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Literacy Education Chairs

Dr. Cynthia Brock photoDr. Cynthia Brock, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Elementary Literacy Education (B.S. Elementary Education, minor Math Education, Oregon State University; M.Ed. in Reading & Language Arts, Washington State University; Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Focus: Literacy & English Learners, Michigan State University). 

Cynthia Brock is a professor at the University of Wyoming where she holds the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair in Elementary Literacy Education.  Dr. Brock’s scholarly research agenda centers on the study of opportunities-for-learning literacy.  Her various studies have explored children’s learning, pre- and in-service teachers’ learning in university classrooms as well as professional development contexts, and her and her colleagues’ learning.  She explores the literacy learning opportunities of elementary children from diverse cultural, linguistic and economic backgrounds, and she studies ways to work with pre- and in-service teachers to foster the literacy learning opportunities of children from non-dominant backgrounds.  She has conducted qualitative research in cross-cultural contexts including the United States, Australia, England, Fiji, Thailand, Laos, Spain, Chile and Costa Rica.  She has published her work in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Teaching and Teacher Education, The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Curriculum Inquiry, Urban Education, The Elementary School Journal, and Pedagogies:  An International Journal.  She has also published her work in numerous books and handbooks.  Dr. Brock has provided service at the local, state, national and international levels such as:  (1) Board member for the Literacy Research Association (LRA), Area Chair for LRA, and member of LRA’s Early Career Award Committee; (2) member of the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) Nominating Committee and ILA’s Research Grants Program; and (3) member of the National Council of Teachers of English’s (NCTE) Standing Committee on Research and member of NCTE’s Promising Researcher Award Committee.

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Dr. Leslie S. Rush, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Adolescent Literacy Education (B.S. History and English, East Texas State University; M.Ed. Reading Education, Texas A&M University - Commerce; Ph.D. Reading Education, University of Georgia).

Dr. Leslie S. Rush serves as Wyoming Excellence Chair in Literacy Education and is a professor in the College of Education at the University of Wyoming. Dr. Rush taught secondary school English for twelve years in locations including Uganda, East Africa; California; and Texas. She became a faculty member at the University of Wyoming in 2002, teaching courses in English teacher education and in literacy pedagogy and serving the college as an administrator from 2012-2021. Dr. Rush has published her scholarly work, which currently focuses on disciplinary literacy in English Language Arts, in journals such as Harvard Educational Review, Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Journal of College Reading and Learning, and Literacy Research and Instruction. Her co-authored book, Secondary English Education in the United States, was awarded the ELATE Richard A. Meade Award in 2018. During her time as a faculty member at the University of Wyoming, she received the Mary Ellbogen Garland Early Career Fellowship, the College of Education’s Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award, the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, and the Promoting Intellectual Engagement in the First Year (PIE) Award. A longtime member of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and its affiliate organization, English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE), Dr. Rush served as co-editor of the ELATE journal English Education and member of the ELATE Executive Committee from 2010-2015, and served a second term on the ELATE Executive Committee from 2016-2020. Dr. Rush is currently engaged in a variety of professional development, consulting, and other outreach work with school districts and teachers in Wyoming, including focusing on disciplinary literacy, vocabulary, and writing instruction.

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