University of Vermont

Faculty Biography

Faculty Biography | Cynthia Reyes

Cynthia Reyes

Cynthia Reyes, Ph.D.Associate Professor

Contact Information:
Waterman 407
(802) 656-9642

I take up the role of identity in language and literacy, and in my scholarly work and teaching. I believe it is important for researchers and teachers to consider the multitude of social and cultural identities that inform their participants’ and students’ literate practices. By understanding our students and their lived experiences, teachers can improve their pedagogy. My research interests and advocacy work focus on the intersections of identity, young adolescent literacy, instruction and English language learners, social justice, language policy, and foundations. My work has been published in the Research in the Teaching of English, Educational Foundations, The Reading Teacher, and the Middle Grades Review.

Areas of Expertise:

Diversity, Access, and Equity; Educational Policy; English Language Learners; Immigrant and Refugee Populations; Media Literacy; Multiculturalism; Race and Racism; Reading Education and Literacy; Research Methods; Social Justice; Teacher Education

  • Literacy Education and Multicultural Education: I am interested in literacy as a sociocultural practice, and the connection between identity and literacy. My teaching and writing also focus on issues of diversity and multicultural education. My current research interest involves work with English language learners and preservice educators on the topic of digital technology, and the use of digital story to enhance reflection and writing.

Current Projects:

National Writing Project, Vermont Middle Grades Professional Development Collaborative, Vermont Reads Institute at the University of Vermont (VRI)


Selected Publications

  • Gerstl-Pepin, C. & Reyes, C. (Eds.) (2015). Reclaiming the Public in Dialogue in Education: Putting the "Public" in Public Education. Peter Lang, Inc.
  • Reyes, C. & Netcoh, S. (2015). A nascent look at theoretical frameworks in middle level education research. Middle Grades Review, Vol. 1, No. Article 3.
  • Reyes, C. & Bishop, P. (2014) The hazards of engaging identity in a pre-service middle level classroom. In Patrick Jenlink (Ed.) Teacher Identity and the Struggle for Recognition. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
  • Brinegar, K. & Reyes, C. (2014). "Becoming a literate being:" Pre-service teachers using digital stories to reflect on personal narratives. In Malu, K. & Schaefer, M.B. (Eds.) Research on Teaching and Learning Literacy with Young Adolescents. Vol. 10 in The Handbook of Research in the Middle Level Education. Information Age Publishing.
  • Reyes, C. & Clark, B. (2013). Exploring writing through the digital story with English Language Learner: A collaborative approach. In Nagle, J. (2013). Working Title: Creating Collaborative Learning Communities to Improve English Learner Instruction: College Faculty, School Teachers, and Pre-service Teachers Learning Together in the 21st Century.
  • Reyes, C. (2012). "This I Believe:" Addressing cultural competency with the digital narratives of middle grades English language learners. In Miller, F. (Ed.) Transforming Learning Environments: Strategies to Shape the Next Generation. Emerald Group Publishing.
  • Reyes, C. (2010) Locating an authorial voice: Engaging a school reform debate through the roles of a mother, teacher, community member, and university professor. In Malu, K. (Ed.) Voices from the middle: Narrative inquiry by, for, and about the middle level community. The Handbook of Research in the Middle Level Education. Information Age Publishing, pps. 339-358.
  • Reyes, C. (2009). El Libro de Recuerdos (Book of Memories): A Latina Student's Exploration of Self and Religion in Public School. Research in the Teaching of English, 43(3), 263-285.
  • Reyes, C. (2008). "Disturbing the waters":Using relational knowledge to explore methodology. The Journal of Educational Foundations, Vol. 22(3-4), pps. 13-31.


  • Vermont Adolescent Literacy and Learning [$35,000] from Vermont Agency of Education: The purpose of this project is to increase middle and high school teachers' knowledge or expertise of best practices in adolescent literacy so they can engage students in critical thinking and deep learning across content areas. VALLI is also committed to supporting and mentoring new middle and high school teachers. Our goal is to support teachers in preparing their students for careers or college. (2013-00-00)
    Role: Principal Investigator

Current Courses

  • EDFS 322, D1: Multiculturalism/Educational & Social Institutions (Fall 2015)
  • EDML 287, Content Literacy in the Middle Grades (Fall 2015)
  • EDML 270, Curriculum & Methods for working with English Language Learners (Spring 2016)
  • EDTE 056, D1: Language Policy Issues, Race, and School (Spring 2016)

Courses Taught in the Last 5 Years

Content Literacy in the Middle Grades; D1: Multiculturalism/Educational & Social Institutions


  • Ph.D. in Reading, Writing, and Literacy from University of Illinois, Chicago
  • M.Ed. in Educational Studies/Instructional Leadership from University of Illinois, Chicago
  • B.A. in Spanish and Communications from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

Awards & Honors

  • John Dewey Award for Teaching from College of Education and Social Services: This award reflects the principles that John Dewey espoused regarding progressive education, educators' rights, the Humanistic movement, and world peace. (2015)
  • ALANA Faculty Teaching Award from ALANA Student Organization: A spring award for faculty or staff from the ALANA student organization. (2012)
  • Service Learning Faculty Fellow from CUPS Office, UVM: An award for faculty that engages in service learning in the classroom, as well as research. (2011)
  • Educational Alliance Fellow, Project Brite: Diversity and English Language Learners. Brown University, Providence, RI from U.S. Department of Education: National work that promotes and integrates diversity in a teacher education program. (2007)

Licensure or Certifications

  • K-9 Bilingual Endorsement (Spanish/English)

Professional Associations

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA), National Middle School Association (NMSA), National Reading Conference, New England Reading Association (NERA), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)