Donna E. Alvermann (Inducted 1999)

University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA August 1982 - December 2021
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA, USA 1980-1982


dalverma [at]

Mailing Address: 

430 Gran Ellen Drive. Athens, GA 30606



Curriculum Vitae: 

Biographical Statement

Donna E. Alvermann, Omer Clyde and Elizabeth Parr Aderhold Professor in Education and UGA Distinguished Research Professor, Emeritus. As an assistant, associate, and full professor, Dr. Alvermann taught, researched, and served the Department of Language and Literacy Education in the Mary Frances Early College of Education at the University of Georgia from August 1982 through November 2021. She was also an assistant professor from 1980-1982 at the University of Northern Iowa. Formerly a classroom teacher for 12 years in Austin and Houston, TX, and Elmira, NY, Donna's research focuses on young people's digital literacies in popular media venues, adolescent litarcies, comprehension of texts in intersecting disciplines, and classroom discussion. She has also developed historical-autobiographical methods for uncovering silences in teaching, researching, and scholarly writing for justice in education.  

Alvermann has authored/co-authored 156 articles and 101 chapters. Her 20 authored/co-authored and edited/co-edited books include Ideas That Changed Literacy Practices: First-Person Accounts from Leading VoicesAdolescents and Literacies in a Digital World; Content Area Reading and Literacy (8 editions); Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents' Lives (3 editions); Adolescents' Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Digital Media, and Popular Culture; Bridging the Literacy Achievement Gap, Grades 4-12; and Bring It to Class: Unpacking Pop Culture in Literacy Learning.

In 1991-92, Donna served as President of the National Reading Conference (NRC), now called the Literacy Research Association (LRA). From 1992-1997, she was Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the National Reading Research Center funded for $7.8 million by the U.S. Department of Education. After that, Donna co-edited five volumes (38-42) of the International Literacy Association's Reading Research Quarterly. She was appointed to the Adolescent Literacy Advisory Group of the Alliance for Excellent Education in Washington, DC in 2003. Later, she served as the External Advisor/Evaluator of Project ADORE, a multi-year research grant on adolescent literacy instruction in 10 countries (Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland), funded by the European Commission on Education and Culture. In September 2022, she joined (virtually) five other international professors in leading a doctoral summer school at UC Louvain in Belgium on Research in Digital, Media and Information Literacy. In October of 2022, she was invited to present a research paper on the intersection of methods and epistemology in new media pedagogy at a virtual seminar hosted by Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and Italy's Università di Macerata, founded respectively in 1364 and 1059.

Alvermann is the recipient of numerous awards, including LRA's Oscar Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research and its Albert Kingston Service Award; the Association of Literacy Educators' and Researchers' (formerly College Reading Association) Laureate Award and its Herr Award for Contributions to Research in Reading; the International Literacy Association's highest honor, William S. Gray Citation of Merit; and the American Reading Forum's Brenda S.Townsend Service Award. Donna was also elected a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association in 2012.

Outside the academy, Alvermann has enjoyed training dogs, learning to play acoustic guitar, and traveling widely with Jack, her husband of 63 years and counting. They both answer to Jazz, their beloved Golden Retriever.