Rachel Karchmer-Klein G’99 is an associate professor in the University of Delaware School of Education. After graduating with a B.A. in Political Science from Ithaca College (1993) and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Mount Saint Mary College (1994), she earned a Ph.D. in Reading Education from the Syracuse University School of Education. A former elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist, at the University of Delaware she teaches courses in and educational technology at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
Describe your current role and its responsibilities …
As associate professor in the University of Delaware School of Education, my specialization is in literacy and educational technology. I also have coordinated our fully online master’s degree program in teacher leadership and designed the M.Ed. in Literacy program. I work with undergraduate elementary students, as well as Ph.D. and Ed.D. students. Plus, I conduct research and publish findings in peer reviewed and other journals.
How did the School of Education prepare you for this role?
I was mentored by excellent professors in the Syracuse University School of Education, professors who put the time and effort into preparing me to teach and provide service to my field. They also helped me conduct early research and get my scholarship into reputable publications.
What current trends do you see in your specialty and how are you addressing them?
My line of research is the intersection between literacy and education. Specifically, I study how we teach teachers to teach their students how to read and write in digital spaces. This topic has always been relevant, but the impact of COVID really brought online teaching and learning to light. I address this trend through research and practical applications, including two recent books—Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices and Next-Level Digital Tools and Teaching: Solving Six Major Instructional Challenges, K-12.
What project stood out for you most as a student at SOE?
My four mentors: Don Leu, Kathy Hinchman, Benita Blackman, and Peter Mosenthal. All of the professors in the Department of Reading and Language Arts were amazing and gave me support and opportunities.
Make a pitch for an SOE education—why should a prospective student choose the School of Education?
The effort put into building a community and the support you feel while pursuing your goal are what drew me to Syracuse.