Literacy Ed professor wins research award

Michael Manderino
Michael Manderino

Michael Manderino, an assistant professor in the Department of Literacy Education in the NIU College of Education, is co-winner of the Student Outstanding Research Award from the Literacy Research Association (LRA).

Manderino accepted the award for his scholarly paper titled “Disciplinary Literacy in New Literacies Environments: Expanding the Intersections of Literate Practice for Adolescents.”

The award ceremony took place in November at the organization’s 61st annual conference, held in Jacksonville, Fla.

According to the LRA website, the Student Outstanding Research Award was established in 1985 in an attempt to encourage participation of students in LRA meetings and to honour excellent scholarship efforts.

To be considered for the award, students must submit their papers to the LRA following specific guidelines and criteria. Papers meeting standards are then reviewed anonymously by a board of members titled the Student Award Committee.

The committee reviews the papers based on the following categories: significance, rationale, methodology or theoretical soundness, presentation of results or concepts, quality of writing and whether the research moves the field of literacy forward.

The student research paper viewed as the most outstanding receives the award, after which a version of that student’s paper is then published in LRA’s Yearbook.

Manderino’s research topic stemmed from his interest in recognizing how history, multiple texts and literacy intersect. His initial encounter with the subject occurred while he was a high school history teacher. He also had been trained in using literacy strategies to teach history.

Upon entering into the doctoral program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Manderino researched his latest concentration: how literacy and learning in a discipline like history intersect with reading texts that are prevalent online. He found himself wanting to know more about students reading non-traditional texts such as audio, video and image, which became the starting point for conducting his research.

“I am very honored to be selected for the award,” Manderino said, “and am so grateful for the guidance I received from my dissertation committee at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the encouragement I received from my departmental colleagues here at NIU.”

“While Mike has only been at NIU a little over a semester, he has already made many valuable contributions in both teaching and research,” said Laurie Elish-Piper, interim chair of Literacy Education. “He is a rising star in the field, and we are thrilled to have him as a member of the Department of Literacy Education.”

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