Faculty News

Leigh Hall wins Outstanding Dissertation Award from International Reading Association

Leigh Hall, assistant professor of literacy studies, has won the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association (IRA) for her dissertation titled Anything But Lazy: New Understandings About Struggling Readers, Teaching and Text. The award will be presented at the IRA annual convention in Chicago in May 2006. It carries a $1,000 prize.

Hall joined the School of Education faculty in the fall of 2005. In addition to completing a Ph.D. at Michigan State University in 2005, she earned a Master of Education degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Florida. 

While pursuing her doctoral degree, Hall won both national and university awards, including a Spencer Research Training Grant in 2002 and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship in 2005.

Her interest in struggling adolescent readers stems from her middle school teaching experience in Houston, Texas.

At the School of Education, Hall is investigating how to help teachers become aware of the influences students bring to school and learn to deal with those influences productively.

In addition to pursuing her research, Hall is teaching language arts methods to elementary education majors. She emphasizes socio-cultural theory, including how students’ cultural backgrounds impact their learning styles and response patterns.

The IRA was founded in 1956 as a professional organization for those involved in teaching reading to learners of all ages. It has thousands of members from around the world.