THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH READING CLINIC (UURC)
Dr. Kathleen J. Brown is Director of the University of Utah Reading Clinic (UURC) in the College of Education. Her scholarly interests include the development of educators' conceptual frameworks for teaching at-risk and struggling readers, and the development of intervention models to meet the needs of struggling readers from diverse backgrounds. Since 1999, Dr. Brown has led intervention clinical practica for hundreds of Utah educators. She continues to work with struggling readers on a regular basis because it informs her research and training endeavors. In 1997, Dr. Brown received the University of Utah Graduate School of Education Teaching Award in recognition of her contribution to university teaching. Her work has been published in a number of scholarly journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, The Elementary School Journal, The Journal of Literacy Research, and The Reading Teacher.
Michele Blake graduated with honors -- completing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and Special Education at Brigham Young University. She received her M.Ed with an emphasis in Reading from the University of Utah. Michele taught Special Education in the public school system for 6 years, serving 4 of those years as the Team Leader. Additionally, Michele has had the opportunity to present for the International Reading Association, Utah Branch International Dyslexia Association, and the Utah State Office of Education. Michele has earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Next StepsSM Triads, and Higher StepsSM and is a lead trainer for many of those interventions. She is also certified as a tutor/trainer using Wilson Reading System® Levels I and II. She has been extremely successful in adapting those models for students with learning disabilities and loves working with kids and helping them to become more successful readers.
Grace Craig earned a Bachelor of Arts from BYU in Studies of Ancient Greece and Rome and a Master's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Teaching Languages with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language. For four years, she taught elementary grades at Challenger School in Sandy and Sandcastle Academy in Bountiful. She has also taught courses in Latin language and ESL. After joining the UURC staff in 2005, Grace earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Next Steps TriadsSM, and Higher StepsSM and is a lead trainer for many of those intervention models. Grace is licensed to train educators in the Wilson Reading System® Level I. Currently, Grace is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology at the U of U. In 2009, she had the opportunity to deliver a presentation on UURC reading assessments at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading conference.
Holly Dean received a B.A in Special Education and a Master of Education degree from the University of Utah. Holly was a Special Education teacher in the public school system for 8 years. With a focus on reading intervention, she started a Learning Resource Center in the Catholic school system and remained there for another 11 years. During this time, Holly earned certifications in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, and Higher StepsSM. She became certified as a regional trainer for the LETRS® program and an Early Steps trainer. She is also certified as a tutor using the Wilson Reading System® Level I and II. She is excited to join the UURC to continue working with at-risk and struggling readers and feels fortunate for this opportunity to work with our team; dedicated to learning and promoting educational possibilities for the educators and students we serve.
Carrie DeCoopman received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from BYU. She worked for several years as a Title 1 paraprofessional in the Jordan School District before coming to the UURC. Carrie has earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Higher StepsSM and Wilson Reading System® Level I and is currently pursuing certification in Wilson Reading System® Level II. Carrie serves as the Field Practica Liaison to approximately 100 University of Utah pre-service educators per semester, whom she mentors. She also has the opportunity to assist in the professional development of educators in the field. She is grateful for the role she plays in helping struggling readers achieve success.
Nikki Fellows earned her Associate's Degree from the LDS Business College. She worked in the Salt Lake City School District as secretary to the Director of Food Services. After taking some time off to be a "mom", she went to West Kearns Elementary in Granite School District as a resource room aide. The year 1999 found her in the front office at West Kearns, which is where she had her first contact with Dr. Kathleen Brown and the UURC. Since then, Nikki has been the friendly "face and voice" of the organization in her lynchpin roles in reception, payroll, purchasing, and scheduling. To inform her conversations with parents and students, Nikki earned Next StepsSM certification and attends reading professional development conferences whenever possible.
Dr. Matt Fields has a B.S. in Applied Physics from Caltech, an M.S. in Educational Technology and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Utah. As a member of the Reading Clinic, he brings his research and technology background to the study of reading and the development of intervention practices. He currently serves as the Finance, Research, and Technology Manager for the Reading Clinic. He has been trained as a Next StepsSM tutor and conducts many of the assessments of students interested in receiving intervention as well as students who have completed the program. Matt conducts occasional LETRS® trainings as well.
Sondra Hansen earned a B.A. from the University of Utah in International Studies and Spanish. She has been instrumental in developing the reading intervention program (Next StepsSM/Higher StepsSM) at Northwest Middle school in Salt Lake City School District. Because of her love for diverse culture and language, Sondra is a valuable resource for educators seeking to meet the specific needs of ELL students. Sondra is certified in Early StepsSM and Wilson Reading System® Level I, while pursing certification in Wilson Reading System® Level II.
