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2024 Speaker Bios

Katharine Pace Miles, Ph.D. Image

The Intersection of Reading and Writing

Katie Pace Miles, Ph.D is an associate professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY).  Dr. Miles’s research interests include orthographic mapping, high frequency word learning, reading interventions, and literacy instruction that is both developmentally appropriate and grounded in the science of reading. Dr. Miles is the academic advisor for Reading Go!, an evidence-based intervention for first and second grade students. She is the author of Reading Ready, an explicit and systematic word reading curriculum for kindergarten and first grade students. Dr. Miles is also the co-founder and principal investigator of CUNY Reading Corps, which improves preservice teacher training and provides free high-dosage tutoring to over 2,000 historically underserved NYC students per year. Dr. Miles’s latest projects involve opening new advanced graduate coursework in reading science, which include courses that embed AIM Pathways training, and she recently opened a non-profit in NYC in order to bring free tutoring to more emergent readers in need of support. 

Devin Kearns Headshot Image

Writing into Literacy: Leveraging Writing in the Early Years to Promote Reading

Engaging young children in writing activities during the early years can help to lay the foundation for later reading ability, both in terms of word recognition and language comprehension. This presentation will describe the reading-writing connection and how teachers can scaffold students’ writing attempts within preschool and kindergarten classroom interactions.


Dr. Sonia Cabell is an Associate Professor in the School of Teacher Education and the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. Dr. Cabell’s research focuses on the prevention of reading difficulties among young children who are at-risk, particularly those who are living in poverty. As a group, these children are more often exposed to lower quality language and literacy interactions both at school and home than their more economically advantaged peers. The early years (birth – age 8) are especially critical because high-quality interactions and environments during these years lay the foundation for children’s future reading success. Innovative ways to accelerate language and literacy learning are crucial to narrow the achievement gap for children living in poverty. Consequently, Dr. Cabell’s work spanning pre-kindergarten through second grade consists of how to strengthen children’s language and literacy skills that serve as precursors to both successful reading comprehension and word recognition.

Claude Goldenberg Headshot Image

Considerations for English Learners and Emergent Bilingual Students

Building on the preceding presentations, Claude Goldenberg will discuss what additional instructional and curriculum features are necessary to support English Learners' literacy acquisition and development. 


Dr. Claude Goldenberg is the Nomellini & Olivier Professor of Education, Emeritus in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford UniversityDr. Goldenberg’s areas of research and professional interest center on promoting academic achievement among language-minority children and youth. Prior to his arrival at Stanford, Goldenberg, a native of Argentina, was Professor of Teacher Education, Associate Dean of the College of Education, and Executive Director of the Center for Language Minority Education and Research (CLMER) at California State University–Long Beach. Goldenberg received his A.B. in History from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Education, UCLA. He has taught junior high school in San Antonio, Texas, and First Grade in a bilingual elementary school in the Los Angeles area. Goldenberg’s most recent books are Promoting Academic Achievement among English Learners: A Guide to the Research, co-authored with Rhoda Coleman (Corwin, 2010) and Language and Literacy Development in Bilingual Settings, co-editing with Aydin Durgunoglu (Guilford, 2010). His publications have also appeared in academic and professional journals, and he has been on the editorial boards of various academic journals. His current projects focus on improving literacy and academic achievement among English learners in K–12 and promoting early literacy development in Rwanda. Goldenberg was on the National Research Council’s Committee on the Prevention of Early Reading Difficulties in Young Children and on the National Literacy Panel, which synthesized research on literacy development among language-minority children and youth.

Nancy Hennessy, M.ED

The Comprehension-Composition Connection

The evidence is in! The relationship between comprehension and composition is reciprocal.  Understanding this connection is critical to implementing an informed instructional framework and activities that support student learning.


Nancy Hennessy is the author of The Reading Comprehension Blueprint: Helping Students Make Meaning of Text and a past President of the International Dyslexia Association. She is an experienced teacher and administrator who currently works as a literacy consultant. While in public schools, she provided leadership for innovative programming for special needs students and professional development for educators. Nancy has designed and delivered keynote addresses and multiple virtual and live professional learning events including workshops, podcasts, and training courses on the science of reading & structured literacy. Most recently, reading comprehension has been her focus and her new activity guide to accompany The Reading Comprehension Blueprint has just been published.Nancy has also written the chapter, Working with Word Meaning: Vocabulary Instruction, in Multisensory Teaching of Basic Skills (4 th edition). While serving as a national trainer for Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling, she co- authored LETRS, Digging for Meaning: Teaching Text Comprehension (2 nd edition) with Dr. Louisa Moats.She is the past president of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and currently serves as the vice-president of the North Carolina Branch of IDA. In 2011, Nancy received the International Dyslexia Association’s Margaret Byrd Rawson Lifetime Achievement Award. She was recently honored with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s 2023 Impact Award.

Devin Kearns Headshot Image

From Letters to Sounds and Back Again: Reading and Writing Long Words

Student reading achievement improves when they learn strategies and patterns to help them read long words. In this session, I describe data-based strategies for reading and writing polysyllabic words.


Dr. Devin Kearns is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut (UConn). He researches reading disabilities—including dyslexia—in school-age children. His research focuses on developing reading instructional programs to support students with reading difficulty—with a focus on linking educational practice to cognitive science and neuroscience. Devin is a research scientist for the Center for Behavioral Education & Research at UConn and for Haskins Laboratories at Yale University. He collaborates with researchers in special education, neuroscience, and cognitive science. Devin and his colleagues examine the neurobiological change that occurs as students learn to read. They are also developing new reading interventions designed to help students read words better by teaching about their meanings. They examine how the interventions affects students’ academic outcomes and patterns of cognitive processing. Devin has seven years of classroom experience as a teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. He continues to help schools and districts implement high-quality reading instruction—including demonstrating how to implement evidence-based reading instruction.

Dr. Ken Pugh

25 Years In Search of the Literate Brain

Dr. Kenneth Pugh is a researcher at the Yale Child Study Center which recently merged with Haskins Laboratories where he was Director of Research. He holds academic appointments as a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, and as an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Yale University, and as an Associate Professor, Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale University School of Medicine. He served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the International Dyslexia Association for 15 years, and currently sits on the Scientific Advisory Panel for Dyslexia International in Paris, is a corresponding member of the Rodin Remediation Academy in Stockholm, a member of the Board of Visitors for the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Scientific Advisory Council for the Child Mind Institute in New York among others. Dr. Pugh served as a Member of the Language and Communications Study Section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and also served as a member of the “Committee on the Learning Sciences: Foundations and Applications to Adolescent and Adult Literacy” at the National Research Council of the National Academies. In 2017, Dr. Pugh received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) MERIT Award from the National Child Health and Human Development Council Award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions to science with sustained NIH funding. In May 2019 Dr. Pugh received an Honorary Doctorate degree in Psychology from the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. His research program falls primarily in two broad domains:  cognitive neuroscience and psycholinguistics. A fundamental interest continues to be research into the neurobiology of typical and atypical language and reading development in children.

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The Intersection of Reading and Writing

Monday, March 11, 2024

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