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Our Research Team

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Dr. Zoi Traga Philippakos

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Developing Strategic Writers

Developing Strategic Learners

Dr. Zoi Traga Philippakos, is Associate Professor at the department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education (TPTE) at the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences at The University of Tennessee. Her research interests include reading and writing instruction in K to 12 classrooms and in postsecondary settings, strategy instruction with self-regulation, and teacher professional development. Her recent coauthored books are Developing Strategic Young Writers Through Genre Instructor: Resources for Grades K to 2; Developing Strategic Writers Through Genre Instructor: Resources for Grades 3 to 5; Differentiated Literacy Instruction in Grades 4 and 5: Strategies and Resources, and is an editor in the coedited books Writing – Reading Connections: Bridging Research and Practice and  Design based research in education: Theory and applications (2021). In 2019 she received the Early Career Achievement Award by the Literacy Research Association, and in 2020 she Chaired the Writing Task Force for the International Literacy Association and coauthored a Research Advisory titled, Teaching writing to improve reading skills.  Because of her interest in writing – reading connections, she has developed interventions that are based on genre-based practices to support elementary and secondary learners’ reading for understanding and composition. She is currently the Principal investigator in a funded project that strives to develop and evaluate resources and procedures for the reading and spelling of multisyllabic words.  In addition, she is the co-PI on an IES grant on strategy instruction for college basic writers, and the Co-PI on an IES grant for the development of a curriculum for adule learners. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Reading and Writing Quarterly, Reading Research Quarterly, Reading and Writing) and has presented her work and findings in national and international conferences.

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Margaret Quinn (Ph.D.)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Margaret Quinn (Ph.D.) is an Assistant Professor in the Child and Family Studies department and Co-PI on the Building Words, Making Meanings project. Her scholarship seeks to understand children’s experiences and skills in a 21st century context by developing approaches for supporting successful learners who can thrive contemporaneously and in the future in ways that are innovative and effective. Her research features both early education and elementary settings with a specific priority placed on children (as well as their families and teachers) from historically marginalized and minoritized backgrounds. Her work, thus, centers on two primary foci – (1) understanding, evaluating, and supporting teachers’ instruction and instructional interventions in the areas of reading, writing, and early STEM learning, and (2) understanding the nature and development of 21st century skills through authentic assessment and efficacious and sound measures and patterns of interactions between academic skills and other extant factors. Prior to beginning her academic career, she was a preschool educator and an Orton-Gillingham trained reading tutor for elementary learners and these experiences have helped to shape and guide her research.

Research Personnel 


Keaton Wilson

Keaton Wilson is a first-year graduate student in the department of Child and Family Studies. Her undergraduate degree was in Health and Human Sciences with specialization PreK to grade 3 learners. Her graduate degree is in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in prekindergarten through third grade. Keaton recognizes the value of foundational skills in later reading success and the importance of word recognition skills in meaning making for K to 5 learners. She is providing instruction on the intervention processes and collaborates with the research team on assessment and instructional tasks.

Project Consultants


Charles A. MacArthur, Ph.D

Charles A. MacArthur, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at the University of Delaware, has been
studying writing development and instruction fo
r struggling writers for over 40 years. He is the
codeveloper of the Developing Strategic Writers curriculum (grades K to 8), and was the
principal investigator in a multisyllabic decoding program for adult learners. He is currently
principal investigator of a 5-year project to evaluate a writing curriculum for college basic
writing classes, Supporting Strategic Writers and a consultant on the W-ASE writing instruction
project for the Georgia State U. For many years, he served as co-editor of The Journal of Writing
Research and The Journal of Special Education. He has published over 125 articles and book
chapters and edited several books, including the Handbook of Writing Research, Best Practices
in Writing Instruction, and Adult Education Literacy Instruction: A Review of the Research.
He has devoted his career to developing effective instruction for students who need extra
support or a second chance to be successful including students who struggle with reading a
writing, students with learning disabilities, college basic writers, and now adult learners.


Ashley P. Voggt, PhD

Ashley P. Voggt is an Assistant Professor of Special Education at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. Ashley’s research interests focus on multi-tiered systems as a framework of support for students with extensive support needs including the use of evidence-based practices for academic and behavioral interventions for transition-aged youth to improve postschool outcomes. Other research interests include differentiated literacy instruction, genre-based strategy instruction, motivation, and self-regulation. 

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Dr. Louis Rocconi, Ph.D

Dr. Louis Rocconi, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and program coordinator for the Evaluation,
Statistics, and Methodology Ph.D. program and an affiliated faculty member with the
Intercollegiate Graduate Statistics and Data Science Program at the University of Tennessee,
Knoxville. He teaches both introductory and advanced statistics and educational measurement
courses. His research inte
rests include program evaluation and assessment in higher education
and addressing methodological issues in educational research. His work has appeared in a
variety of journals including Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, The Quantitative
Methods for Psychology, Evaluation and the Health Professions, Numeracy, Research in Higher
Education, Research and Practice in Assessment, The Review of Higher Education, School
Psychology Review, and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

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