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College of Public Service

Leigh Van Horn

Interim Dean, College of Public Service
Professor of Education, Language and Literacy

Office: C-400
713-221-8991
vanhornl@uhd.edu

Curriculum Vitae

​Leigh Van Horn is a Professor of Language and Literacy in urban Education. Her education and research are focused on issues related to literacy, particularly the areas of culturally relevant and authentic curriculum design, developing and sustaining community in classrooms and literacy related events, empathy in education, and family literacy. In 2014, after 14 years in the Department of Urban Education, Professor Van Horn was asked to serve as the Interim Dean of the College of Public Service which includes Criminal Justice, Social Work, and Urban Education as well as the Center for Public Service and Family Strengths, Institute for Community Research, and the UHD Criminal Justice Training Center. Each of these academic programs and centers has a strong link to the community and to service. She leads the members of the college in strategic planning and works to create a climate that fosters excellence and professional growth as well as mutually beneficial relationships with external partners. Dr. Van Horn's partners in the community include SEARCH/HTT, Houston Public Library, Harris County Library, HISD Harmony Public Schools, the Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Fotofest. From 2013 to 2016 Dr. Van Horn served on the Board of Directors for the Houston Center for Literacy. A representative sample of her key publications includes: Reading on the edge: Enabling, empowering, and engaging middle school readers. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.; Reading photographs to write with meaning and purpose in grades 4-12. Newark, DE: International Reading Association; Creating literacy communities in middle school. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon Publishers, Inc.; Negotiating meaning and power: Middle school students talk about young adult literature and the nature of talk. In P. F. Carspecken and G. Walford (Eds.), Critical ethnography and education ​(pp.223-260). Oxford, England: Elsevier Science; Self-determination and cultural empowerment: Reader histories reveal learning and adaptation strategies. The Urban Review, 32 ​(2), 177-195; and Sharing literature, sharing selves: Students reveal themselves through real-alouds. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 43(8), 752-763. Dr. Leigh Van Horn's awards include Texas Council of Teachers of English University Professor of the Year, 2015; Excellence in Service Award, University of Houston-Downtown, 2012; Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Houston-Downtown, 2007.

Dr. Van Horn is currently serving as the Interim Dean for the College of Public Service.

Curriculum Vitae

​​Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Houston, History and Art

Master of Science, Reading, University of Houston – Clear Lake

Doctor of Education, University of Houston, Curriculum and Instruction, Reading/Language Arts​

​Recent courses taught include: 

READ 3305 – Foundations of Literacy

READ 3306, Language and Literacy

READ 3307 Language Arts Instruction, EC-12. 

Books include: 

Reading on the edge: Enabling, empowering, and engaging middle school readers

Reading photographs to write with meaning and purpose in grades 4-12

Creating literacy communities in middle school

Book chapters include:

Negotiating meaning and power: Middle school students talk about young adult literature and the nature of talk. In P.F. Carspecken and G. Walford (Eds). Critical ethnography and education, Oxford, England: Elsevier Science.

Presentations include:

Invited presentations for the Assembly of American Literature, the Ethnography and Education Conference at Oxford University, and Fotofest Houston as well as a number of peer-reviewed presentations at the annual conferences of the National Council of Teachers of English, National Reading Association, and the International Reading Association.

Publications with UHD students include:

Goff, B., Parker, J., Porras, A., Smith, K., & Van Horn, L. (2013). Family

                literacy in a community school: Building alliances, meaningful

                learning, and friendship. Advocate, Winter, 2013 32, (1), 38-40.

Teirrablanca, C., Linares, J. & Van Horn, L. (2011). Teacher candidates in

                an urban education program engage in the project approach.

                The Advocate, Winter, 2012 31, (1), 28-31. ​​

Awarded, Texas Council of Teachers of English University Professor of the Year, 2015​

Excellence in Service, UHD, 2012

Provost's Recognition Award for Outstanding Contributions to University Success, 2012

As co-editor of English in Texas, First Place, State Affiliate Journal from the National Council of Teachers of English, 2012

Excellence in Teaching, UHD, 2007

Outstanding Doctoral Student in the College of Education, 2000


Last updated 6/25/2018 9:38 AM