Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD, holds the Cecil "Pete" Taylor Endowed Professor of Literacy, Leadership, and Urban Education
– School of Education – Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, is Director of the LSU Writing Project and Coordinator of the PhD program in Educational Leadership.
Her research agenda focuses broadly on literacy issues in urban settings.
Sulentic Dowell is a career educator, a National Board Certified Teacher, and fierce public education advocate, spending the majority of her 20-year public school teaching experience in the Waterloo, Iowa, Community Schools, but also possessing experience in northern Minnesota and southern
She most recently served public education as Assistant Superintendent, supervising 64 elementary campuses in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Louisiana (2002-2006).
In her 16 years at LSU-Baton Rouge, Sulentic Dowell has published widely has been nationally recognized for scholarship and teaching; she was awarded the “Light Up for Literacy” Award, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (2019).
Her most recent book, coauthored with this team of Saal, Dicarlo, and Willingham is Productivity and Publishing: Writing processes for new scholars and researchers, published by SAGE.
Leah Katherine Saal, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Co-director of Literacy Graduate Programs at Loyola University Maryland.
She teaches graduate courses in literacy education, educational research, and program evaluation.
Saal is informed by her ongoing experiences teaching with and learning from families, adults, and communities in and out of school settings in urban areas.
Saal’s engaged scholarly agenda focuses on the intersection of literacy and social justice with a community literacy lens.
Community literacy is fraught with complexities and encompassing of multiple and evolving dimensions of diversity, including home literacies, social class, (dis)ability, identity, and race.
As a mixed methodologist, she uses quantitative and qualitative methods and a Freirean pedagogical stance to attempt to rigorously answer complex questions.
Her research includes two dovetailing strands.
In the first strand of her research, Saal focuses on the literacy skills and practices of adults and older students in and out of school settings.
In the second strand of her research, she investigates the preparation and support of literacy educator-leaders to work for social justice.
Cynthia Fontcuberta DiCarlo, PhD, holds the W.H.
“Bill” LeBlanc LSU Alumni Association Departmental Endowed Professorship of Early Childhood Education and is the Executive Director of the Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool at LSU.
DiCarlo also serves as the Coordinator of the Early Childhood Education Teacher Education Program and her research focuses on interventions to improve outcomes for young children and clarification and innovations in recommended practices in early childhood.
Prior to joining LSU in 2004, she was a Clinical Assistant Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center (New Orleans).
DiCarlo has been recognized for her research, teaching and service; her research on children's attention during whole group instruction received the 2012 Research Paper of the Year from the Journal of Research in Childhood Education.
DiCarlo has incorporated her passion for research into the courses she teaches and her work in mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.
She currently serves on the editorial boards for Infants & Young Children and for the Journal of Teacher Action Research.
Willingham, Ph.D., is the Interim Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Mary Baldwin University and Dean for the College of Education.
Prior to her arrival at Mary Baldwin she served in various roles at St.
Norbert College, in De Pere Wisconsin including Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Assistant Academic Dean, and Chair of Curriculum and Program Development for Teacher Education.
Willingham began her career as a Teach For America Corps member.
She served as a classroom teacher and various administrative roles within K-12 teacher development.
These experiences have informed and shaped her leadership focus, which is deeply grounded in relationship building and servant leadership.
Willingham is an interdisciplinary literacy scholar whose research focuses on working with the community to create change in classrooms to benefit the literacy development of BIPOC students.
Her research is specific to literacy development within the context of teacher development, inclusive classroom culture, culturally relevant curriculum, service-learning, and literacy assessment and intervention.
Employing qualitative methods, she explores the intersection of literacy practices in the classroom and teacher development.
Willingham’s research agenda is informed by her experiences as a teacher in urban and rural contexts.
She is the author and co-author of several books and journal articles.