The VBRR Research Team

The VBRR research team includes Mary M. Juzwik, Samantha Caughlan, Anne Heintz, Carlin Borsheim-Black, Sean Kelly, Jodene Fine, and Erik Skogsberg. The VBRR teaching team included Mary, Samantha, Anne, and Carlin along with Michael Sherry and Kelly Merritt. Jaymee Mason assisted the research team with coding and analysis.

Mary M. Juzwik, co- Principal Investigator of the VBRR project, is a teacher, scholar, and writer working in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University (MSU), where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing, discourse, and English education and has co-coordinated the secondary English Education program. She is affiliated with the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures Program and the English department at MSU. She holds degrees in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, (PhD), Middlebury College ( MA), and Wheaton College (BA). After a teaching internship at an urban school in Chicago, she spent six years working as a middle and high school English teacher on the Navajo Nation and in Boulder, Colorado. Now a scholar of English education, she studies issues related to literacy teaching and learning, including ways of reading, writing, and dialoguing about moral issues in literacy classrooms; linguistic and cultural diversity in English classrooms; writing theory and instruction; teacher identity; and ways of supporting dialogically organized classroom interaction in teaching and teacher preparation. Her work engages with diverse scholarly traditions such as narrative studies, interactional sociolinguistics, and rhetorical theory. Most of her current projects focus on the interactional dynamics of classrooms, meaning the talk and other forms of communication and response that lie at the heart of teaching and learning. She received the National Council of Teachers of English Promising Researcher Award and was recognized for excellence in teaching by the Ghoddousi Mentor Award and the MSU College of Education Excellence in Teaching Award. She also received the 2010 Edward B. Fry Book Award from the Literacy Research Association for her book, The Rhetoric of Teaching: Understanding the Dynamics of Holocaust Narratives in an English Classroom (Hampton, 2009). She co-authored Reading and Writing Genre with Purpose in K-8 Classrooms (Heinemann, 2012), co-edited Narrative Discourse Analysis for Teacher Educators: Managing Cultural Difference in Classrooms (Hampton, 2011), and with Ellen Cushman, serves as co-editor of //Research in the Teaching of English//. Learn. more about Mary's work at and reach Mary by email at

Samantha Caughlan, also co-PI on the VBRR project, is an assistant professor of English Education at Michigan State University, where she is coordinator of the secondary English Education program in the Department of Teacher Education. She teaches methods and literacy courses in the teacher preparation program, as well as graduate courses in English education, discourse analysis, and teacher learning. She is particularly interested in areas related to the knowledge and concepts of their field held by English teachers, cultural models of the subject matter of English, and the effects of policy on teacher professionalism. She has also studied the development of dialogic discourse practices in both inservice and preservice teachers. Samantha has published in Research in the Teaching of English, English Education, Language Arts, Educational Researcher, National Reading Conference Yearbook, Educational Policy Analysis Archives, CITE, and Pedagogies. She is proud to be involved with the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC), and also serves on the Executive Board of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English.

Carlin Borsheim-Black is an assistant professor of English Language and Literature at Central Michigan University. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literature methods, writing methods, and young adult literature. Her teaching and research focuses on helping English teachers use literature to do multicultural work, especially in culturally dominant and culturally homogeneous contexts. She completed her doctoral studies at Michigan State University, where she was awarded an Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award from MSU's College of Education. Before entering the doctoral program, Carlin taught English, Drama and Creative Writing in high schools in Michigan and Ohio. While teaching, she earned an MA in Critical Studies in the Teaching of English, also from MSU. She continues to work as a teacher consultant affiliated with the Red Cedar Writing Project in East Lansing and has published several articles in national journals, including English Journal.

Anne Heintz is an adjunct professor for the Master of Arts in Educational Technology at Michigan State University. She currently teaches courses on online teaching and learning. For Michigan State, she has also taught courses in writing, the teaching of writing, and English teacher preparation. Her research interests include using the dramatic arts for literacy learning. She earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology with a Specialization in Literacy from Michigan State University. She was a Fulbright scholar to Australia where she earned a graduate diploma in Theater Direction from the Victorian College of the Arts. She earned her B.A. from the University of Arizona. She is a co-editor of the book, Writing Research in Classroom Practice: Applications for Teacher Professional Development (Guilford, 2010) and has contributed to scholarship which appears in Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education and Teachers College Record, among others. Website:

Erik Skogsberg is currently a doctoral student in English Education, Literacy and Language in the College of Education at Michigan State University (MSU). His research focuses on understanding and supporting beginning English teachers as they negotiate dialogic "third spaces" across diverse classrooms and communities. At MSU, Erik teaches courses in secondary literacies across disciplines and secondary English methods for pre-service teachers. Prior to his time at MSU, Erik taught high school English in Washington State. He holds degrees in English Literature (BA) from Western Washington University and Secondary English Education (MAT) from Brown University. You can reach Erik by e-mail at