As a professional and scholar I conscientiously and actively pursue professional activities in order to keep myself current with issues and concerns surrounding reading and language arts, maintain and expand professional relationships with colleagues in my discipline and other related disciplines, continue to be a relevant and productive contributor to my discipline and other related disciplines, and to add visibility to my department, school, and university.
Among my professional affiliations include: National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), National Reading Conference (NRC), International Reading Association (IRA), Connecticut Association for Reading Research (CARR), New England Reading Association (NERA), Phi Delta Kappa, CCSU Chapter (PDK), and the Center for Expansion of Language and Thinking (CELT). I am also active in the Connecticut Literacy Think Tank, a consortium of professional educators who are either directly or indirectly involved in reading and language arts from the State of Connecticut, i.e., Central Connecticut State University, Southern Connecticut State University, Western Connecticut State University, Eastern Connecticut State University, St. Joseph’s College, University of Hartford, University of Bridgeport, University of Connecticut, and the State Department of Education/Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction. The Think Tank committee serves as a consulting/advisory body to the Connecticut Association for Reading Research and the Connecticut Reading Association on issues that impact on curriculum and instruction, and assessments in reading and language arts in the state of Connecticut. I also served as Publication Chair and Editor for the Connecticut Association for Reading Research (CARR). CARR is a professional organization dedicated to the enhancement and improvement of professional development of reading and language arts educators in Connecticut. It advocates leadership in support of research, policy and practice that improves reading instruction and supports the best interests of all learners and reading professionals. It also encourages and supports research at all levels of reading and language arts education to promote informed decision making by reading professionals, policy makers, and the public. Through CARR, our graduate students in reading and language arts have received scholarships and research awards. Additionally, I am Treasurer and Chair of the Membership Committee of the Phi Delta Kappa, CCSU Chapter. PDK is an international professional association in education designed to stimulate the professional growth of members and to deal with current problems and issues related to public education. My appointment to the State of Connecticut Task Force for helping struggling readers in Connecticut grades four to nine is beneficial to our department particularly in informing our curriculum and instruction in the clinical sequence—diagnosis and remediation in reading and language arts.
I have always been passionate and committed to working with teachers in classroom practice as well as parents in supporting their children’s literacy learning through professional development programs. I facilitated a series of Annual Parent University Collaborative Professional Development Project in the New Britain Consolidated Schools (2007, 2008 & 2009).
Recently, I have been invited to serve on the Board of the New Britain Grade-Level Reading Campaign, a funded program in collaboration with the Annie E. Casey Grade Level Reading Campaign, the Connecticut Center for School Change, the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and the Connecticut Department of Education to ensure that all students in New Britain are reading at grade level by the end of grade 3, and the Welcome to My World Autism-a support group for parents with children with autism. Serving on executive boards allows me to influence policies or decisions that impact student learning.