Lowry Hemphill

Chair and Associate Professor of Language and Literacy
Email: lhemphill@wheelock.edu
Phone: 617-879-2181
Office: 43 Hawes St., Brookline Campus, Room 101C

Educational Degrees

B.S. 1973, University of Connecticut
M.Ed. 1975, Northeastern University
Ed.D. 1986, Harvard University

Lowry Hemphill, a literacy researcher and developmental sociolinguist, focuses on processes of language and literacy learning among low income children and adolescents. Her work includes studies of children's narrative development and evaluation of children's literacy learning in high poverty schools.

Hemphill was the 2007 recipient of the International Reading Association's Dina Feitelson Award. Her research has been supported by the US Department of Education, Noyce Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the March of Dimes, and the National Institutes of Health.

Before earning her doctorate, Hemphill worked in the Boston Public Schools as a reading specialist. She continues to work on literacy issues in Boston through participation in the Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP), a national collaboration between urban school districts and educational researchers on school-identified problems of practice.

Hemphill is currently developing and evaluating a comprehensive intervention for struggling readers in grades 6-8. At Wheelock, she teaches courses in reading pedagogy, comprehension, and literacy research methods.

Selected Publications

  • Hemphill, L. (2011). Orality and literacy in sociolinguistics. In R. Mesthrie & W. Wolfram (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of sociolinguistics (pp. 70-82). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hemphill, L., & Tivnan, T. (2008). The importance of early vocabulary for literacy achievement in high-poverty schools. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 13(4), 426-451.
  • Tivnan, T., & Hemphill, L. (2005). Comparing four literacy reform models in high-poverty schools. Elementary School Journal, 105(5), 419-442.

Selected Presentations

  • L. Hemphill. (2010, May). Strategic Education Reading Intervention: A pilot intervention for struggling readers. Presidential Session, American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, Denver, CO.
  • L. Hemphill & L. Brodeur. (2007, March). Exemplary literacy practices for English language learners. Race, Culture, Identity, and Achievement Seminars, Boston, MA.

Courses taught

  • EDU 337 Teaching Reading in Grades preK-8
  • RDG 537 Teaching Reading
  • RDG 618 Literacy Across the Curriculum
  • RES 722 Research in Language and Literacy

Media Mentions

Research Interests and Projects

  • Classroom discourse, literacy interventions in high poverty schools, reading comprehension.
  • Catalyzing Comprehension Through Discussion and Debate. U. S. Department of Education: Institute of Education Sciences: 2010-2015. A multi-site evaluation of reading interventions for grade 4-8 designed to promote deep reading comprehension.

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