Dr. Lewis Ellison is an Assistant Professor in Language and Literacy at Georgia State University. Her research interests explore how agency, identity, and power among African American families are constructed as they use digital tools to make sense of their lives. Dr. Lewis Ellison’s current research study: Dig-A-Famà‚©: Families’ Digital Storytelling Projectà‚©, funded by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Research Foundation Grant, explores the digital stories, practices, and experiences of African American parents and youth. In addition, she is involved in a qualitative participatory action research study that explores how teachers integrate digital tools in their classroom instruction.
Dr. Lewis Ellison earned her Ph.D. in Reading from the University at Albany, State University of New York, in August 2009. She earned a Master of Science degree in TV/Radio, Programming and Management from Brooklyn College and a Master of Arts degree in Reading Specialization from Teachers College, Columbia University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a minor in English from Virginia Union University. As a native Washingtonian, Dr. Lewis attended the District of Columbia public schools, including School Without Walls.
Dr. Lewis’ dissertation is titled, Family Literacy and Digital Literacies: A Redefined Approach to Examining Social Practices of an African-American Family. Her ethnographic case study explores the multiple ways a mother and son interact with digital literacies in the home.
Dr. Lewis Ellison was the 2012 recipient of the NCTE Promising Researcher Award, a finalist of the 2011 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association, a recipient of the Literacy Reading Association Scholars of Color Transitioning into Academic Research Mentoring Program, and a past fellow of NCTE Research Foundation’s Cultivating New Voices among Scholars of Color Fellowship Program.
Dr. Lewis Ellison was a recipient of the J. Michael Parker Award and is currently serving as its board member. She is an editorial review board member for the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, Literacy Research Association Yearbook, Reading Horizons, and Language Arts; a journal reviewer for the Literacy Research Association Area 7 (Social, Cultural, and Political Issues of Literacy Practices In and Out of School), and Qualitative Research.
Dr. Lewis Ellison’s work has appeared in top-tier journals such as: the Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Education, Literacy Research Association Yearbook, and Language Arts. Her work is currently in press in the following journals: the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media and International Journal of Qualitative Methods. In addition, Dr. Lewis Ellison’s work has been featured in Bedtime Stories and Book Reports: Connecting Parent Involvement and Family Literacy and Artifactual literacies: Every Object Tells a Story.
Her sense of determination and resiliency comes from her parents, Tom and Lucille Lewis. Her father, one of 16 children, was the first in his family to attend college after dropping out of school in tenth grade. While working as a District of Columbia police officer, he took eight years to complete his Bachelor of Science degree at American University. Today, Dr. Lewis Ellison’s father is well known as the founder of a nonprofit organization, The Fishing School, which supports families in Washington, D.C.