About Us: Center Leadership
Dr. Dole is a Professor in the Department of Teaching & Learning and the Director of the Utah Center for Reading and Literacy (UCRL). Dr. Dole's university experience includes positions held at the University of Denver, the Center for the Study of Reading at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Michigan State University. She has published widely in the areas of comprehension instruction and conceptual change learning and more recently in professional development and school reform. Her publications include articles in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Review of Educational Research, The Elementary School Journal and Reading and Writing Quarterly. She is also co-author of the recently published book, Adolescent Literacy: Research to practice. From 1992-2002, Dr. Dole served as a member of the reading development panel for the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). She also was a panel member of the RAND Reading Study Group on reading comprehension. In addition, Dr. Dole is currently a National Reading First consultant on comprehension instruction. She also has served on national review panels for the Institute of Educational Services (IES) and the National Institute of Child and Human Development. Finally, Dr. Dole is currently serving on the Committee on the Study of Teacher Preparation Programs for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
In 1996, Dr. Dole began to conduct research on school reform in reading and professional development in high-poverty schools. She co-authored Utah's Reading Excellence Act (REA) and Utah’s Reading First for the USOE and was project co-coordinator as well as state technical assistant for the REA grant from 1999 - 2001. Thereafter, along with two colleagues in special education at the University of Utah, Dr. Dole became co-principal investigator on the evaluation of Utah's Reading First grant. Additionally, Dr. Dole is an investigator with Mathematica on a four-year IES national study of the effectiveness of comprehension interventions in fifth-grade high-poverty classrooms throughout the U.S. Finally, Dr. Dole is co-principal investigator on an IES research grant to develop a teacher knowledge assessment of reading and writing.
Kathleen J. Brown
Dr. Kathleen J. Brown is Director of the University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) in the College of Education. Her scholarly interests include the development of educators’ conceptual frameworks for teaching at-risk and struggling readers, and the development of intervention models to meet the needs of struggling readers from diverse backgrounds. Since 1999, Dr. Brown has led intervention clinical practica for over 700 Utah educators. In 1997, Dr. Brown received the University of Utah Graduate School of Education Teaching Award in recognition of her contribution to university teaching. Her work has been published in a number of scholarly journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Literacy Research, and The Reading Teacher.
Dr. Cook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, the Training Director: Learning Sciences, and the Training Director: Master of Statistics. Her primary research interest is in the cognitive processes involved in reading comprehension. Her research focuses on how readers retrieve information from long-term memory (either from general world knowledge or from a memory representation of a text) during reading, and the factors that affect this reactivation process. In current research, she is investigating the role that general world knowledge plays in reading and how this interacts with information presented in a text. This interaction of general world knowledge and context can occur at the lexical level, the sentence level, and the discourse level. She is also interested in the inferences that people draw when reading. For example, how do we make predictions during reading about "what happens next" in a text, and what factors govern whether we will make those predictions? Research in our university lab has demonstrated that although readers may activate inferences, they may not always be relevant to the situation described in the text, and they may not always be instantiated in memory. Her research is conducted by measuring reading and reaction times to sentences and probe words to measure activation levels of specific concepts. She also use eye tracking measures to examine reading processes on a finer level.
More recently, she has become interested in applying theoretical and methodological approaches from cognitive psychology to research on children with autism, and to the detection of deception. Although these research areas are very different, they both benefit from the application of technology that can be used to investigate cognitive processes without requiring direct interaction with a participant during testing. Although eye tracking research is relatively new to both of these areas, it offers great promise for refining and expanding research in the field(s). The Reading Lab in the Educational Psychology Department houses an Applied Sciences Laboratory head-mounted Eye Tracker.
Dr. Hacker is a Professor and the Chair of the Department of Teaching and Learning and Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at The University of Utah. Dr. Hacker received his Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Washington, and from 1994 to 1999 was an assistant/associate professor in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Research at The University of Memphis. Dr. Hacker studied writing processes with Earl Butterfield and Deborah McCutchen at the University of Washington, and his current research interests include writing and reading processes, metacognition, self-regulated learning, and school/program evaluation. His current research agenda is focused on the investigation of the psychology of writing, and he has developed a new methodology for the study of writing that uses eye-tracking technology. This methodology permits an online analysis of writing. In addition, Dr. Hacker is actively engaged in the investigation of metacognition. His current studies are focused on test preparedness and the self-regulation of test preparedness behaviors. He also is currently editing a book entitled The Handbook of Metacognition in Education, which will be available early 2009.
Lauren Aimonette Liang
Lauren Aimonette Liang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Utah. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota where she was a Guy Bond Fellow in Reading Education. She also holds a M.A. in Cognition and Development from the University of California-Berkeley. Dr. Liang’s dissertation “Using Scaffolding to Foster Middle School Students’ Comprehension of and Response to Short Stories” received the 2005 American Educational Research Association’s Middle-Level Education Research Graduate Student Award. Her research and teaching focuses on three areas in literacy: (1) reading comprehension instruction, particularly on learning from individual texts, (2) children’s and adolescent literature, and (3) reading in the middle grades. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, and Reading Psychology. Dr. Liang serves on committees and editorial boards for local, national, and international reading organizations, and also reviews children's literature for The Horn Book Guide, The Five Owls, and other publications. Prior to her university work, she taught in elementary and middle schools.
Emily Anderson Swan is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Utah. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1998. Dr. Swan's research and teaching interests focus on engaging readers! Her areas of expertise are comprehension of text and engagement in reading. She teaches teachers at all grade levels how to create engaging classrooms through research-based best instructional practices and research-based motivational principles so that students gain deep, conceptual knowledge of content. Dr. Swan’s work has included local and national professional development of teachers, school reform, teacher academies, and research with students in grades 1-9. She is a nationally recognized author and consultant. Her book, Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI): Engaging Classrooms, Lifelong Learners, was published in 2003. She is currently editing a new book based on the effectiveness of Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI) for middle school students. Dr. Swan is also a Co-PI on a middle school grant in Salt Lake City School District. The focus of this grant is to increase students’ comprehension of texts, engagement in reading, and academic achievement in reading for English Language Learners through Concept-Oriented Reading Instruction (CORI-ELL). Dr. Swan has received outstanding teaching awards from both the College of Education and the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU). She is a former classroom teacher.