Utah State University professor Ray Reutzel, endowed chair and director of the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education, is the recipient of the 2007 D. Wynne Thorne Research Award.
The D. Wynne Thorne Research Award, named after USU’s first vice president for research, is the most prestigious research accolade given by USU. The award is given annually by the USU Vice President for Research Office to one outstanding university researcher who is recommended by a committee of peers, who are all previous award recipients. Nominees are evaluated by letters from nationally known experts in their field of study.
“Dr. Reutzel is recognized internationally for his research on the complexities of literacy development and instruction,” said Brent Miller, vice president for research. “His international recognition and leadership have brought excellence to the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education.”
Since 2001, Reutzel has held the Emma Eccles Jones Endowed Chair & Distinguished Professor in the College of Education and Human Services. As an endowed chair, he actively participates in teaching, performing research, mentoring faculty and graduate students and seeking external funding.
He is the director of the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education where he has helped the College of Education and Human Services earn its distinction as third in the nation in external funding.
Reutzel’s research focuses on evidence-based reading and writing instruction and teacher knowledge assessment. He has generated $2 million in external grant support for literacy assessment and instruction research with the proposals he has written. Recently, he developed and implemented approaches to improve reading instruction, especially in rural and under-served schools in Utah.
“Dr. Reutzel is passionately committed to continued improvement of literacy instruction,” said Carol Strong, dean of the College of Education and Human Services. “His early literacy and early childhood education projects provide teachers with new knowledge and assistance for improving reading and writing instruction for our state’s children.”
“Dr. Reutzel would easily be counted among the top 25 scholars working in the field of reading,” said Michael C. McKenna, professor of reading at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. “I suspect there are no reading researchers and few reading specialists who are unfamiliar with his work.”
Reutzel has received numerous honors from his colleagues and national organizations. Since 2002, he has served as co-editor of “The Reading Teacher,” the premier journal of the International Reading Association with nearly 65,000 subscriptions world wide.
Reutzel’s many books are well known in the literacy community and widely referenced. His work has been published in prestigious publications such as Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, Reading Research and Instruction, Journal of Educational Research and Reading Research Quarterly.
“These writings demonstrate what ‘teachers of teachers’ are expected to accomplish … that is, the translation of research and theory into rich descriptions of high quality and data-based instruction that teachers can apply in their own classrooms,” said Victoria J. Risko, professor of literacy, language and culture at Vanderbilt University.
“Reutzel’s research is always authentic … it is always aimed at solving real and practical problems and questions related to teaching children to read,” said Timothy Rasinski, professor of literacy education at Kent State University.
Reutzel is dedicated to research and scholarship, and his dedication has greatly benefited Utah State University, said Miller.
Among his honors, Reutzel has authored or co-authored 19 book chapters, 37 research theoretical refereed articles and 51 research articles. He was ranked as the 12th most frequently published first author over a 40-year period for The Reading Teacher journal. He has been the featured speaker for 18 international and national conferences. He is the recipient of the A.B. Herr Award for Outstanding Research and Publication Contributions to Reading Education from the College Reading Association.
Contact: USU Vice President for Research Office [http://www.usu.edu/research/