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Valerie A. Allison, Ph.D.

Department: Education

Associate Professor of Education

Program Director of GO North

  • Education
  • PHD, Univ of Utah
  • MED, Univ of Utah
  • BA, Westminster College Salt Lake City
Valerie Allison

I have been a member of the Education Department since 2008.  Prior to coming to SU, I taught junior high language arts for 12 years and worked as a school administrator for eight, including five years as an elementary principal in Salt Lake City, UT.

I am passionate about the social and political dimensions of public schooling.  My research interests include action and self-study research, narrative inquiry, equity and advocacy in public education, and literacy development.  I enjoy presenting at national and international academic conferences particularly when co-presenting with students.

What I enjoy most about teaching at SU are the opportunities I have to facilitate students' uncovering and interrogating their assumptions about taken-for-granted structures and practices in schools. My goal is for students to leave my courses with both a fuller understanding of the complexities and biases embedded in schooling and with a firm commitment to teaching in a manner that is respectful of and empowering for learners from all backgrounds.

When I'm not busy with work and family, I enjoy being outdoors.  I am an avid road cyclist, but I also enjoy scuba diving, swimming, running, and hiking.  I love cooking and eating cuisine from around the world.  As much as possible, I take the opportunity to travel. My favorite trip to date was a bike tour in Ireland that I took with a friend. We cycled through Donegal County on country lanes, slept in B&B's, ate and drank the local fare, and had interesting conversations with folks about topics ranging from sheep-raising to scone baking.

Professional Experience

Associate Professor of Education - September 2014 to present.  Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

Education Department, Head - July 2013 to present

Assistant Professor of Education - August 2008 to August 2014

Courses taught -

            PRDV 104, Perspectives

            EDUC 367, Literacy Assessment and Intervention

            EDUC 377, Literacy II            

            EDUC 476, Learning and Teaching in Elementary Education

            EDUC 479, Principles of Learning and Teaching in Secondary Education

            EDUC 481, Methods of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in

            Elementary Education

            EDUC 482, Differentiated Instruction in Elementary Education

            EDUC 483, Differentiated Instruction for Secondary Education

            EDUC 490, Pedagogy and Classroom Environment

            EDUC 500, Student Teaching 

            EDUC 501, Preparation and Planning

            EDUC 502, Classroom Teaching

            EDUC 503, Classroom Management

            EDUC 600, Seminar

            EDUC 601, Independent Study - eleven senior honors projects

Elementary Principal - July 2003 to June 2008. Mill Creek Elementary, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Supervised the instructional practices and classroom management of a Pre-K through 6th grade teaching faculty. Responsible for insuring that district, state and federal policy and legal mandates were met in serving students' educational needs across regular and special education programs. Duties included monitoring special education services within the building and representing the district in local IEP and 504 meetings. Served on the district's Least Restrictive Environment Placement Committee which was responsible for reviewing case files and issuing judgments regarding service patterns that may include students' placement in a range of educational environments. Worked in cooperation with the administration and faculty from the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind to facilitate the co-enrollment at Mill Creek Elementary of approximately 50 students who were hearing and/or visually impaired and attended mainstream classrooms at the school for all or part of the school day.

Assistant Elementary Principal - July 2001 to June 2003. Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Intern Assistant Principal - August 2000 to June 2001. Kearns Junior High, Granite School District, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Clinical Instructor - July 1999 to June 2000. University of Utah.

Taught methods courses and oversaw the supervision and certification process of approximately 20 student teachers assigned to secondary schools in Davis School District.

Staff Development Writer/Trainer - July 1999 to June 2000. Davis School District, Farmington, Utah.

One-year appointment. Developed and implemented training materials for the Davis District Educator Assessment System (EAS). Designed and maintained district web pages related to EAS. Facilitated professional development workshops on curriculum mapping and interdisciplinary teaming.

Teaching Assistant - Spring 1998. University of Utah.

Served as a research/teaching assistant for Professor Suzanne Wade, assisting with teaching responsibilities for Ed.St. 680, Teaching Diverse Students in Inclusive Settings. Additionally, collected, collated and assisted in coding and analyzing data on students' beliefs and attitudes toward inclusive educational policies and practices.

Consultant - 1998 to 2001.

