R. JOSEPH RODRIGUEZ is assistant professor of literacy and English teacher education in the Department of English at The University of Texas at El Paso. Previously, he was a lecturer in the College of Education and research associate in Learning Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. He has taught English and Spanish language arts at various levels in public schools, community colleges, and universities.
Joseph earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction (2001) from the University of Connecticut, a master’s in English (1999) from The University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s in modern languages and literatures (1997) from Kenyon College.
In 1997, Joseph joined the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and has gained research knowledge about English language arts and literacy education and ways to collaborate with educators, researchers, and families for student learning, understanding, and success. He is the recipient of the College Section Steering Committee Service Award (2015), CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence (2015), Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color Fellowship (2002–2004), Houston Mayor’s Hispanic Heritage Awards and Houston Dynamo Honoree in Education (2005).
Among his publications, Joseph’s research appears in the following: Exploring Teachers in Fiction and Film: Saviors, Scapegoats and Schoolmarms (2016), Applications of the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing: Scholarship, Theories, and Practices (2016), Democracy and Decency: What Does Education Have to Do with It? (2015), Pennsylvania Literary Journal (2014, 2015), Study & Scrutiny: Research in Young Adult Literature (2015), The Politics of Panem: Critical Perspectives on the Hunger Games (2014), SIGNAL Journal (Special Interest Group–Network on Adolescent Literature, ILA) (2014), Generation BULLIED 2.0: Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Our Most Vulnerable Students (2013), English Journal (2011), Notes on American Literature (2011), English Leadership Quarterly (2008), College Culture, Student Success: A Longman Topics Reader (2008), and Guide to College Reading (2003).
Joseph has been a peer reviewer for the following publications: Bilingual Research Journal (2012–2013), English Education (2007–2008), English Journal (2008–present), Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice (2015), and Research in the Teaching of English (2015). Moreover, he has served in various leadership positions within NCTE. In 2012, he joined the NCTE College Section Steering Committee and served a term as chair (2013–2015). From 2012 to 2013, he was chair of the LGBT Issues in Academic Studies Advisory Committee. In 2005, Joseph joined the Conference on English Leadership (CEL) and was elected member-at-large in 2010 and served a full term through 2013. In 2007, he was a member of the Task Force to Support and Advance Members of Color. He was chair of the Committee against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English (2006–2008). From 2005 to 2007, Joseph was a member of the Editorial Board. Other positions held within NCTE include membership in the Resolutions Committee (2004) and Secondary Section Nominating Committee (2006–2007). He was a member of the Task Force on Council History and 2011 (2009–2011) and Connected Community Leader (2010).
Joseph is active in the state affiliate Texas Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (TCTELA). He co-authored resolutions, which were adopted by NCTE members, on the following: student data privacy and security (2016), dignity and education of immigrant, undocumented, and unaccompanied youth (2015), diverse children’s and young adult books (2015), secondary school graduation rates (2007), and El día de los niños: El día de los libros/Children’s Day: Book Day (2006). In short, Joseph supports literacy education and research as well as family literacy in the academy, schools, and civic communities.
In his career, Joseph has maintained his interest in teaching and learning as well as academic support services. He was the director of assessment and accreditation services in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston (2008–2009) and director of the Language Acquisition Center (2003–2008). In 2009, Joseph served as the English language arts-reading content specialist for the 2012 Series GED Tests for the American Council of Education. In 2001, Joseph founded the East End Education Project, a non-profit organization to improve the academic opportunities for students and families through family literacy programs and higher education admission workshops in the greater East End area of Houston, Texas.
Joseph is motivated by the art of teaching and learning. He is a reader of diverse U.S. and world literatures. Some of his favorite authors and thinkers include Ai, Sherman Alexie, Wendell Berry, Richard Blanco, Sandra Cisneros, Lucille Clifton, Natalie Diaz, Dave Eggers, Rigoberto González, Nadine Gordimer, Ángeles Mastretta, Pat Mora, Mary Oliver, José Ortega y Gasset, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Alice Walker.
When he is not reading, teaching, or writing, Joseph enjoys cooking, hiking, kayaking, storytelling, and traveling. His favorite news sources include, but are not limited to, the BBC, The Guardian, Latino USA, The Nation, NPR, The New York Times, The Onion, The Progressive, Rethinking Schools, Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, and The Sun. He lives with the love of his life and their cantankerous canines in Texas.
[Photo credit: Lourdes Flores-Pritchard, The University of Texas at El Paso, 2014]