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September 25, 2011

I have recently earned my doctorate Reading Education at Syracuse University, where I have also been working as Data Manager for Dr. Benita Blachman for the last six years. I also have recently been hired at SUNY Oswego in the Counseling and Psychological Services Department as Assistant Professor.  I am teaching three classes and am enjoying the beautiful fall scenery surrounding Lake Ontario.

At Syracuse, most of the research I have been working on has involved a large early reading intervention study, along with a follow-up study investigating the effects of a reading intervention 10 years later. My research interests are related to the cognitive processes contributing to early reading and spelling, and I am also interested in research regarding early literacy assessments. At Oswego, I am presently working on a research project involving the prediction of reading comprehension based on elementary students’ scores on a number of literacy assessments.

On November 1, 2010, I defended my dissertation entitled A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as a Predictor of Third Grade Reading Comprehension. This study examined the predictive and concurrent validity of DIBELS with measures of third grade reading comprehension, including an individually administered diagnostic test, a group administered test, and the New York State English Language Arts Test.  First grade DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) most strongly predicted reading comprehension, and no other DIBELS subtests explained additional variance beyond ORF.  Similar findings were obtained using first grade DIBELS to predict a reading comprehension composite constructed from the three measures of comprehension.  Third grade DIBELS ORF was also strongly correlated with comprehension.  Although first grade DIBELS Word Use Fluency (WUF) was significantly correlated with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Third Edition and comprehension, what WUF measures remains unclear.  First grade DIBELS cut scores were also found to be reasonably accurate for classifying “low risk” and “at risk” students but were less accurate for classifying “some risk” students.

In May 2007, I completed a study involving DIBELS entitled A Concurrent Validity Study of the Dynamic Indicator of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) that examined the relationships among DIBELS subtests with other psychometrically sound literacy instruments.

While at Syracuse University, I have taught multiple graduate level courses including two sections of Educational Tests and Measurements, Early Intervention for Childhood Reading Problems, and Advanced Literacy Intervention.  I also have co-taught two graduate level quantitative research methodology courses and served as an assistant for an undergraduate psychology course entitled Psychology of Childhood Reading Disorders.

I earned my M.S. from the State University of New York College at Oswego and was a teaching assistant for an undergraduate counseling class while I obtained my degree in School Psychology. I worked for 12 years as a school psychologist and began to specialize in the prevention and treatment of reading disabilities, which eventually led me to continue my studies at Syracuse University.  I am a member of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the New York Association of School Psychologists (NYASP), the International Reading Association (IRA), and the National Reading Conference (NRC). I have also served as President and Vice President of the Syracuse University Student Organization of Literacy Educators and Researchers (SOLER), which is a doctoral student organization I co-founded in 2005 with Professor Kristiina Montero.  I am a past recipient of Syracuse University’s School of Education Sheldon Fellowship in 2006 and a recipient of the School of Education’s Research & Creative Grant Award in both 2007 and 2008.  I have also been awarded an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the Graduate School at Syracuse and earned my Certificate in University Teaching from the Future Professoriate Program.

I am indebted to the Syracuse University School of Education for the thoughtful mentoring and support I have received through the Future Professoriate Program. I am most grateful for the support of my advisor, Dr. Benita Blachman, my faculty mentor, Dr. James Bellini, and my faculty research partner, Dr. Rachel Brown.

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