Clients included Appalachia Educational Laboratory, WestEd Educational Laboratory, and Great Books Foundation. My work included serving as a critical friend for teachers engaging in action research; conducting research on teacher quality, action research, mentorship, and curriculum mapping and integration; and co-facilitated professional development workshops in Tennessee, Kentucky and Utah on topics of curriculum mapping and integration.

Secondary Teacher - August 1987 to June 1999. South Davis Junior High, Davis School District, Farmington, Utah.

Taught grades 7, 8 and 9 English and reading. Extra duties included department chair, literary magazine advisor, cheerleader faculty advisor, mentor teacher, and site teacher educator.

Education

December 2006           Doctor of Philosophy in Teaching and Learning, University of Utah

                                       Dissertation: Successful Veteran Teachers and Critical Reflective Thinking

                                       Written under the direction of the late Suzanne E. Wade (chair), Lynne Schrum, Nancy Winitzky (deceased), Sandra Petersen, and Alisa Bates.

                                       Guided by the literature on professional success, adult self-directed learning and critical reflective thinking, this case study explores the relationship between participants' successful teaching careers and evidence of critical reflective thinking. Thought processes and practices of the four participants were investigated through a series of open-ended interviews and classroom observations. Data were analyzed for evidence of critical reflective thinking using tools of discourse analysis. Findings include personal and external influences that appeared to support and impede critical reflective thinking.

June 2001                    Administrative/Supervisory Licensure Program, University of Utah

June 1998                    Masters of Education, University of Utah

                                      Emphasis in Action Research.

August 1987               Bachelors of Arts, Westminster College of Salt Lake City

                                     Secondary Education Teaching Certificate: English, Spanish, and Reading.

Peer Refereed Publications

Allison, V. A. & Ramirez, L. A. (under review). Leadership, ready or not: Lessons learned about self through "becoming" leaders via co-mentoring. Studying Teacher Education.

Allison-Roan, V., Hayes, M., Allender, D., & Ramirez, L. (2014). Demystifying taboo: Consequences of dancing with or around the topic of sexual abuse as educators. In D. Garbett & A. Owen (Eds.) Changing Practices for Changing Times: Past, Present and Future Possibilities for Self-Study Research. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (23-25). Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland.

Ramirez, L., & Allison-Roan, V. (2014). Leadership, ready or not: Lessons learned about self through 'becoming' leaders via co-mentoring. In D. Garbett & A. Owen (Eds.) Changing Practices for Changing Times: Past, Present and Future Possibilities for Self-Study Research. Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (174-176). Auckland, New Zealand: The University of Auckland.

Allison-Roan, V. (2014). Tales of a 43 year-old runaway. Life Writing, 11(3) 333-347.

Hayes, M., McLaughlin, D., & Allison-Roan, V. (2014). Listening: To thine own self be true. Studying Teacher Education, 10(2) 130-145.

Ramirez, L.A., & Allison-Roan, V.A. (2014). A collaborative retrospective analysis of becoming teacher educators. EJOLTS, 7(1) 39-52.

Ramirez, L.A., & Allison-Roan, V.A. (2014). Insights into students, practice, and self through engaging as learners in our own classrooms. Reflective Practice, 15(4) 456-467

Allison-Roan, V., & Hayes, M. (2012). To be heard, to be seen, to matter: Consequences of/for self in utilizing one's narrative. Studying Teacher Education, 8(2), 127-141.

Ramirez, L., Allison-Roan, V., Petersen, S., & Elliott-Johns, S. (2012). Supporting one another as beginning teacher educators: Forging an online community of critical inquiry into practice. Studying Teacher Education, 8(2), 109-126.

Allison-Roan, V., & Ramirez, L. (2012). Striving to walk the talk: Engaging in shared learning tasks perceived as daunting. In J.R. Young, L.B. Erickson, & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Extending inquiry communities: Illuminating teacher education through self-study, Proceeding at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 28-31). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.

Hayes, M., & Allison-Roan, V. (2012). Continuity: Does one's use of a personal narrative live on profitably in the future? In J.R. Young, L.B. Erickson, & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Extending inquiry communities: Illuminating teacher education through self-study, Proceeding at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 159-162). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.

McLaughin, D., Allison-Roan, V., & Hayes, M. (2012). Striving to enact a listening stance as teacher educators. In J.R. Young, L.B. Erickson, & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Extending inquiry communities: Illuminating teacher education through self-study, Proceeding at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 212-215). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.

