Spotlights

Jill Fitzgerald selected as 2013 AERA Fellow

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Jill Fitzgerald

Jill Fitzgerald, retired professor of literacy at the School of Education, has been selected as a 2013 Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, an honor given to top educational researchers.

Fitzgerald has been a leading researcher in the field of literacy for more than 30 years and has served the School of Education as senior associate dean and chief academic officer, director of graduate studies, and as interim dean. She maintains a research professor position at the School and serves as distinguished research scientist at MetaMetrics, a Durham-based firm that provides educational measurement products.

AERA selected 23 scholars as 2013 AERA Fellows. Those selected are being recognized for their exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings, AERA said in its announcement. The new Fellows will be inducted on April 28 during the AERA’s annual meeting in San Francisco. They join 534 current AERA Fellows.

Fitzgerald worked at the School of Education for 32 years before retiring in 2011. Fitzgerald is a prolific researcher who has published many scholarly articles in leading literacy journals, books and book chapters. Fitzgerald has also served her field of study, contributed service to various federal groups as a review panelist and presenter for bilingual and English-language learners' literacy issues, including the Office of Education's Office of Bilingual and Language Minorities Affairs and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

She’s been recognized for her work many times. In 2011, the International Reading Association inducted her into the Reading Hall of Fame, an honor that recognizes researchers who have made extraordinary contributions to theory and research in the study of literacy. In 1998, she received the AERA’s Outstanding Review of Research Award and, with colleague George Noblit, she received the 2000 International Reading Association’s Dina Feitelson Award for Research.

At MetaMetrics, Fitzgerald is continuing her research on literacy issues. She is part of a team of researchers investigating the characteristics of texts that make them more or less complex, a major issue in the new Common Core State Standards. She also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Educational Psychology, and is working with two colleagues on a second edition of “The Handbook of Writing Research.”