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ReadOregon - Faculty

Dolores Johnston, MA, is a library media specialist in the West Linn/Wilsonville School District. She manages technology in her school and collaborates with teachers to integrate technology and information skills and literature into the curriculum.

Susan Lenski, EdD, is a professor in the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, where she teaches graduate courses in reading, writing, and language arts. She brings 20 years of experience as a public school teacher to her work as a professor. Dr. Lenski is a popular speaker for professional development programs and has consulted in the United States, Canada, Panama, and Guatemala. She has been recognized for her work by a variety of organizations, including the International Reading Association, the Illinois Reading Hall of Fame, and Illinois State University. Dr. Lenski has authored 11 books, including Improving Reading: Strategies and Resources (with Jerry L. Johns), and has published over 65 articles in state and national journals. Her research interests include incorporating reading and writing strategies into classroom practice, content area reading, and preparing culturally responsive teachers. She also volunteers as a consultant in Latin America and is currently co-authoring a book for Spanish-speaking students that will be sold in the United States and a book  for Spanish-speaking teachers that will be sold in Latin America.

Gregory Lum, MLS, has been in education as a classroom teacher or school librarian since 1983 and has taught all levels from kindergarten to adult computer courses.  He earned a B.S. in elementary education from Oregon State University and an M.L.S. from Vanderbilt University. Professionally, he has served on the board and/or committees for the Oregon Association of School Libraries, the American Library Association, the American Association of School Librarians, and the Young Adult Library Services Association. Gregory also reviews books for School Library Journal. Currently, he is the library director at Jesuit High School in Portland.  

Dot McElhone, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction.  She teaches courses on elementary literacy instructional methods, assessing and instructing struggling elementary readers, paradigms of research, and children's literature.  Dr. McElhone earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Teacher Education with a focus on literacy at Stanford University in 2009. She won a National Academy of Education/Carnegie fellowship to support her dissertation research, which explored relationships between patterns of teacher talk and student reading engagement and achievement. She is currently researching an approach to helping teachers improve classroom talk through examination of video and the use of conceptual tools for analyzing discourse. Dr. McElhone earned her teaching credential at Vanderbilt University, served as an AmeriCorps member in a rural elementary school, and taught for several years in Oregon before pursuing her doctorate. She is a board member for the Portland Reading Council

Leanne Moll, MA has worked as a high school and middle school language arts teacher, a reading teacher, a writing coach, a literacy curriculum developer, and a college writing instructor. Prior to her career in education, Leanne was a PhD Candidate and college instructor in musicology and comparative literature. Currently, Leanne teaches English and works as a Learning Specialist focusing on adolescent literacy at Catlin Gabel School,  and teaches literacy courses through ReadOregon. She earned a BA from Mills College, an MA in musicology from Cornell University, and an MAT from Lewis & Clark College. Leanne completed her ReadOregon Reading Endorsement in 2011.

Rebecca Olien, MET, spent 18 years in elementary education and 9 years in adult education and online course design. She has developed and authored educational materials and coordinated programs for various art and sciences museums. She earned her BS at Michigan State, her MA at the University of Wisconsin. and her MET at Boise State.

Barbara Ruben, EdD, Associate Professor, PSU Graduate School of Education,  works with  teacher candidates in the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), the Secondary Dual Educator Program (SDEP), and the Library Media Program at PSU. (BA, University of California, Santa Cruz; teaching  and ed admin license, Lewis& Clark College; MAT, Reading endorsement, & EdD. Portland State University.) 17 years teaching K-12. 

Donna Shrier, Assistant Professor of Practice, Graduate School of Education, Portland State University.   Literacy Program faculty and cohort leader and faculty for the Graduate Teacher Education Program.  She has taught grades K-9 in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, including serving as a reading specialist and TAG specialist. Her areas of expertise include working with struggling readers and writers, gifted learners, literature study and differentiated curriculum.  Certifications include Oregon Teaching License (K-9), Reading Endorsement (K-12), Administrator License.(BA, MA, University of Northern Colorado)

Kimberly Skach, MS, has been serving as Literacy Coach, Title 1 teacher, and School Improvement Coordinator in the David Douglas School District in Portland, Oregon since 2000. Ms. Skach was a nationally recognized professional trainer/speaker and owner of National Balanced Literacy Consultants from 1988 to 2000. She has taught over 600 credits of professional development/college courses in literacy topics through The Wright Group Publishers and Loyola Marymount University. As a private consultant, she developed and led K-5 in-service experiences in reading, writing, and science methods for numerous school districts around the country.

Katie Toppel, Ed.D, is a Kindergarten teacher in the Tigard Tualatin School District and has been working in the field since 2003 including working with migrant students in a bilingual Head Start program, teaching First Grade and Kindergarten, and also working as a K-12 Support Services teacher at an international school in Germany. Dr. Toppel has endorsements in both English as a Second Language and Special Education. She earned her doctorate from Portland State University in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on culturally responsive instruction. Dr. Toppel has written several publications about culturally responsive instruction and teaching with technology and has presented her work at several national and international teaching conferences.

Frances Verbruggen, MAT, MA, is a doctoral student in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University, where her research interests include instruction for struggling readers and writers and English language learners. She currently holds an early childhood/elementary teaching license with a reading endorsement, and has taught reading at both the elementary and college levels. Her educational background includes coursework in literacy development, language acquisition, and communication sciences and disorders. She earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, an MA in teaching French from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and an MAT from George Fox University.

Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Ed.D. is the founder of IAIE—The Institute to Advance International Education.  He worked in public schools for twenty years teaching English and social studies. Prior to working with IAIE, he served as program director for all graduate literacy programs at a large mid-western university. He is a frequent guest speaker and consultant in Latin America and Asia on language learning topics. He earned his BS at Southern Utah State College, his MA at California State University and his Ed.D. at the University of San Diego. 

Maika Yeigh, Ed.D, co-leads a cohort of teacher candidates in the Graduate School of Education at PSU. She teaches research and assessment courses and elementary and secondary literacy courses. Prior to teaching adult learners, Maika taught both middle and high school Language Arts and Social Studies in high-poverty schools. She has also worked as a Reading Specialist at the elementary level. Her research interests include literacy practices with English Language Learners, as well as the relationship between time to read and reading achievement.