Allison-Roan, V., & Petersen, S. (2010). A collaborative self-study of transitioning from principals to teacher educators. In L.B. Erickson, J.R. Young, & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Navigating the public and private: Negotiating the diverse landscape of teacher education, Proceedings at the Eighth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 17-20). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.

Elliott-Johns, S., Petersen, S., Allison-Roan, V., & Ramirez, L. (2010). A cross-continent collaboration: Seeking community to support critical inquiry in teacher education. In L.B. Erickson, J.R. Young, & S. Pinnegar (Eds.), Navigating the public and private: Negotiating the diverse landscape of teacher education, Proceedings at the Eighth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (pp. 81-84). Provo, UT: Brigham Young University.

Invited Publication

Allison, V. (December 8, 2014). Book Review: Ethical Issues in Literacy Research. C. S. Rhodes & K. J. Weiss (Eds.) Teachers College Record.

Allison-Roan, V. (2007-2008). Creating safe and inviting learning communities involves more than technical expertise. Utah Association of Elementary School Principals: The Leader, Winter, 19-22.

Peer Refereed Presentations

"Learning about our Selves as Educators through Service Learning in a Remote Indigenous Community." Paper co-authored with Nadia McCallum ('15) and Ryan Pelletier ('16) and presented at the annual meeting of the AERA, Chicago, IL. April 18, 2015.

"Shaping Preservice Teachers' Identities in the Third Space of a Study Abroad Experience among a Cree Community of Northern Canada" Paper co-presented with Nadia McCallum ('15) and Ryan Pelletier ('16) at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference, Phoenix, AZ, February 15, 2015.

"Personal Stories as Course Content: Learning about Self and Practice through Analyzing Stories as Artifacts" Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the AERA, Philadelphia, PA, April 4, 2014.

"Beyond the Telling: Enduring Lives and Consequences of an Autobiographical Narrative" Paper co-authored with M. Hayes and presented at the Annual Meeting of the AERA, Philadelphia, PA, April 3, 2014.

"Developing as teachers of literacy through tutoring struggling students: Benefits and considerations." Paper co-presented with Colleen Kerber ('14) and Jessica Elston ('15) at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO. February 16, 2014.

Who are we now? The storied lives of two emerging teacher educators. Paper co-presented with Laurie Ramirez (Appalachian State University) at the annual meeting of the AERA, San Francisco, CA. May 2013.

A professor's tale: Confronting preservice teachers' latent assumptions about disadvantaged children. Paper presented at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) Annual Conference, Atlanta, GA. February 2013.

Striving to walk the talk: Engaging in shared learning tasks perceived as daunting. Paper co-presented with Laurie A. Ramirez (Appalachian State University) at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceuz Castle, East Sussex, England. August 2012.

Continuity: Does one's use of a personal narrative live on profitably in the future? Paper co-presented with Michael Hayes at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England. August 2012.

Striving to enact a listening stance as teacher educators. Paper co-presented with David McLaughlin and Michael Hayes at the Ninth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England. August 2012.

Divergence and commonality: Listening for the golden thread. Paper co-presented with David McLaughlin and Michael Hayes at the annual meeting of AERA, Vancouver, BC. April 2012.

Practicing what we preach: The struggle to create democratic teacher education classrooms. Paper co-presented with Sandra Petersen (Dixie State College of Utah) at ATE Conference, San Antonio, TX. February 2012.

Where instructor's intent meets students' interpretations: The challenge of responsiveness for a teacher educator. Paper presented at the annual meeting of AERA, New Orleans, LA. April 2011.

A collaborative self-study of transitioning from principals to teacher educators. Paper presented at the Eighth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England. August 2010.

A cross-continent collaboration: Seeking community to support critical inquiry in teacher education. Paper co-presented with Laurie A. Ramirez (Appalachian State University) at the Eighth International Conference on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex, England. August 2010.

Creating a cross-continent online community to support critical inquiry in teacher education. Paper co-presented with Susan Elliott-Johns (Nipissing University) at the annual conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) in Montreal, Quebec, CA. June 2010.

