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ILA Announces Winners of William S. Gray Citation Merit, Other Awards at Annual Conference

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Jul 23, 2018
Nell K. Duke Award

The International Literacy Association (ILA) presented the William S. Gray Citation of Merit to Nell K. Duke, a professor in literacy, language, and culture and in the combined program in education and psychology at the University of Michigan, School of Education, this weekend at the ILA 2018 Conference in Austin, Texas.

The William S. Gray Citation of Merit, ILA's most prestigious award, is reserved for those ILA members who have made outstanding contributions to multiple facets of literacy development—research, theory, practice, and policy. A former member of ILA's Literacy Research Panel, Duke was recognized for her work on early literacy development, particularly among children of poverty, specifically in the development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development, and issues of equity and access in literacy education.

"William S. Gray was the first president of this organization and was a pivotal contributor to our knowledge of the reading process," said Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and past recipient of the William S. Gray Citation of Merit, who presented the award to Duke. "More than any other ILA award, this one is for lifetime achievement and a career of contributions."

Duke teaches preservice, inservice, and doctoral courses in literacy education; speaks and consults widely on literacy education; has served as coprincipal investigator on projects funded by Institute of Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and Lucas Education Research, among other organizations; and is the author and coauthor of numerous journal articles, book chapters and books, including Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-Based Instruction and Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent's Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills from Birth to 5

"I want to thank Tim [Shanahan] and the members of the committee and ILA," said Duke. "It's not really an award for me; it's an award for all the major collaborators I had the pleasure of working with over the years."

In addition, the Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award, given annually for a dissertation completed in reading or literacy, was presented to Elena E. Forzani, assistant professor in literacy education at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development. Her dissertation, How Well Can Students Evaluate Online Science Information? Contributions of Prior Knowledge, Gender, Socioeconomic Status, and Offline Reading Ability, investigated how well seventh-grade students evaluated the credibility of online information in science.

Other award highlights include:

  • The Corwin Literacy Leader Award was presented by ILA to Esmeralda Carini, literacy district educational specialist for the Winward District, Kailua-Kalaheo Complex Area, Hawaii Department of Education.
  • Julie Coiro, associate professor of reading at the University of Rhode Island, received the Erwin Zolt Digital Literacy Game Changer Award.
  • The Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award was presented to Sharon Walpole, professor at the School of Education at the University of Delaware.
  • Mark Conley, professor of instruction and curriculum leadership at the University of Memphis, TN, was the recipient of the inaugural Leaders Inspiring Readers Award, sponsored by Achieve 3000.
  • The Maryann Manning Special Service Award was presented to Diane Barone, foundation professor of literacy at the University of Nevada, Reno.
  • The Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant was awarded to Keith Garvert, a teacher at Highline Community School, Denver, CO.

The full list of award recipients can be found here.

Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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