Niagara University has announced that Dr. Michelle R. Ciminelli, an assistant professor in its College of Education, has been selected as one of nine finalists for the Outstanding Dissertation of the Year Award from the International Reading Association (IRA), the largest association for literacy educators in the world.
"We are very proud of the research that is conducted by our faculty and of the prestige this type of recognition brings to their work. Data-based decision-making is at the core of the work of our teachers, and Dr. Ciminelli is able to bring this research, along with her experience in the field of literacy, to our students at Niagara University," noted Dr. Debra Colley, dean of the College of Education.
Ciminelli's dissertation, "Teacher Decision Making in Reading Instruction with Choices and Mandates," examines teachers' decision-making processes over the course of a school year in the implementation of reading instruction when given liberties in materials and methods, and when provided a mandated program. A model of teacher decision making under each condition was developed based on the data.
The winner will be announced and the finalists will be recognized at the Research Address and Awards session during the IRA's 57th Annual Convention in Chicago on April 30. The winner will receive a $1,000 prize and the Outstanding Dissertation Award. Summaries of winning dissertations are published each year in Reading Research Quarterly.
Ciminelli, of Amherst, earned a doctorate in reading education from the University at Buffalo. She also possesses a master's degree from the University of Maryland and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.
Niagara University offers master's programs in literacy instruction, early childhood/special education, and special education, among others, and also offers a minor in literacy for undergraduate education majors. For more information, visit http://www.niagara.edu/education or call 716-286-8560
Since 1956, the IRA has been a nonprofit, global network of individuals and institutions committed to worldwide literacy. More than 70,000 members strong, the association supports literacy professionals through a wide range of resources, advocacy efforts, volunteerism and professional development activities.