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International Literacy Association Names Steve Graham Recipient of 2021 William S. Gray Citation Of Merit

ILA Staff
 | Jul 01, 2021
Steve Graham

The International Literacy Association (ILA) today announced the recipients of its 2021 awards and grants, including the William S. Gray Citation of Merit—ILA’s highest honor—which was awarded to Arizona State University’s (ASU) Steve Graham.

The William S. Gray Citation of Merit honors a nationally or internationally known individual for their outstanding contributions to multiple facets of literacy development—research, theory, practice, and policy. Past recipients have included P. David Pearson, Roger Farr, and Jeanne Chall.

Graham, an ILA member since 2007 and the Mary Emily Warner Professor in the Division of Educational Leadership at ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, is 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.

“The news that I was awarded the William S. Gray Citation of Merit came the way that news so often comes today—over the web, and in this case, through email. I looked once, and then a second time, and finally on the third look, I was literally dancing on the moon,” Graham said. “I learned to read with Dick and Jane books, which Gray played a part in developing, and I have always admired his careful and methodical approach to research and instruction. I am honored to be a member of the impactful group of scholars who previously received this recognition.”

Along with being a current member of ILA’s Literacy Research Panel, Graham is a frequent conference presenter and contributor to ILA’s journals. He is coauthor of the Handbook of Writing Research, Handbook of Learning Disabilities, Powerful Writing Strategies for All Students, and more. He is the former editor of several journals, including Exceptional Children, Journal of Writing Research, and the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Graham has also served as an advisor to a variety of organizations, including UNESCO, National Institutes of Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and National Writing Project. He was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2018.

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

Joining Graham in this year’s ILA awards and grants program are nine other educators and literacy leaders, including Yukie Toyama, University of California, Berkeley. Toyama received the Timothy & Cynthia Shanahan Outstanding Dissertation Award for her dissertation, “What Makes Reading Difficult? An Investigation of the Contribution of Passage, Task, and Reader Characteristics on Item Difficulty, Using Explanatory Item Response Models.”

Other award recipients include the following:

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

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