A Lifetime Award for Scholarship: Dr. Lesley M. Morrow Receives Oscar Causey Award

On December 1, Lesley M. Morrow of the Graduate School of Education made a plenary address at the 61st annual Literacy Research Association’s annual conference in Jacksonville, Florida in acceptance of the Oscar Causey Award that she received last year.  This prestigious award, first given out in 1967, is presented each fall to an individual whom has imparted profound knowledge in the field of literacy, which has contributed to positive change in the field.

“I am very humbled and appreciative to have been honored with the Oscar Causey Award this past spring,” says Dr. Morrow.  “Drafting the address to present to my distinguished peers has been a challenging experience and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to share my research and my journey with my colleagues.”

Dr. Morrow has contributed to the field of literacy through her leadership, teaching, research, publications, presentations, and service since receiving her Ph.D. from Fordham University.  Her research on the creation of literacy-rich environments in classrooms to motivate interest in reading is referenced in hundreds of research articles, books, and book chapters, of which the results are evident in early childhood classrooms throughout the world.  This work led to a consultant position with a grant from Public Broadcasting Corporation and the Reading Rainbow television program to create the literacy center program in over 200 after school and summer day care centers for 3 to 8 year olds throughout New York City.  Subsequently, Dr. Morrow was invited to Departments of Education throughout the country to be a consultant on many Reading First Projects.  Her International Reading Association preschool book collection was a new market for the IRA, and is used extensively by members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.  Recently, as a result of her work with preschools she was invited as a co-researcher in a project entitled Enhancing Language and Literacy Development for School Success in Primary Care Pediatrics, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development with Alan Mendelsohn M.D, pediatrician and professor of pediatrics at New York University’s medical school, and his colleagues.

In addition to the sixty-five chapter books she has written, Dr. Morrow has published thirty-five scholarly books, and her text, Literacy Development in the Early Years celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2012 and is in its seventh edition. According to her publisher, it was one of the first and best selling texts in early literacy in the country.  She has also been published multiple times in Reading Research Quarterly, Reading Teacher, Language Arts, Journal of Literacy Research, Early Childhood Research Quarterly, Research in the Teaching of English, Journal of Educational Psychology, and Elementary School Journal.  In addition, Dr. Morrow has presented her work at more than 500 venues as an invited keynote speaker at local, state, national and international professional conferences, in schools, and universities.

Dr. Morrow will deliver the presentation again for the GSE, other colleagues and friends on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. in the GSE Main Floor Lecture Hall. Please RSVP to kamhealey@gmail.com by Jan. 10.

Learn more about Dr. Morrow and her research by visiting her faculty profile page.