Scanlon Honored with 2016 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence

Albany, NY (June 15, 2016) – Donna Scanlon, professor in Literacy Teaching and Learning who has built a national reputation as a researcher, scholar and educator in children’s literacy, has been awarded the State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities.

Dr. Donna ScanlonSUNY presents these honors annually to individuals within the SUNY community to “acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence."

Scanlon's research has focused on the characteristics of children who experience substantial difficulty in learning to read and on how to prevent and remediate reading difficulties. She and her colleagues developed an approach to early literacy instruction and intervention, the Interactive Strategies Approach (ISA), which effectively helps teachers to reduce the incidence of reading difficulties in the early primary grades. The ISA has been successfully implemented by classroom, small group, and one-to-one contexts and is therefore an appropriate approach for use in Response to Intervention (RTI) contexts. The ISA-RTI Professional Development Project, which is housed at the Child Research and Study Center, currently uses distance learning technologies to offer extended, job-embedded professional development for teachers.  Scanlon’s research has influenced fields as diverse as linguistics, psychology, education, learning disabilities, and early literacy development, and her current work also will influence the field of teacher education.  Scanlon has been PI or co-PI on over $20 million worth of grants over the years, and her publications include a best-selling book, 29 journal publications, 21 chapters, and valuable resources for teachers and parents. Her work with her colleague Frank Vellutino has influenced federal policy, being a central motivation in the 2004 shift in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act toward what has become referred to as “response to instruction” or RTI. Her research has had a similar influence at the state level.  Scanlon is often appointed to important policy committees and working groups, particularly those having to do with implementing research. She was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to the Reading First Federal Advisory Committee, and she is a member of the International Reading Association’s RTI Task Force. Scanlon received the International Reading Association Albert J. Harris Award based on her publication with colleagues in the Elementary School Journal.

Donna Scanlon received a University at Albany Award for Excellence in Research in 2015.

Read the SUNY Press Release.