Linda Jensen is a licensed elementary school teacher, having earned a BS in Elementary Education from BYU. She also has an ESL endorsement. Linda brings valuable expertise and experience from her long tenure in the Murray City School District where she served in several capacities: Title 1 paraprofessional, classroom teacher, and Title 1 Literacy Coordinator. She is certified in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Next Steps TriadsSM Higher StepsSM, and Wilson Reading System® Levels I and II. She enjoys being able to take part in helping children develop the skills they need to be successful readers.
Julie Jaussi earned a Bachelor of Science degree from BYU and is currently pursuing her Master's degree in education at the University of Phoenix. She comes to the UURC from Jordan School District after having worked in the Title 1 program there for 11 years. She has earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, and Higher StepsSM. Currently, Julie tutors, assists in training, and supervises educators in the clinic's intervention models for struggling readers. She is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to assisting struggling readers and helping them develop the skills and motivation to read with success and enjoyment.
Barbara Owen received her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies, from the University of Utah, as well as a Master's degree in Human Development and Social Policy, focusing on early childhood literacy curriculum development. She is certified in Early StepsSM, Early StepsSM Quads, and Next StepsSM. Barbara is an instructor for University of Utah pre-service educators in Early Steps intervention field practica. She has a passion for reading and its critical importance in society. She is pleased to help educators become more successful teachers of young readers.
Megan Petersen earned a bachelor's degree in special education from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, as well as a master's degree in reading and literacy from the University of Utah. She taught elementary school for ten years in rural Alaska and in Salt Lake City. Megan is certified in Early, Next, and Higher StepsSM and will pursue certification in the Wilson Reading System® during 2012-2013. Currently, Megan is an intervention specialist at Fremont Elementary School as part of a joint UURC/Davis School District federal grant for school improvement. There, she trains educators in UURC models and helps classroom teachers implement Tier I reading instruction effectively. Megan is passionate about teaching students and educators, and creating opportunities reading success. She feels very fortunate to be part of the UURC team and the learning opportunities the clinic continually provides.
Lisa Reed graduated from Washington State University in 1977, with a B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Special Education. Her classroom teaching began in the Experimental Education Unit at the University of Washington. After moving to Utah and securing her Level 2 Teaching License, Lisa was employed by St. Joseph Catholic Elementary, teaching 5th grade and Kindergarten. Lisa Reed joined the UURC full time in 2011 after working part time for the clinic for the past 6 years. She is certified in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Higher StepsSM and Next StepsSM Triads. During the 2012-2013 school year, Lisa will be working toward Level 1 certification in the Wilson Reading System®. She is currently coordinating an intervention program at Fremont Elementary School as part of a joint UURC/Davis School District federal grant for school improvement. Lisa is grateful and excited to be part of an organization that values the importance of sound reading instruction and strives to increase the knowledge of educators and readers.
Dr. Kelly Robbins has a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Oregon Honor's College, a Master of Education and Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Utah. Her scholarly interests relate to spelling and reading research, with publications in Assessment for Effective Intervention where she is currently a consulting editor. Kelly has been a high school special education teacher, an elementary school Achievement Coach, as well as an instructor for the University of Utah and the Westminster College. She has earned certifications in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, and Higher StepsSM and is a certified LETRS® program trainer. Kelly is excited to be able to work toward improving reading outcomes for all students by helping bring clinical practica to teachers, contributing to the on-going development of research-validated instructional reading models, and directly working with students at the UURC.
Trina Robbins comes to the University of Utah Reading Clinic from Jordan School District after having worked in their Title 1 program for 11 years. She has earned certification in several reading intervention models, including Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, Next Steps TriadsSM, Higher StepsSM, and Wilson Reading System® Levels I and II. Trina plays an indispensable role as the UURC clinic coordinator in which she oversees placement and progress of students who receive intervention on-site. She is pleased to have the opportunity to provide professional development to educators throughout the state. Her greatest satisfaction is helping children experience success as they overcome their reading challenges.
Wendy Wittwer received her Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Utah and is a certified Elementary Educator. Prior to joining the UURC staff, she worked for the Salt Lake City and Davis School Districts. Wendy has earned certification in Early StepsSM, Next StepsSM, and Higher StepsSM intervention models and uses this expertise adeptly as she mentors 100 or so U of U pre-service educators in the field each semester. She is so pleased to be a part of the UURC and enjoys opportunities to continue learning how to best help struggling readers.