Faculty accolades, July 21


Erik Ketcherside

Steve Graham, Mary Emily Warner Professor of Education, is the 2021 recipient of the William S. Gray Citation of Merit from the International Literacy Association. The Gray Citation is the ILA’s highest honor, recognizing nationally or internationally known individuals for outstanding contributions to research, theory, practice and policy in literacy development.

Steve Graham

“The ILA is the foremost literacy association for reading and writing professionals in the world,” Graham says. “Winning their premier award for scholarship is an incredible honor, especially given the impactful work done by those who have won the Gray award in the past. I am still smiling, and I will continue to do so everytime I think of this honor.”

Making the announcement, the ILA praised Graham as “... a leading expert on the educational psychology of writing and the connections between reading and writing. His research, spanning over 30 years, focuses on identifying the factors that contribute to writing development and difficulties, developing and validating effective instructional procedures for teaching writing, and the use of technology to enhance writing performance.”

Graham told the ILA that when he learned he was the 2021 recipient via email he was “... dancing on the moon. I learned to read with Dick and Jane books, which [William] Gray played a part in developing, and I have always admired his careful and methodical approach to research and instruction.”

Marcie Craig Post, ILA executive director, said, “Steve’s work is influencing veteran and emerging scholars, classroom teachers and school administrators, policymakers and legislators. We are thankful for his service to our organization and the field, and we are honored to present him with this award.”

Graham is coauthor of the “Handbook of Writing Research,” “Handbook of Learning Disabilities” and “Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students,” and has been the editor of several journals, including Exceptional Children, Journal of Writing Research and the Journal of Educational Psychology. Graham has been an advisor on literacy to UNESCO, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the National Writing Project. Graham was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2018.


Nicole Thompson, vice dean of the Division of Teacher Preparation

Professor Nicole Thompson was named vice dean of the division of teacher preparation for 2021–22. Thompson became director of that division in 2018, coming to MLFTC from the University of Memphis, where she was an associate professor and a Dean’s Fellow in the College of Education. Her research interests include teacher preparation, American Indian education and reform in education. Thompson is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and the Native Children’s Research Exchange and Tribal Early Childhood Research Center.


Elisabeth Gee, associate dean pro temp of faculty systems

Elisabeth Gee will be associate dean pro temp of faculty systems for 2021–22. A professor, Gee holds the Delbert and Jewell Lewis Chair in reading and literacy and an affiliate faculty appointment in ASU’s Department of English. She is also co-director of Play2Connect, a service-oriented research and outreach project to promote intergenerational game play as a means of enhancing learning and positive family relationships. Gee was named a 2011 White House Champion of Change for her work on using games and digital media to engage girls in computing.