Applebee Award Honors Research on Children’s Voices in Multimodality

side by side headshots of man outside and woman with dark background
David E. Low and Jessica Z. Pandya

Albany, NY (November 30, 2023) – Two scholars were recognized with the Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy this year. David E. Low and Jessica Z. Pandya published “Centering Children's Voices and Purposes in Multimodality Research” in the Journal of Literacy Research. The article explores the way children use multiple modes in their digital video making and how to better connect their ideas and expression in their work to academic research in this area.

The Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy, made possible through a UAlbany endowment established in memory of Distinguished Professor Arthur Applebee, is given annually to honor an outstanding and influential article in literacy research published in a refereed journal in the previous calendar year.  It is the first international award offered by the University at Albany. The award was created through a partnership between the School of Education and the Literacy Research Association (LRA), the premier organization for literacy research.

man and woman posing with award plaque
David E. Low accepts the Applebee
Award at the 2023 LRA conference

Low is associate professor of Literacy Education at California State University, Fresno. He earned his PhD in Reading/Writing/Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania. His research examines how critical multimodal literacy practices are enacted in diverse learning spaces. Pandya is dean of the College of Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills. She was a professor of Liberal Studies & Teacher Education at CSU Long Beach from 2005-2021 and earned her PhD in Language, Literacy and Culture from UC Berkeley.  In her recent research, she has explored the ways English learners make meaning in multiple modes as they create digital videos on iPads.

Until his retirement in August 2015, Applebee was a SUNY Distinguished Professor in UAlbany’s School of Education, Chair of the School’s Department of Educational Theory & Practice, and Director of the Center on English Learning & Achievement. He joined the School of Education in 1987. With degrees from Yale, Harvard, and the University of London, Applebee’s work focused on how children and adults learn the many specialized forms of language required for success in school, life, and work. His research reframed the ways in which both scholars and practitioners think about critical issues in language learning by interconnecting reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and learning across disciplines. Since the early 1970s, he worked as an advisor to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, helping to design, implement, interpret, and report a continuing series of evaluations of the educational attainment of U.S. students.

He has an extraordinary record of academic accomplishment—countless students; 25 books and monographs; over 100 articles and other publications; leadership roles at all levels of education; editorial work; seminal texts in areas related to language, literacy, and learning; $27 million dollars in external funding; and designation as a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association—a highly selective honor by the premiere association for educational researchers in the world.