Who We Are
Who We Are
SIG Officers
Dianna Townsend


University of Nevada, Reno

Dr. Townsend's research centers on the academic language development of adolescent students, with specific attention to vocabulary, comprehension, and disciplinary literacy. She examines both the unique academic language demands of the disciplines and effective instructional strategies to help students understand and use academic language in and across academic disciplines. Her current project, funded by the Spencer Foundation, is an intervention comparing how different types of background knowledge and academic language scaffolding impact the reading comprehension of multilingual adolescents. Dr. Townsend's work has been published in Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Topics in Language Disorders, as well as in other journals and multiple books. Dr. Townsend is a Tibbetts Distinguished Teacher Award Winner. She created the innovative Virtual Reading Clinic in the online M.Ed. Program in Reading Curriculum & Instruction to support remote and rural teachers in a graduate-level practicum experience.


Amy Crosson

Program Chair 

Pennsylvania State University

Amy Crosson holds an Ed.D. in language and literacy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where her dissertation was funded by an Adolescent Literacy Fellowship from the National Academy Education.  Crosson’s research focuses on classroom-based interventions to support the academic language development of elementary and middle school students in urban schools, with special attention to academic vocabulary, discussion quality, and argument writing.  In particular, she focuses on the language and literacy development of English Language Learners. Crosson is currently studying how students’ source language resources can be leveraged to promote academic language and literacy in English.


Susan Chambre

Program Chair Advisor

Marist College

Susan J. Chambre joined the Marist community after completing her PhD at Fordham University in 2018. She holds an MSEd in Special Education from Hunter College and a Post-Master’s Reading Certificate from Fordham University. Before receiving her PhD, Dr. Chambre taught for over a decade in urban and suburban elementary schools as a special education teacher, teacher-trainer, and literacy coach. A self-proclaimed word geek, her research focuses on the effects of print exposure, specifically decoding, on early readers’ vocabulary learning. With an overarching goal of supporting student of all abilities, Dr. Chambre works to understand the interplay of language, cognition, and vocabulary development to enhance student achievement. Dr. Chambre has presented her research at national conferences and published in Reading & Writing. She also enjoys teaching literacy courses that draw on her expertise of the science of reading, particularly as it relates to students who struggle to read.  Dr. Chambre enjoys supporting Marists’ teacher candidates as they prepare to educate the ever-increasing diverse student populations in today’s public schools.


Molly Fuller Collins


Vanderbilt University

Blythe Anderson

Blythe Anderson

Program Chair Elect

University of Buffalo, SUNY

Blythe E. Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Literacy Education in the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo. Dr. Anderson earned her PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from Michigan State University, specializing in Language and Literacy Education. A former first-grade teacher and district literacy coordinator, her research focuses on instructional practices, professional development, and curriculum that promote oral language and vocabulary development—especially in contexts outside of literacy instruction. Specifically, she’s interested in generative approaches to vocabulary instruction that promote curiosity for and interest in words and support students with developing tools for independent word learning.

Janna McClain

Newsletter Editor

Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Janna McClain is assistant professor of Elementary and Special Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Having spent nearly a decade teaching language in K-12 public school settings, Dr. McClain’s research focuses on preparing teachers to meet the increasing linguistic demands of the classroom, both in terms of honoring the diverse linguistic backgrounds of students as well as supporting student access to the language of school.


Young (Young-Suk) Grace Kim

Chair Elect

University of California, Irvine

Young-Suk Grace Kim, Ed.D., is a professor and senior associated dean at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ed.D. at Harvard University in Human Development and Psychology with a concentration on Language and Literacy, and a minor concentration on Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education. She was a former classroom teacher in San Francisco, California. Dr. Kim’s primary research areas include development of language, cognition, and literacy skills and instruction across languages and writing systems, including dyslexia and dysgraphia. Her work includes reading comprehension, reading fluency, listening comprehension, academic language, higher order cognitive skills, written composition for English-speaking children, Dual Language Learners, English learners, and children learning to read other languages (e.g., Korean, Spanish, Chinese). Her research has been supported by the Institute of Education Science, U. S. Department of Education, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the National Science Foundation. She is the Editor-In-Chief for the journal, Scientific Studies of Reading.

Julian Levine


University of California, Berkeley


Julian Levine is a master's student at UC Berkeley GSE, interested in research pertaining to second language acquisition, vocabulary acquisition, vocabulary assessment, and reading comprehension. He completed his undergraduate degree in economics at UC San Diego (with a minor in psychology). After that, he spent a few years working as an English instructor in Seoul, and volunteering with TNKR (Teach North Korean Refugees). He has studied several languages (Korean, Japanese, Spanish, et al.) to varying degrees of proficiency and is interested in helping others to learn languages in an efficient and enjoyable manner. He currently works as a math tutor at the Athletic Study Center at UC Berkeley. In his free time, in collaboration with his brother, he produces animated music videos for kids (EnglishLearningSongs.com).

Previous Chairs

2018-2019 Tanya Wright

2016-2017 Kathy Ganske

2015 Anita Hernandez

2012-2013-2014 Guy Trainen

2010-2011 Lori Helman


Nominations and Elections Committee

Notable Vocabulary Researcher Award Committee

Student Vocabulary Paper Committee

Proposal Reviewers

Structure & Governance
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