2023 BU Wheelock Forum Speakers

Supporting Students with Reading Disabilities: Toward Equity and Access


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Keynote Speakers

Photo of Emily HanfordEmily Hanford
Senior Correspondent and Producer, American Public Media

Emily Hanford is a senior correspondent and producer for American Public Media. Her work has appeared on NPR and in The New York Times, Washington Monthly, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. Her work has won numerous honors including a duPont-Columbia University Award and the Excellence in Media Reporting on Education Research Award from the American Educational Research Association. Emily is a member of the Education Writers Association’s Journalist Advisory Board and was a longtime mentor for EWA’s “new to the beat” program. For the past several years, Emily has been reporting on early reading instruction. Her 2018 podcast episode “Hard Words: Why aren’t kids being taught to read?” won the inaugural public service award from EWA. You can find all of her reporting on reading at apmreports.org/reading, including her new podcast, Sold a Story: How teaching kids to read went so wrong (soldastory.org). Emily is based in the Washington, D.C. area.

Shows Tracy White-WeedenTracy White-Weeden
President & CEO, Neuhaus Education Center

Dr. Tracy White-Weeden is a seasoned leader dedicated to advancing literacy success for all and academic excellence for children. She brings 28 years of experience to a calling of shaping dynamic systems-change so that children are well prepared for the realities of a 21st-century knowledge economy. White is also a relentless literacy advocate who frames literacy as a fundamental human right that transforms the family tree when evidence-based practices are scaled responsibly. Her life’s work has been to position literacy success for all as a moral imperative that creates a place at the table for every child and adult, regardless of zip code or country of origin.

Speakers & Moderators

Shows Soukaina AdolpheSoukaina Adolphe, Clinical Associate Professor, Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine bio




Elena Cárdenas-Hagan, President, Valley Speech Language and Learning Center bio

Meagan CombMeagan Comb, Executive Director, Wheelock Educational Policy Center, and Assistant Dean, Executive Affairs, BU Wheelock



David Chard dean of BU WheelockDean David Chard, BU Wheelock



Shows Edward FergusEdward Fergus, Professor of Urban Ecology & Policy, Rutgers University



Ivys Fernandez-Pastrana, Manager, Center for Family Navigation and Community Health, Boston Medical Center bio

Hank Fien BU WheelockHank Fien, Professor and Director, National Center on Improving Literacy, BU Wheelock



Shows Jennifer Greif Green of BU WheelockJennifer Greif Green, Associate Professor of Special Education, BU Wheelock



Amie Grills, BU Associate Provost for Undergraduate Affairs and Professor of Counseling Psychology & Applied Human Development



Photo of Lindsay JonesLindsay E. Jones, Chief Executive Officer, CAST



Nicole Landi, Associate Professor, Psychological Sciences, University of Connecticut bio

Shows Rebecca Marks MITRebecca Marks, Postdoctoral Associate, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT bio




Nancy J. Nelson, Assistant Professor of Special Education, BU Wheelock



Shows Jacqueline RodriguezJacqueline Rodriguez, Chief Executive Officer, National Center for Learning Disabilities




Shows Lisa SanettiLisa Sanetti, Professor, Department of Educational Psychology, Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut



Shows Patrick TutwilerPatrick Tutwiler, Massachusetts Secretary of Education