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Cantrell Honored as a 2022-23 University Research Professor

photo of Susan CantrellWritten by Meg Mills

Susan Chambers Cantrell, a professor within the University of Kentucky’s College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is one of the 14 University Research Professors for 2022-2023. The University Research Professorship Awards honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world.

College leadership develop criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominate faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000.

“I feel extremely honored to be recognized as a University Research Professor,” said Cantrell. “I am grateful every day for the privilege of working with wonderful research collaborators and to be part of a university that has such a positive impact on Kentucky and the world.”

Cantrell, a former elementary teacher, joined the UK College of Education faculty in 2003 and currently teaches courses in the literacy education, preparing K-8 teachers and literacy specialists for the classroom.

Her research focuses on teachers’ professional learning, self-efficacy development and instructional change — working to create more equitable classrooms for students.

She has been published in more than 60 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and technical reports including Journal of Literacy Research, Journal of Educational Psychology, Teaching and Teacher Education, Reading Psychology, Journal of Educational Research, Reading and Writing Quarterly, Literacy Research and Instruction, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy and the Reading Teacher.

In addition, to her research Cantrell has co-edited two books on equitable classroom practices, “A Framework for Culturally Responsive Practices: Implementing the Culturally Responsive Instruction Observation Protocol in K-8 Classrooms” and “Culturally Sustaining Literacy Pedagogies: Honoring Students’ Heritages, Languages and Literacies.”

Cantrell has served as principal investigator on grants exceeding $10 million and currently serves as the principal investigator on a U.S. Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition National Professional Development grant, Partnerships for Learning, Achievement and Classroom Engagement. This grant initiative is designed to support classroom teachers’ work with multilingual students in diverse classroom environments.