Maryville Professor Receives NCTE Award

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has awarded Monica C. Kleekamp, PhD, CCC-SLP, assistant professor of speech-language pathology, their 2022 Promising Researcher Award.

The NCTE Awards celebrate the profession’s best and brightest to honor their commitment and dedication to advancing literacy, the field of education, and the organization. From the NCTE website: “Dr. Kleekamp’s research with dis/abled students who have complex communication needs reimagines pedagogical possibilities and methodological approaches by disrupting deficit orientations to these students’ literacies. Kleekamp juxtaposes theoretical framings from the fields of literacy research and disability studies to reframe students who have always been positioned as incompetent as active meaning makers within intricate, interdependent classroom networks. Specifically, through a lens of neurological queerness, this work invites scholars, teachers, and other professionals to engage in anti-ableist endeavors that redefine what counts as literacy and who counts as literate.”

Kleekamp’s scholarship has been published in several academic journals, including Journal of Literacy Research, Literacy Research: Theory, Method, and Practice, The Reading Teacher, and Research in the Teaching of English.

“I was deeply honored to be recognized alongside a multitude of scholars I have long admired in the field of literacy research during the 2022 NCTE award ceremony,” says Kleekamp. “While I felt privileged to receive the Promising Researcher Award as an individual, this public recognition also serves to spotlight the importance of approaching literacy research with individuals with significant support needs from humanizing perspectives. These individuals’ literacies are often overlooked or examined only from deficit perspectives. Making space to honor the literacies of readers with complex communication needs (CCN) on a national platform like NCTE’s provides future openings for transformative collaborative literacy research.”

Congratulations, Dr. Kleekamp!

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