Arthur Applebee Award for Excellence in Research on Literacy​

Purpose of the Award


The Arthur Applebee Award is presented annually to honor an outstanding article in literacy research published in a referred journal in the previous calendar year. The award is presented in memory of University at Albany – SUNY Distinguished Professor Arthur N. Applebee, internationally renowned for his seminal scholarship in the fields of literacy and language learning.


The Arthur Applebee Award at the University of Albany’s School of Education, in conjunction with the Literacy Research Association, will provide an annual award to a national scholar in the area of literacy research. The award recipient shall be selected by a committee that includes an equal number of representatives from both UAlbany’s School of Education and the Literacy Research Association. The award will be presented at the LRA annual conference each year. In the context of this award, “national scholar” refers to a scholar who has or is developing a national or international reputation and includes literacy scholars across the career trajectory.

Criteria for Consideration

In order to be considered for the Arthur Applebee Award, an article must meet the following eligibility requirements:

A research article published in a refereed journal between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022 (for the 2023 recipient).

For articles appearing in print only or in both print and on-line versions, the date of print version should be used to determine the date of publication. For articles appearing only on-line, the date of release should be used to determine the year of publication. If you are at all uncertain, please consult the journal editors to determine what they regard as the official year of publication.

Refereed journals are construed to include journals published around the world, with the proviso that the content is available in English.

The topic of literacy research is construed broadly to include research that informs literacy theory, practice, and/or policy. Nominated articles should make significant contributions to the field, yielding the kind of “ah ha” moment that causes the field to see ideas in new ways with promise to positively influence literacy education. Contributions to the field may include articles that either substantively develop or add to an existing area of research, combine existing areas of research, or create a new or less considered area of investigation.

Because the award focuses on the broadest possible conceptualization of literacy, it necessarily entails all of the epistemological, methodological, disciplinary, and topical perspectives that we find under the LRA umbrella. Thus, any article that emerges successfully from this broad set of filters honors LRA’s fundamental research commitment.

Procedures for Nomination

Nominations will be solicited through listservs, newsletters, and social media of the Literacy Research Association. Self-nominations are accepted. The committee does not give additional weight to multiple nominations of the same article. To avoid conflicts of interest, committee members are not allowed to nominate. Nominations will be accepted through the first Tuesday of September of the year in which the award is to be given. Nominations in the form of a letter of nomination accompanied by an electronic copy of the article will be submitted to the Chair of the Arthur Applebee Award Committee.

Review Process

1. The chair will distribute all nominating packets (letter+article) to the committee members (both the LRA members and the Applebee Foundation members). Each committee member will review and rank the submissions and return them to the chair by the first Tuesday in October. The Chair will tabulate the rankings and share them with the committee, conduct an electronic meeting of the committee if necessary to reach consensus, draft a report that documents the process, and submit the report to the Board of Directors and the Applebee Foundation.

2. The Chair will inform the award recipient by the second Tuesday of November. The recipient’s name should be held in confidence by these individuals until the winner is announced at the Annual Conference.

Presentation of the Award


The Applebee Award is presented at the Annual Conference. The award is presented by the Committee Chair or by a Committee member designated by the Chair. The recipient of the award will receive a plaque and a monetary prize. The inscription on the plaque reads, “The Literacy Research Association and the Applebee Foundation present the Arthur Applebee Award to [recipient’s name] for the outstanding article of [insert year here] in the field of literacy research.”

Promotion of the Award

Information about the recipient appears in the spring issue of the Newsletter along with information about eligibility and award criteria and a request for nominations. The award is promoted through regular announcements on the website, the Listserv, and the Newsletter. A reminder about the application process will be sent via email two days after the program acceptance notices are sent. Additionally, the Applebee Foundation will promote the award in its own literature and at other organizations.

Committee Members


The Arthur Applebee Award Committee consists of 6 members (3 appointed by LRA and 3 by the University at Albany’s School of Education, under Dr. Judith Langer’s leadership). Members from LRA will serve rotating 3-year terms, with one member replaced each year. The LRA president will select the Chair annually from among the 3 LRA members. The Applebee Foundation will determine its own member selection process.

Melanie Kuhn

Chair, (2023 – 2026)

Robert Yagelski

Committee Member, (2020 – 2024)

Cynthia Greenleaf

Committee Member, (2022 – 2025)

Dominique McDaniel

Committee Member, (2022 – 2025)

James Marshall

Committee Member, (2021 – 2024)

Arthur Applebee Award Winners

(2022) Lucia Cardenas Curiel and Leah Duran. A historical inquiry into bilingual reading textbooks: Coloniality and biliteracy at the turn of the 20th century. Reading Research Quarterly, 56(3), 497-518.

(2021) Amanda Kibler, Judy Paulek, Natalia Palacios, and Tatiana Hill.Shared Book Reading and Bilingual Decoding in Latinx Immigrant Homes in the 2020 volume of the Journal of Literacy Research.

(2021) Nicole Mirra and Antero Garcia“I Hesitate but I Do Have Hope”: Youth Speculative Civic Literacies for Troubled Times from the 2020 Harvard Educational Review

(2020) de los Rios, Cati V. Los Músicos”: Mexican corridos, the aural border, and the evocative musical renderings of transnational youth. Harvard Educational Review, 89(2), 177-200.

(2019) Imbrenda, Jon-Philip. Developing academic literacy: Breakthrough and barriers in a college-access intervention. Research in the Teaching of English, 52(3), 317-341.

(2018) Stornaiuolo, A., Smith, A., & Phillips, N. C. (2017). Developing a Transliteracies Framework for a Connected World. Journal of Literacy Research, 49(1), 68-91.

(2017) Ghiso, M. P. (2016). The laundromat as the transnational local: Young children’s literacies of interdependence. Teachers College Record, 118 (1), 1 – 46.

(2017) Goldman, S. R., Britt, M. A., Brown, W., Cribb, G., George, M., Greenleaf, C., Lee, C. D., Shanahan, C. & Project READI (2016). Disciplinary literacies and learning to read for understanding: a conceptual framework for disciplinary literacy. Educational Psychologist, 51 (2), 219-246.