Judith (Judy) A. Scott, Professor Emerita, from the University of California-Santa Cruz, Department of Education, retired after 22 years of service in 2021. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and spent the first ten years of her career at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and the first Indigenous scholar inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. During her career, she developed innovative approaches to vocabulary learning and assessment, working closely with classroom teachers to help non-dominant students become aware of the power of language and the integrated use of multicultural children’s literature and writing.
Dr. Scott is a recipient of the 2022 AERA Vocabulary SIG Notable Vocabulary Researcher Award and the 2006 IRA J.C. Manning Public Service Award in recognition for her work with teachers. She was the Principal Investigator of two SSHRC grants and three IES/NCER grants, an Improving Teacher Quality grant and several grants from the University of California Office of the President. She is currently the Principal Investigator for the Central California Writing Project and part of the Critical Mission Project, working to amplify Indigenous voices in K-12 classrooms.
Her work is published in numerous scholarly books and journals. She coauthored the chapter titled “Vocabulary Processes” in the Handbook of Reading Research (Vol. III) with Bill Nagy, and she is coauthor of the influential 1985 Becoming a Nation of Readers report published by the National Academy of Education. Her most recent publication is a child-friendly picture book that introduces the concept of resistance and resilience among Indigenous people that were held captive in California missions. She was instrumental in creating the Early Literacy Network in British Columbia and has written curriculum materials to encourage literacy and vocabulary development through play, rich oral discussion and scaffolded activities. She has also served as a consultant for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Smarter Balanced, and several technology companies.