Two Warner Faculty Earn Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

The University of Rochester’s Board of Trustees has voted to grant Mary Jane Curry, teaching and curriculum, and April Luehmann, teaching and curriculum, tenure and to promote them to associate professors. The change became effective July 1.

Curry joined the Warner School faculty in 2003 and teaches courses preparing teachers to instruct English to speakers of other languages, literacy, academic writing, writing for publication, and qualitative research methods. She is also director of the master’s program in teaching foreign language and English to speakers of other languages (ESOL).

A former book editor, Curry has also taught English language and composition in Boston, Costa Rica, and Madison, Wis., to immigrant students, international students, and non-traditional students. Her interests include the social context of language learning and the role that it plays in affording or constricting access to societal institutions and resources. While earning her Ph.D. in curriculum studies at the University of Wisconsin, she examined the experiences of ESL students in a basic writing course in a community college.

At Warner, Curry has been working to support academic literacy and, in 2004, launched the Writing Support Services, which offers writing consultants by appointment. Her research focuses on how multilingual scholars and graduate students go about publishing their research in English-medium academic journals. A second strand of research investigates the role of academic literacy in access to higher education for non-traditional students, both non-native speakers of English in the United States and working-class adult students entering higher education in the United Kingdom.

“I am honored and delighted to be tenured at the Warner School, where I have found a community of scholars who share not only my intellectual interests but also a deep commitment to the role of education in effecting social change,” says Curry. “I also hope to be able to contribute more to the Rochester community through my work in preparing teachers to make much-needed social change in our educational system.”

April Luehmann joined the Warner School in 2002, teaching in the science teacher preparation and doctoral programs. She completed graduate degrees in science education and industrial and operations engineering, and previously taught mathematics and science to secondary school students in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. She also instructed science and math teachers in the Chicago Public Schools in a special professional development initiative and served on the Board of Trustees for Girls, Inc., a national nonprofit youth organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Luehmann focuses her research on the design and use of new media literacies, out-of-school learning contexts and experiences, and innovative teacher development programs to explicitly address issues of equity and social justice through the transformation of participation structures for and between secondary science teachers and all science students, especially those in traditionally disadvantaged schools.

She says, “Supporting science teachers in radically changing their professional practice (and thus their profession) involves offering them safe and supportive contexts to experiment with reform and experience the resulting powerful impact on their students' learning.”

Since coming to Rochester in 2002, Luehmann designed and worked with graduate students to teach science summer camps and school-year programs in a project called Get Real! Science, a teacher preparation program designed to engage students in real science—not abstract concepts and ideas.

In 2007, Luehmann was one of three scholars awarded a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Young Scholars Fellowship—a two-year fellowship totaling $110,000 for her project “Supporting Change through Teacher Preparation: A Study of Implementing Reform.” She uses the fellowship to look at the challenges novice science teachers encounter and identify components of teacher preparation programs and support systems that help them become effective science teachers.

Luehmann was also recently presented with the University of Rochester’s 2008 G. Graydon ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Non-tenured Member of the Faculty.

Tags: April Luehmann, Get Real! Science, Mary Jane Curry, tenure