I grew up in Calabasas, California. After high school, I headed to the East Coast to attend Dartmouth College, where I received my B.A. in Psychology. After enjoying Boston for a couple of years post-college, I spent the next 6 years in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan, where I obtained my Masters in Developmental Psychology and my Ph.D. in Education and Psychology. I then moved back to Southern California and joined the faculty in the Psychology Department at Claremont McKenna College.
My general areas of interest are in children’s cognitive development, learning, and motivation. My specific area of expertise pertains to the development of young children’s (preschool-grade 2) comprehension and other literacy skills, including parenting and educational practices to optimally support the developent of lifelong readers and learners. As part of my research pursuits, I developed numerous assessments of young children’s literacy skills, taught comprehension lessons in primary grade classrooms, and spent countless hours in public libraries and bookstores searching for quality books with certain text features that were ideal for assessing and teaching reading comprehension.
I left academia when I had my first child, and I now spend most of my time raising my 3 young children (a preschooler, kindergartner, and first grader). While much of my “me time” goes towards volunteering in my kids’ classrooms and schools, I do some consulting, parent seminars, and staff in-services on various topics related to parenting and classroom practices to support literacy and learning. One of my greatest joys over the past seven years has been reading daily with my children and watching them transform into young readers and writers who love literature, love to talk about literature, and whose most frequent argument pertains to whose turn it is to choose the next book or sit next to the parent who is doing the reading.
While I am no longer working in academia, I find myself still so passionate about the same question that used to propell my academic research — how to raise thoughtful, strategic, lifelong readers — though now the energy is directed towards my own kids and other kids in our lives rather than with research subjects. With some embarrassment and eye-rolling from my husband, I admit that I am most likely to be found sitting on the floor in the children’s section of a bookstore, with or without my kids. That is also the place where you’ll find me secretly spending the most money! With this blog, I hope to share my passion for raising great readers through great literature in order to help other parents and children.
View my abbreviated curriculum vitae.