A cross continent collaboration: Seeking community to support critical inquiry in teacher education. Paper co-presented with Laurie A. Ramirez (Appalachia State University) at the annual meeting of the AERA, Denver, CO. May 2010.

From principal to professor: A collaborative critical examination of transitioning to academe from public education. Paper co-presented with Sandra Petersen (Dixie State College of Utah) at the annual meeting of the AERA, San Diego, CA. April 2009.

The impact of shared cultural models on veteran teachers' critical reflection on practice. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the AERA, New York, NY. March 2008.

Successful veteran teachers and critical reflective thinking. (Poster) Presented at the annual meeting of the AERA, Chicago, IL. April 2007.

A study of the dialogue among preservice teachers on the Internet. Paper co-presented with S. E. Wade and T. Stevens (University of Utah) at the annual meeting of the AERA, New Orleans, LA. April 2000.

Invited Professional Presentations

Collaborating schools: Making deaf education work. Co-presented with Bryce Holbrook at Utah's Third Annual Deaf Education Summit, Park City, UT. October 2007.

From compliance to continuous improvement. Panelist at the National Education Association's Coalition for District Excellence Symposium '99, Destin, FL. November 1999.

Action research. Co-presented with Peter Holley at the National Education Association's Coalition for District Excellence Symposium '99, Destin, FL. November 1999.

Action research in cyberspace. Co-presented with Gary Obermeyer at the Goals 2000 Action Research Conference, Provo, UT. November 1999.

The school change connection. Co-presented with Gary Obermeyer at the 1999 International Conference of Web-based Education, Flagstaff, AZ. May 1999.

Using computer conferencing to support action research. Co-presented with Gary Obermeyer at the Eighth Annual Symposium on Action Research, Kansas City, MO. October 1998.

Action research: An avenue for reflection and renewal in teacher development. Idaho Education Association Summer Conference, Educator Renewal and Reflection, Boise, ID. July 1998.

Virtual action research: A school/university partnership moves online. Co-presented with Anne Adams, Michelle Bachman, Sandy Petersen, and Gary Obermeyer at the Integrating Technology into Teacher Education Curriculum: Issues and Ideas, NRWEL, Portland, OR. September 1997.

Implementing school-wide discipline changes: A collaborative action research project. Co-present with David Beecher, Sybil Jemmett, and Judy Upton at the Seventh Annual Symposium on Action Research, Kansas City, MO. April 1997.

Service to Susquehanna University

July 2013 - present                 Education Department Chair.

July 2014 - present                 Director of Secondary Education.

July 2012 - January 2015       Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Duties include coordinating practicum and student teaching placements across seven school districts. Additionally, I have spearheaded an initiative to place four student teachers in diverse, urban classrooms in Upper Darby School District for 2013 - 2014.

2014, 2013, 2012, 2010,         Education department search committees for Teacher Intern

2009                                        Program Director (2012), Science and Math Educator (2009), Special Education Educator (2010, 2013), Early Childhood Education (2014)

April 2011, 2012, 2013           Organized and chaperoned field trips to Upper Darby, PA. Students and I visited Walter Senkow Elementary to observe literacy and English as a second language instruction. At Christ Lutheran Church, we observed an after-school program for 3rd - 8th grade students from the community.

October 2012 - May 2013      Freeh Report Response Committee. (ad hoc)

January - May 2012                GO North development and site visit.

May 10, 2012                          "Shut Up and Listen," an interactive professional development workshop sponsored through the Center for Teaching and Learning. Co-facilitated with David McLaughlin and Michael Hayes.

September 2010 - present       Susquehanna University Common Reading Advisory Board. Previewed proposed selections for anthologies. Wrote introductions for selections included in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

August 2011 - May 2012       Chair of Committee for Teaching and Learning.

August 2009 - 2012               Committee for Teaching and Learning.

January - April 2010               Action Research Professional Development Workshops. Initiated, planned, and facilitated a series of three professional development workshops on action research for all spring 2010 elementary education student teachers and their cooperating teachers. Student teachers and cooperating teachers conducted collaborative action research projects in their classrooms. Participating cooperating teachers received Act 48 recertification credit.

August 2010 - 2011               New faculty mentor.

September 2008 - 2012          Participated in Dog Days, Sponsored by Susquehanna University Counseling Center.

