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2016 WLU Summer Institute

Keynote Speakers

Thursday, July 14

Mitali PerkinsMitali Perkins has written many novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association's Top Ten Novels for Young Adults, starred in Publishers Weekly as "a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.") Her newest novel, Tiger Boy, is a Junior Library Guild selection and 2016 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book. Perkins was born in Kolkata, India, before immigrating to the United States with her family. She has lived in Bangladesh, India, England, Thailand, Mexico, Cameroon, and Ghana. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and sons.

See more about Mitali and her work at

Mitali Perkins will speak during the Opening Session on Thursday evening from 7:00-9:00 p.m. 

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Friday, July 15

Korina Jocson is on the faculty in the College of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Central to her work are arts-informed sociocultural approaches that examine youth literacies and issues of equity and inclusion, particularly among historically marginalized youth. Recent studies have focused on the intersection of literary and media arts, information and communication technologies, and school-community connections as a way to understand (and further enable) culturally responsive pedagogies across educational settings. Dr. Jocson is the author of Youth Poets: Empowering Literacies In and Out of Schools (Peter Lang, 2008) and editor of Cultural Transformations: Youth and Pedagogies of Possibility (Harvard Education Press, 2013). Other publications have appeared in Curriculum Inquiry, Teachers College Record, Urban Education, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and English Education. She is a former high school teacher and coach in Los Angeles and has since collaborated with a number of educators and cultural workers in various cities to support youth's academic, career, and life trajectories. Korina Jocson received her PhD in Education in the area of Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Korina Jocson will speak Friday morning from 8:30-9:30 a.m.


Friday, July 15

Alexander CuencaAlexander Cuenca is Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education in the Department of Education at Saint Louis University. He taught middle school social studies in Miami, Florida before earning his Ph.D. in Social Studies Education from the University of Georgia. His research examines social studies teaching and learning, teacher learning during the student teaching experience, and the pedagogy of teacher education.

Most recently, Dr. Cuenca's work has focused on examining ways to leverage the professional preparation of social studies teachers to address issues of socioeconomic inequality. Dr. Cuenca is co-editor of the forthcoming book, Rethinking Social Studies Teacher Education for 21st Century Citizenship. He is an active member of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Educational Research Association.

Alexander Cuenca will be the featured speaker at the Friday Luncheon from 1:00-2:15 p.m.


Saturday, July 16

Anne Haas Dyson is a former teacher of young children and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. Among her previous appointments was as a longtime professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award. She has spent over 35 years studying the childhood cultures and literacy learning of young schoolchildren, for which she has received numerous awards. Dyson aims, first, to bring respect and intellectual attention to childhood cultures and their relationship to school learning. Young children do not participate in school because they are concerned about the national economy, international competition, or climbing a ladder to academic accolades from a grateful nation. They desire to make sense of their world and to gain companionship in what can be a confusing world. Second, she aims to document the diversity of resources (languages, popular culture texts, semiotic tools, everyday experiences) our diverse school children bring with them with which to participate intellectually and socially in school, especially in written language development. Her newest publications are ReWRITING the Basics: Literacy Learning in Children’s Cultures (2013) which won the 2015 NCTE David H. Russell Award and Child Cultures, Schooling, and Literacy: Global Perspectives on Children Composing their Lives (2016).

Anne Haas Dyson will speak on Saturday morning from 8:30-9:15 p.m.

"A Conversation with Anne Haas Dyson and Celia Genishi"


Saturday, July 16

Donalyn MillerDonalyn Miller has taught upper elementary and middle school students in northeast Texas and was a finalist for 2010 Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is the author of several books about engaging children with reading, including The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. MIller is the cofounder of the popular blog
The Nerdy Book Club and cohosts the monthly Twitter chat #titletalk. Her articles about teaching and reading have appeared in publications such as Education Week Teacher, The Reading Teacher, Educational Leadership, Horn Book, and the Washington Post.

See more about her work at

Donalyn Miller will speak at the Closing Session on Saturday afternoon from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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