Microphones on a podium

Featured Convocation Speaker

Laura May

Laura May

Laura May

Dr. Laura May is an associate professor in the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education. A former elementary teacher and literacy specialist, Dr. May studies how literacy teachers use talk and texts in ways that increase students’ educational opportunities and how teachers develop more equitable ways with talk and texts. This work primarily takes place in culturally and linguistically diverse settings.

She also serves as the associate director of research for the college’s Center for Transnational and Multilingual Education. This new center provides research and evidence-based policies and procedures to educational professionals, assuring that educational systems are prepared to facilitate all students becoming multiple language learners who embrace global languages.

Dr. May is the principal investigator for two federally-funded projects. “Todos Juntos: Uniting Communities to Improve Practice for English Learners (Juntos)” is a project designed to prepare teachers to work with bilingual learners in Atlanta Public Schools and the DeKalb County School District. In particular, this project extends the work Dr. May and her colleagues have done over the last five years with their federally-funded Quality Instruction for English Learners (QuIEL) project, which focused on school-based professional development targeting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction for English language learners. The “Equipping Schools, Communities and Universities for Excellence in Language Acquisition (ESCUELA)” project trains and supports teachers for dual language immersion classroom settings. More specifically, Dr. May is designing family- and community-focused recruitment and professional development activities for dual language immersion teachers.

This year, Dr. May was named the recipient of the college’s Outstanding Faculty Research Award, which recognizes a full-time faculty member for outstanding achievement in the area of scholarship.