September 2009 - April 2013 Faculty advisor for eleven seniors completing action research projects for Education Departmental Honors. Developed guidelines and a rubric used throughout the department for evaluating Honors Action Research Projects.

October 2008 - March 2009   Served on the Music Department search committee.

Professional Service

August 2013                           Peer reviewed 18 proposals submitted to Division K and S-STEP for the American Education Research Association (AERA) annual conference in Philadelphia, April 2014.

July 2013                                 Peer reviewed seven proposals submitted for presentation at the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) annual conference in St. Louis, MO, February 2014.

June 2013 - present                ATE, Diversity Committee.

November 2009 - April 2014 Peer reviewed proposals and manuscripts submitted for inclusion in the Eight, Ninth, and Tenth International Conferences on Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices.

June 2010                                Peer reviewer for Journal of Research on Technology in Education.

June 2010 - present                Peer reviewer for Teachers College Press.

Community Service

2011 - 2012                            Volunteer at Far Point Equine Rescue, Port Trevorton, PA. Caring for rescued horses.

2008 - 2009                            Volunteer at Selinsgrove Elementary. Assisted with lunchroom duty, classroom supervision, and writer's workshop.

Professional Development

July 31 - August 1, 2013        SU Summer Workshop on Teaching Writing. Facilitated by Joseph Harris.

April 2009, May 2010             Attended annual meeting of the AERA, including participating in April 2011, April 2102 the division and special interest business meetings for Teaching

May 2013, April 2014             and Teacher Education, Social Context of Education, and Self-Study in Teacher Education Practices.

February 2012, 2013, 2014             Attended annual meetings of ATE.

August 2010, 2012                 Attended and participated in Eighth and Ninth International Conferences of Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices.

2011 - 2012                            Education Department held monthly discussions of selections from Kroll, et al. (2005). Teaching as a principled practice: Managing complexity for social justice.

November 4-6, 2010               Attended annual meeting of the National Association of Middle Schools.

October 2010                          Wrote Learning to Read, Reading My Schooling, an auto-biographical narrative about my early schooling and development as a reader and writer.

July 2008 - April 2010           Collaborated with Sandy Petersen (Dixie State College of Utah), Susan Elliott-Johns (Nipissing University in Ontario, CA) and Laurie A. Ramirez (Appalachian State University, NC) concerning improving our practice as teacher educators through engaging in ongoing collaborative self-study with one another and our students. As part of this effort, I kept a reflective journal that I shared with my colleagues through a Blackboard Discussion Forum. I also systematically collected feedback from my students through anonymous feedback questionnaires and in class open-ended discussions.

September 2010                      Participant in a teaching circle at Susquehanna University.

August - December 2008       Attended new faculty workshops and mentoring activities as my teaching schedule allowed.

Awards and Scholarships

Granite Association of Elementary School Principals, Rookie of the Year, 2002 - 2003

Target Teacher Scholarship, 1997 - 1998

Davis Council of International Reading Association, Excellence in Reading Instruction, 1997 - 1998

Westminster College Eccles Foundation Scholarship, 1983 - 1987

Professional Affiliations

2011 - present             Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (PAC-TE)

2000 - present             American Educational Research Association (AERA)

                                                Division K: Teaching and Teacher Education

                                                SIG: Self-Study of Teacher Education Practices (S-STEP)

2009 - 2015                Association of Teacher Educators (ATE)

2003 - 2008                National Association of Elementary School Principals

2003 - 2008                Utah Association of Elementary School Principals

2003 - 2008                Utah Chapter of the Association Supervision and Curriculum Development

Courses taught:

  • EDUC-367 Literacy Assessment & Interventions
  • EDUC-479 Principles Teach & Learn Secondary Ed
  • EDUC-483 Differentiated Instruction in Sec Educ
  • EDUC-500 Student Teaching
  • EDUC-501 Preparation and Planning
  • EDUC-502 Classroom Teaching
  • EDUC-503 Classroom Management
  • EDUC-600 Seminar
  • EDUC-600 Seminar (Secondary)
  • EDUC-601 Independent Study
  • OFFP-CHESTER GO Chester
  • OFFR-CHESTER GO Chester
  • OFFR-GONORTH GO North
  • OFFR-GONORTH GO North
  • OFFS-CHESTER GO Chester
  • PRDV-104 Perspectives