Awards & Grants

ILA Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award

This is an award given annually for a dissertation completed in reading or literacy. Summaries of winning dissertations are published each year in Reading Research Quarterly. Dissertations in reading or related fields are eligible for the competition. Studies using any research approach (ethnographic, experimental, historical, survey, etc.) are encouraged. Each study is assessed in the light of this approach, the scholarly qualification of its report, and its significant contributions to knowledge within the reading field. Dissertations completed between May 15, 2016, and May 14, 2017, are eligible for the 2018 award year. Applicants must be ILA members.

Sponsored by Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan

Deadline: January 15



Recent recipients


Laura Northrop

Laura Northrop, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH
Breaking the Cycle: Cumulative Disadvantage in Literacy
Completed dissertation for the University of Pittsburgh
Chaired by Sean P. Kelly



Julie Learned, University at Albany, State University of New York
"Feeling Like I'm Slow Because I'm in This Class": Secondary School Contexts and the Identification and Construction of Struggling Readers


Meghan Liebfreund, Towson University
Success with Informational Text Comprehension: An Examination of Underlying Factors


Mary Amanda (Mandy) Stewart, Texas Woman's University
Social Networking, Workplace, and Entertainment Literacies: The Out-of-School Literate Lives of Newcomer Latina/o Adolescents


Byeong-Young Cho, University of Maryland
Adolescents' Constructively Responsive Reading Strategy Use in a Critical Internet Reading Task

For additional information, contact