Dr. Debra Coffey
Debra J. Coffey is an avid researcher who shares innovative ideas during international and national conferences for the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, the Invitational Alliance for Invitational Education, and the International Reading Association. Presenting a research study entitled “Building Leadership and Expertise in the Lives of Striving Readers” at the Oxford Round Table in England was a highlight. She is co-editor of the online journal Taking Teaching and Learning Seriously, she serves on editorial boards, and she received an award for outstanding scholarship in the Bagwell College of Education. Dr. Coffey co-authored the book Unlocking the Power of Language: Research Based Strategies for Language Development, and she authored research articles and chapters. Her cutting edge research focuses on literacy strategies to connect theory with practice, and she designs mentoring programs for pre-service teachers and graduate students. During university classes she sets the stage for exploration of literary genres, simulation activities, and innovative technology. Through creative activities her students discover new ways to meet accountability standards while enjoying opportunities to “travel the world.” During these “journeys” they explore innovative methods to connect reading with the activities students enjoy the most.
Debra Coffey used similar strategies when she taught students from preschool to twelfth grade. Her students developed personal connections with content area literacy through science experiments, art activities, news broadcasts, and various projects. Trips to Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, and Europe gave Debra teaching ideas for international interactive projects. She used a wide range of strategies to encourage constructivism and help students personalize the curriculum when she tutored students in the Reading Center at the University of Tennessee. Debra Coffey received her master’s degree and doctorate from The University of Tennessee.
She enjoys seeing students enter the world of a book and become enthralled with the learning process. As an advisor for the KSU Student Reading Council, she conducts literacy projects with pre-service teachers, and they have given 2,534 books to partnership schools in Nigeria, Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. As Member of the Year for Madison Who’s Who Registry of Executives and Professionals, she was honored for exemplary achievement and distinguished contributions to the business community. Debra Coffey was also listed in the 2009 Princeton Global Network Special Edition Registry. Her biography was chosen from more than five thousand candidates by an honorary committee, assembled specifically for this commission.
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