr. Soloway and his colleagues in the Center for Highly Interactive Computing in Education (HI-CE) have been exploring the new opportunities for teaching and learning afforded by computing technologies. Taking advantage of the recent emergence of mobile, wireless, handheld technologies, Dr. Soloway and his colleagues are developing scaffolded learning environments based on this new technology that support gains in achievement and motivation.

SHARYN SUTTON is Managing Director, Communication, and Social Marketing with the Health Program of the American Institutes for Research. She has over 25 years of experience providing research, strategic planning, marketing communication and evaluation services to government, nonprofit, consumer advocacy and corporation organizations. She is co-developer of the Consumer-Based Health Communications process, which has been used successfully to create science-based consumer-oriented communication programs for social change.

Ready to Read > Ready to Learn > Literacy Conference > Speakers