Literacy (Reading)


Literacy Office
108B Recitation Hall
West Chester, PA 19383
Call: 610-436-2877
FAX: 610-436-3102


The Department of Literacy is fortunate to have a very well qualified, diverse faculty.

Dena Beeghly, Ed.D., University of Georgia


College Reading and Study Skills, Introduction to Reading, Reading Instruction and Practicum, Foundations of Reading, Teaching Reading to Culturally Diverse Students, Teaching Reading with Children’s and Adolescents’ Literature


Susan Caroff, Ph.D., Purdue University

Associate Professor

Dr. Caroff’s teaching and scholarly work focus on early literacy and language arts, content reading, mentor texts and the Responsive Classroom®.


Kevin Flanigan, Ph.D., University of Virginia


Reading Instruction and Practicum, Literacy Practicum and Seminar I and II, Orthography, Language, and Literacy Development

Dr. Flanigan has taught as both a classroom teacher in the upper elementary/middle grades and as a reading specialist/literacy coach working with kindergartners through middle-grades students. His research, publications, and presentations center on developmental word knowledge, comprehension and vocabulary development and instruction, and interventions for struggling readers. He has authored or co-authored articles in The Reading Teacher, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and the Journal of Literacy Research and has presented frequently at regional, national, and international conferences.


Sunita Nayar Mayor, Ed.D, University of Cincinnati

Associate Professor

Teaching the Language Arts, Diagnosis and Remediation of Reading Problems, Writing Development and Instruction

Dr. Sunita Mayor holds a BA in History and Economics from Calcutta University, India, an M.Ed. from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and a Doctorate in Early childhood and Special Education from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Her research interests are Language and Literacy Development in young children with a focus on classroom communication patters and its role in scaffolding student learning.


Lisa Gordon, M.Ed., Pennsylvania State University


Professor Gordon has been an instructor in the Literacy Department for the past 12 years.  Professor Gordon completed her undergraduate work in elementary education at the University of Pittsburgh.  Prior to teaching at the university, Professor Gordon taught second and third grade at New Garden Elementary School in the Kennett Consolidated School District for seven years.  Professor Gordon received her M.Ed from Pennsylvania State University in the area of Instructional Systems (Training, Design and Development). Professor Gordon’s research interests include using dual language books to foster English Language Learners’ literacy development. Currently she is involved with supervising the E.L.I.A.N (Early Literacy Is a Necessity) Project, a student initiated program where West Chester EGP students volunteer to read to young students at a local preschool.  The preschool services mostly low-income Hispanic families.


Diane Santori, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor

Diane Santori earned her BS in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Temple University, her Reading Specialist certification and MS in Education from St. Joseph’s University, and her Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Reading, Writing and Literacy program. She began her college teaching career as an adjunct here at West Chester. In addition to her higher-education teaching experience, Dr. Santori brings background as an elementary classroom teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. She has a number of publications and presentations to her credit.  Dr. Santori’s current research interests include dialogic discussions and powerful iPad-based teaching and learning.


Dr. Heather Schugar, Ph.D., University of Maryland

Associate Professor

Dr. Schugar graduated from the University of Maryland College Park with degrees in Curriculum and Instruction (B.S. ’01, M.Ed. ’05, Ph.D. ’08). Before joining the faculty at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Schugar taught second grade in the Montgomery County Public School system in Maryland. Her current research interests center on the role of mobile technologies (tablets and wearable technology) in reading instruction, with a particular focus on students’ comprehension when reading from these devices. Her work has been presented widely and published in journals such as The Reading Teacher and The Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning. In addition, Dr. Schugar’s research has been featured by media outlets such as The New York Times, NPR, Education Week, NBC News, Real Simple magazine, and Men’s Fitness.


Carol A. Smith, Ed.D., Widener University

Associate Professor, Department Chairperson

Carol A. Smith earned a BA in English and Secondary Education from Rowan University, and completed her masters and doctoral studies at Widener University. She taught English and Language Arts for 13 years at the middle and high school levels, also serving as a reading specialist and literacy coach. Dr. Smith’s research and publications explore teacher preparation and professional development in the realm of digital literacies.


Tina Selvaggi, Ed.D., Widener University

Assistant Professor

Tina Selvaggi earned her B.A. in English and her reading specialist certification and M.S. in education from St. Joseph’s University. She earned her Ed.D. from Widener University's Reading Leadership program. Dr. Selvaggi began her career in higher education as an adjunct instructor of Literacy at West Chester University. Prior to joining West Chester University, Dr. Selvaggi taught elementary school, gifted education, served as an Instructional Support Teacher, a Reading Specialist and, most recently, a staff developer in Pennsylvania public schools.  Her research interests include: professional development/coaching, teacher candidate preparation, and use of technology to enhance instruction.


Katie Solic, Ph.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Assistant Professor
Office Location: 107E Recitation Hall

Schedule an Appointment:

Courses Typically Taught: Foundations in Reading, Reading Instruction and Practicum, Assessment and Instructional Interventions in Reading and Language Arts, Reading in the Content Areas, Literacy Practicum and Seminar II

Katie Solic earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame, her M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of Florida, and her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Dr. Solic brings experience as a language arts teacher and literacy specialist at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in both public and independent school settings.  She began her college teaching experience as an adjunct instructor at West Chester University. Prior to joining the faculty at West Chester University full-time, Dr. Solic served as a Michael Pressley Memorial Research Fellow at Benchmark School in Media, PA. Dr. Solic's research interests revolve around the meeting the needs of striving readers and the teachers dedicated to supporting them.  Read a summary of her most current and ongoing research about "Improving Struggling Students' Reading Habits," excerpted from WCU's Annual Research Report (AY 2013 - 2014).


Melissa Adams-Budde, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Greenboro

Assistant Professor

Melissa Adams-Budde earned her B.S. in elementary education from the University of Maryland, College Park; her M.S. in reading education from John Hopkins University; and her Ph.D. in teacher education from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  She was an elementary teacher for nine years. Her research interests explore how students develop as readers and writers and how teachers can support this development.


Kathleen Riley, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor

Kathleen Riley earned her bachelors in English at Colby College, her master’s in teaching at American University, and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania’s Reading, Writing, and Literacy program.  Her teaching and scholarship interests include adolescent literacy, critical literacy education, teacher inquiry and activism,  gender and sexuality in education, and teaching for social justice.  Before joining the faculty at West Chester, Dr. Riley taught in the public schools in Washington DC, Fairfax County, VA, Newton, MA, and Boston, MA, in the Upward Bound program for high school students in Philadelphia, and in various master’s and doctoral programs at the University of Pennsylvania.