Profile by Amy Venusio (’19)
Who is Dr.Falk-Ross?
Dr. Falk-Ross is a literacy specialist who fell in love with being a speech therapist. She preferred to work in the education setting and got a full time job with speech and language for 8 years. Most of the work she was doing was literacy: helping with the language, how to read, the language when reading books, and how to write.
After getting her Master’s she decided that she wanted to know and do more. She then went to get her doctorate in curriculum with a concentration of reading. In 2008 she came to Pace and became a full-time professor. She is in charge of the literacy specialist graduate program.
Who influenced her?
Dr.Falk-Ross was influenced by her graduate teacher, Christine Pappas, who was in the doctoral program. Dr. Pappas drove Dr. Falk-Ross to understand classroom discourse. She learned the way you ask questions is very important to how students respond. Dr. Pappas showed Dr. Falk-Ross how to write and more of what she knows today.
Instead of having students get pulled out of the classroom to support their literacy needs, Dr. Falk-Ross wanted all students in the class. Even students with different backgrounds and especially second language students belong in the same classroom.
Dr. Falk-Ross wrote a book called Classroom-Based Language and Literacy Intervention: A Programs and Case Studies Approach. She also worked as a research professor in Illinois and was an assistant professor in Northern Illinois.
Advice she has for future teachers?
Dr. Falk-Ross says to find something that you really like to do, and find a focus within that field.
For future educators, she said that when you’re in a regular classroom to keep a focus because the school may need your perspective and expertise to do programs. She also recommends getting your graduate degree: “You learn a lot more in grad school than undergrad.” From there you will be able to understand more and move forward successfully.