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2016 WLU Summer Institute

Keynote Speakers - Previous Revision


Speaker is Associate Professor and Chair, Reading/Writing/Literacy at the University of PA Graduate School of Education. He was a full-time classroom teacher in Houston, Puerto Rico, and California and has worked with adult English language learners in North Philadelphia. Throughout his scholarship and teaching, he has been committed to creating opportunities for students to mobilize their identities and rich cultural resources in the elementary literacy curriculum. Gerald’s recent work has involved collaborating in university-school partnerships that focus on literacy, engagement, and equity. He has garnered numerous teaching awards at the elementary and university level including a Carnegie Scholar and the NCTE David H. Russell Research Award.

Gerald's works include Secondary School Literacy, Immigrant Students and Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Remembering, and Literacy Tools in the Classroom: Teaching Through Critical Inquiry, Grades 5-12.  His journal articles have apeared in Language Arts and Talking Points.



David Diaz has been an illustrator and graphic designer for more than twenty-five years. Díaz discovered his love for drawing when he was in the first grade while working on a vowel worksheet. He used drawing as a way for an emotional output coping from the tragic death of his mother when he was sixteen years old. In high school, Díaz had an inspiring teacher that lead him to competitions where he won awards for his art. Following graduation from Ft. Lauderdale Art Institute, Diaz moved to southern California, where he worked in graphic design firms until establishing his own design and illustration business, Diaz Icon.

Diaz gradually began to turn down design projects in favor of illustration assignments. His first picture book,Smoky Night by Eve Bunting, was awarded the 1995 Caldecott Medal. His children’s book illustrations have earned him many honors and awards. He has illustrated the Newbery Medal winner, The Wanderer by Sharon Creech, The Gospel Cinderella by Joyce Carol Oates, Angel Face by Sarah Weeks, and Little Scarecrow’s Boy by Margaret Wise Brown, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. His bold, stylized work has appeared in editorials for national publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Learn more about David from the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature website.



Kathy ShortKathy Short teaches in the Language, Reading, and Culture program at the University of Arizona, Tucson, and works with graduate teaching assistants on a children’s literature course that is taken by preservice teachers in elementary and early childhood education. Currently director of World of Words, an initiative focused on encouraging thoughtful dialogue around children’s literature to build bridges across global cultures, Short serves on the Notable Books for a Global Society Award Committee as well as the editorial boards of Language Arts, Reading Research Quarterly, and Literary Research Association (NRC) Yearbook. 

The 2011 NCTE Outstanding Educator in the Language Arts has a long history with the National Council of Teachers of English. She has held positions on NCTE’s Executive Committee, Commission on Curriculum, and Study Group and Teleconference Project. The former elementary classroom teacher also served as chair of NCTE’s Elementary Section Steering Committee. 

“NCTE has always been my professional home, the place where I replenish my spirit and focus as an educator,” Kathy Short says. “NCTE has taken a leadership role in the public debates about literacy and language in schools and universities. Through dialogue between the communities within NCTE as well as with other professional organizations and public groups, we can develop new possibilities and relationships to make literacy more accessible for all students. Our work together is rooted in the life shared by teachers and students in classrooms and in a shared goal of creating literate, critically-conscious global citizens.” 


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