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Why Dr. Polleck Became Involved


Jody Polleck, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Adolescebt Literacy

As a former outreach counselor and current teacher, I am an advocate for youth, particularly those who have been marginalized and underserved. It is my honor to serve as one of the executive committee members of the LGBT Social Science and Public Policy Center, so that I can assist in the creation of an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to providing services for the NYC LGBT community. My goal is to see social workers, counselors, teachers, nurses, and school administrators begin to work together collaboratively to ensure that the social-emotional, physical, and academic needs of our LGBT youth are met in ways that approach wellness in a more holistic way.

Current Work

I am an assistant professor in adolescent literacy education at Hunter College. In 2014, I won the Hunter College Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching.. I am also a literacy intervention teacher and instructional coach at New Design High School, a small progressive school located in the Lower East Side. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland-College Park, majoring in journalism and English with a minor in women’s studies. I began my work with urban adolescents in 1994 where I was an outreach counselor for runaway teenagers in Washington, D.C. Part of my responsibility was to ensure that gay, bisexual, and transgendered young males were provided with safer sex materials, counseling services, and educational information about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. In 1999, I received a Master’s at the University of South Florida in English education and worked as a high school reading and English teacher for struggling and reluctant students in a dropout prevention program. In 2002, I received National Board Certification for adolescent and young adulthood/English language arts. In 2003, I accepted a full-fellowship to New York University where I completed my doctoral degree in English education four years later. My dissertation research focused on urban adolescent females of color and their experiences in student-led book clubs. I explored how these alternative, supplemental forums were effective in not only promoting literacy but social and emotional development as well. My current work centers on how to make instruction in urban schools more differentiated and culturally responsive.

Research, Public Policy, and Creative Endeavors

Polleck, J. & Shabdin, S.  (2013).  Building culturally responsive communities.  The Clearing House:  A Journal of Educational Strategies, 86, 1-8.

Polleck, J. & Wirtz, J.  (2013).  Building urban pre-service teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and skills through digital poetry collaborations.  In J. Keengwe & D. Hucks (Eds.), Literacy Enrichment and Technology Integration in Pre-Service Teacher Education (pp. 37-56).  Hershey, PA:  IGI Global.

Polleck, J.  (2011). Transformative scholarship:  Problematizing the role of the insider within educational research in urban settings.  In W. Blanchett & K. Scott (Eds), Research in Urban Educational Settings:  Lessons Learned and Implications for Future Practice (pp. 59-81).  Charlotte, NC:  Information Age Publishing.

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