The members of the Literacy Education faculty at UofL are top scholars in national and international fields of literacy studies with an impressive range of teaching and scholarly experiences across literacy contexts. We take pride in working closely with our students, teachers, and community members by including them in our research activities, and mentoring them in writing for publication and presenting research at professional conferences.

James Chisholm, Associate Professor, English Education
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
Department of Middle-Secondary Education (MISE)

I'm an associate professor in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education. I study inquiry-based discussions about language and literature in high school English classrooms. I'm also interested in understanding how adolescents engage with multiple symbol systems (e.g., linguistic, visual, gestural) to author texts and learn inside and outside of classrooms. Because of these interests, my questions have tended to focus on issues related to classroom discourse (e.g., How do high school English students mediate their thinking/learning through speaking/painting/performing/ storytelling/moviemaking?).
For more information about Dr. Chisholm: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/chisholm/

Penny Howell, Associate Professor, Middle Grades Education
EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University
Department of Middle-Secondary Education (MISE)

I am an Associate Professor in the department of Middle and Secondary Education at the University of Louisville. I earned my doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2004. My research interests include middle grades teacher education, social justice in teacher education, and developmentally and culturally responsive pedagogy. My teaching foci are middle grades teacher education, classroom management in middle and secondary schools, and content area literacy.
For more information about Dr. Howell: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/howell

Jill Jacobi-Vessels, Director, Early Learning Campus
PhD, University of Louisville
Department of Early Childhood Elementary Education (ECEE)

In my 'first career', I worked directly with children, families, and teachers in military and corporate early childhood development centers. I received a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (IECE) and a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the University of Louisville. My teaching and research interests include literacy, mathematics, and science skill development through play and early childhood teacher development. I teach classes at the University's Early Learning Campus, which is a more diverse early childhood setting than any I have seen throughout my career. We frequently discuss the strengths of diverse classrooms and teaching strategies to value all children and their families.
For more information about Dr. Jacobi-Vessels: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/jacobi-vessels

Ann Larson, Special Assistant to the President
PhD, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign

I have worked at the university level since 1992 at two universities in Illinois and Kentucky and was a former middle and secondary English language arts and social studies teacher in Kansas. I earned my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1998, and my scholarship currently focuses on assessment and accountability in educator preparation programs, teacher preparation with a focus on English education, teacher development, and curriculum studies/theory.
For more information about Dr. Larson: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/larson

Lori Norton-Meier, Professor, Literacy Education
UofL Literacy Program Coordinator

PhD, University of Iowa
Department of Early Childhood Elementary Education (ECEE)

When I think about my 28 years as a professional educator and consider the breadth and depth of my scholarship, I situate my work with the underlying goal to disrupt the deficit narrative. More specifically, I am dedicated to examining discourse patterns and pedagogical moves that cause pre-service and practicing teachers to question deficit assumptions and transform their teaching decisions related to children & youth, language & literacy, texts & technology, families & teachers. This thread, which winds through my research in family literacy, media literacy and argument-based inquiry, as related to literacy teaching and learning in pre- and in- service teacher education, began in my early years as a teacher in the inner city where many of my students were English Language Learners. Throughout my work as a teacher and a researcher, I continue to seek ways to disrupt the deficit narrative and provide a catalyst for transforming teaching and learning environments.
For more information about Dr. Norton-Meier: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/norton-meier

Shelley Thomas, Associate Professor, Culturally Responsive/ Sustaining Pedagogy
EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University
Department of Middle Secondary Education (MISE)

I am an Associate Professor in Middle & Secondary Education. I received my MAT from U of L 25 years ago this May, and I taught for 8 years in JCPS as a social studies teacher (primarily, but not exclusively). I completed my doctorate at Teachers College Columbia University and returned home to U of L for my current career…I advise in social studies teacher prep, but my research is in the areas of social justice in teaching and teacher education, and culturally responsive teaching in specific contexts- very much aligned with what the literacy folks here describe and the critical work you all are doing in schools and communities.

Jennifer Bay-Williams, Professor
PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia
Department of Middle Secondary Education (MISE)

Dr. Bay-Williams is a professor of mathematics education. She taught elementary, middle, and high school in Missouri and in Peru, and she continues to work in classrooms at all levels with both students and teachers, regularly providing professional development on effective teaching practices. She has served on the board of directors for TODOS: Equity for All, is past president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE), and was the editor for the 2012 NCTM Yearbook on Professional Collaborations.

To learn more about Dr. Bay-Williams: http://louisville.edu/education/faculty/bay-williams

Jean Wolph, Instructor & Director, Louisville Writing Project
M.Ed., University of Louisville
Department of Middle Secondary Education (MISE)

To learn more about Ms. Wolph: https://louisville.edu/education/faculty/wolph


Dr. James Chisholm
Associate Professor, English Education

Research Interests:
Inquiry-based discussions of language and literature
Adolescent literacy
Classroom discourse
Young adult literature
English/language arts teacher education


Dr. Lori Norton-Meier
Professor, Literacy Education

Research Interests:
Early childhood education and the role of play in a child's developing literacy
Family literacy practices
Inquiry curriculum
Intersection between science inquiry and literacy practices
Media literacy particularly related to gender


Dr. Penny Howell
Associate Professor, Middle Grades/Literacy Education

Research Interests:
Middle School Teacher Education
Social Justice and Teacher Education
Middle School Curriculum
Oral Literacy in the Middle School
Standards of Discourse in the Classroom


Dr. Jill Jacobi-Vessels
Assistant Professor, Director Early Learning Campus

Research Interests:
Early Literacy Skills with a focus on intervention
Early Mathematics Development
Emergent Curriculum and the role of play in development
Early Childhood Teacher Preparation
Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators

Caroline Sheffield

Dr. Caroline Sheffield
Associate Professor, Social Studies Education

Research Interests:
Technology Integration in Social Studies
Multimodal Literacy in Social Studies
Graphic Novels
Holocaust Education

Dr. Ann Larson

Dr. Ann Larson
English Education

Research Interests:
Teacher education
English education
Curriculum, Curriculum Theory
Social and Moral Pedagogies
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
Assessment and Accreditation in Educator Preparation

Dr. Jenny Bay-Williams

Dr. Jenny Bay-Williams
Mathematics Education

Research Interests:
Mathematics teaching practice for English Language Learners (ELLs)
Implementation of standards-based mathematics curriculum/innovations in mathematics education
Mathematics Teacher Education
Use of Literature in Teaching Mathematics