Laurie Elish-Piper, Ph.D.
Dean
Distinguished Teaching Professor
Distinguished Engagement Professor

Laurie Elish-Piper, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. She is also a Distinguished Engagement Professor and a Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction (CI). She served as the director of the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic for 15 years and as co-director of the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy for seven years. Elish-Piper has provided leadership to professional organizations, including her service as the president of the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers and as a member of the International Literacy Association Board of Directors.

Elish-Piper's scholarship and teaching focuses on literacy leadership, literacy coaching, teacher professional development, literacy assessment, and struggling readers. She has co-authored eight books and more than 80 articles and chapters. She is a regular presenter at international, national, state and local conferences. Before starting her career in higher education, she was an elementary teacher and a middle school language arts/reading teacher in Indiana. Elish-Piper has been on the faculty at NIU since 1995.

Education

  • Ph.D., The University of Akron
  • M.S., Purdue University
  • B.S., Saint Joseph's College

Research Interests

  • Elish-Piper teaches graduate courses in literacy assessment and instruction, adult literacy, and literacy research. Her research interests include literacy coaching, literacy leadership, literacy teacher education, family literacy, adult literacy, and developing home-school connections related to literacy.

Recent Publications

Recent Columns

  • Elish-Piper, L. (2021/2022). A dignity-centered approach. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 50(1), 45-59.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2020). What does equity have to do with promoting family engagement in literacy? Illinois Reading Council Journal, 49(1), 40-44.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2020). Insights on e-learning at the elementary level. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 48(4), 38-42.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2020). Lessons learned from COVID-19. Illinois Reading Council Journal 48(3), 55-58.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2020). Using intentionally inviting education and teaching to engage families in literacy. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 48(2), 64-68.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2022). Trauma-sensitive family engagement. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 50(2), 50-53.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2019). Rebuilding the case for family engagement. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 48(1), 49-53.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2019). What do kids’ sports and family involvement have in common? Illinois Reading Council Journal, 47(4), 42-45.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2019). Summer reading ideas for families. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 47(3), 34-37.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2019, Spring). Overcoming three common barriers to family involvement (Parents and Reading Column). Illinois Reading Council Journal, 47(2), 64-68.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2018-2019, Winter). Flipping parent-teacher conferences (Parents and Reading Column). Illinois Reading Council Journal, 41(1), 42-45.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2018, Fall). Building positive family connections right from the start of the school year (Parents and Reading Column). Illinois Reading Council Journal, 46(4), 43-47.
  • Elish-Piper, L. (2018, Summer). Family storytelling: Building bridges for learning and life for all families (Parents and Reading Column). Illinois Reading Council Journal, 46(30), 50-53.
  • Elish-Piper, L., (2017-2018, Winter). Reading as a lever to develop empathy, kindness, citizenship, and respect for diversity: Compelling reasons to encourage families to read with their children (Parents and Reading Column). Illinois Reading Council Journal, 46(1), 58-62.

Recent Presentations

  • Eish-Piper, L., Matthews, M.W., and Risko, V.J. (2021, December). Equity in Reading Assessment. Paper presented at American Reading Forum, December 9, 2021, Sanibel Island, FL / Virtual.
  • Walker, D. A., and Elish-Piper, L. (2020, April). Educate U.S.: Engaged teacher candidate field experiences in an urban context. American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19).
  • Walker, D. A., and Elish-Piper, L. (2020, April). Educate Global: Alternative teacher preparation lived and developmental experiences at Chinese and Taiwanese summer English language camps. American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (Conference canceled due to COVID-19).
  • Elish-Piper, L., and Walker, D., (2019, March). Educate U.S.: Engaged Instructional and Learning Experiences for Teacher Candidates. Case story presented at the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Louisville, KY.
  • Elish-Piper, L., and Walker, D. (2019, March). Educate Global: Engaged International Field Experiences for Teacher Candidates. Case story presented at the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Louisville, KY.
  • Elish-Piper, L., (2018, November). Disciplinary Literacy Coaching for Teachers in Secondary Schools. Keynote presentation at Taiwan Educational Research Association - and The Global Society of Chinese Creativity. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
  • Elish-Piper, L., Reutzel, R., McIntyre, E., Walker, C., and Pitney, W., (2018, October). Working Effectively with Challenging Faculty Situations. Panel presentation at the Council of Academic Deans of Research Education Institutions. Tucson, AZ.
  • Elish-Piper, L. A., DiDomenico, P. M., and Manderino, M. (2017, July). Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Coaching Programs. Paper presented at International Literacy Association, Orlando, FL.
  • Elish-Piper, L., DiDomenico, P. and Manderino, M., (2017, July). Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Coaching Programs. Paper presented at the International Literacy Association Conference, Orlando, FL

Recent Awards

  • B. Herr Award for Distinguished Service in Reading (Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, 2021)
  • Diane Lapp & James Flood Professional Collaborator Award (with Jerry L. Johns and Susan Lenski), International Literacy Association (2021)

Notable Accomplishments

  • Member Dean, Deans for Impact (inducted June 2019)
  • Deans for Impact Fellow (2018-2019)
  • Presidential Engagement Professor Award (2013-2018)
  • Illinois Association of Deans of Public Colleges of Education, Chair (2016-2017; 2018-present)
  • Illinois Association of Deans of Public Colleges of Education, Treasurer (2017-2018)
  • Board of Directors, International Reading Association, (2013-2016)
  • Presidential Teaching Professor Award (2009-2013)
  • President Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers (2009-2010)
  • Co-Director, Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy (2008-2015)