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ILA Announces Winners of William S. Gray Citation of Merit, Other Awards

By Alina O'Donnell
 | Aug 28, 2019
reutzel-ld

The International Literacy Association (ILA) today presented the William S. Gray Citation of Merit to D. Ray Reutzel, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Wyoming. ILA's most prestigious award, the William S. Gray Citation of Merit honors a nationally or internationally known individual for his or her outstanding contributions to the field of reading/literacy.

An ILA member since 1982, Reutzel is a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association (now the International Literacy Association) 2007–2010, past president (2017–2019) of the Reading Hall of Fame, former coeditor of The Reading Teacher and a current member of ILA’s Literacy Research Panel.

“Reutzel has been a consistent and influential voice for teacher preparation reform, evidence-based reading instruction and educational equity. His work has been vital in protecting the rights of all children to learn—and love—to read and write proficiently,” said ILA Executive Director Marcie Craig Post. “We’re thrilled to recognize his important contributions to ILA and to the literacy community at large.”

Before joining the University of Wyoming, Reutzel was the Emma Eccles Jones Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Early Literacy Education at Utah State University for 14 years. He has authored more than 230 research reports published in leading psychology and education research and professional journals, articles, books, book chapters and monographs as well as the best-selling textbook, Teaching Children to Read: The Teacher Makes the Difference (Pearson Education). To date, he has received more than $17 million in research and program development grant funding.

In addition, the Timothy & Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award, given annually for a dissertation completed in reading or literacy, was presented to Courtney Hattan, assistant professor of Elementary Literacy at Illinois State University. Her dissertation for the University of Maryland, College Park, Prompting Rural Students’ Use of Background Knowledge and Experience to Support Comprehension of Unfamiliar Content, investigated the effectiveness of traditional (mobilization) and novel (relational reasoning) techniques for activating students’ background knowledge.

Other award highlights include:

  • The Corwin Literacy Leader Award, presented by ILA to Stacia Lewis, director of Elementary Education for Sevier County, Tennessee
  • The Erwin Zolt Digital Literacy Game Changer Award, presented to Margaret Hawkins, professor at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • The Jerry Johns Outstanding Teacher Educator in Reading Award, presented to Amy McClure, Rodefer Professor of Education, chair of the Education Department and director of the University Honors Program at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio
  • The Leaders Inspiring Readers Award, sponsored by Achieve 3000, presented to Jan Wasowicz, founder, president and chief learning officer of Learning by Design, Evanston, Illinois
  • The Maryann Manning Special Service Award, presented to Tilka Jamnik, head and national coordinator of activities at the Centre for Youth Literature and Librarianship, Slovenia
  • The Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant, awarded to Kelly Palomeque, teacher at Riverside Elementary School, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

The full list of awards/grants and recipients can be found here.

Alina O'Donnell is the communications strategist at ILA and the editor of Literacy Daily.

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