Maria Coady will join the NC State College of Education as the first Goodnight Distinguished Professor of Educational Equity, effective August 16, 2022.
The Goodnight Distinguished Professor in Educational Equity was established with a $1.5 million gift from Ann and Jim Goodnight to attract a top faculty member to advance the college’s commitment to educational equity. equity and educational impact through groundbreaking research, teaching and service. Matching funds brought the total donation to $2.1 million.
“We are thrilled to welcome Maria Coady to our College of Education, where her work will help advance our mission of granting land to have a transformative impact on society and advance the greater good,” said Paola Sztajn, dean of the NC State College of Education. “His asset-based approach to serving multilingual learners in areas with greater needs and fewer resources will benefit students and educators across the state, especially in rural communities, and help ensure that our schools K-12 are a place where all students can belong and succeed.”
Coady most recently served as the Irving and Rose Fein Endowed Professor of Education and Professor of English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Bilingual Education at the University of Florida College of Education.
“I am so excited to join the faculty at NC State College of Education. I really feel like it’s just a wonderful place for my research,” Coady said. “There has been an almost 200% growth in the number of multilingual students in the state of North Carolina over the past decade. We have a lot of work to do and I believe we can make a huge and significant difference. I’m really ready to be out in the field to work and meet people in the state.
Coady’s research focuses on rural English language and multilingual learners, with particular emphasis on student literacy and language development, educational practices for rural multilingual students, and the ways in which educators and schools can better involve multilingual learners and their families.
His research over the past 20 years has also investigated how place matters in the preparation of educators as well as in the work educators do with multilingual learners and families.
“It’s a very narrow area of research that taps into a lot of the demographics and a lot of the very exciting changes that have taken place in North Carolina over the last eight to ten years, where there’s been tremendous growth in the number of multilingual learners, especially in rural communities,” Coady said. “One of the things I love so much about coming to NC State is that North Carolina has 100 counties and 80 of them are referred to as rural. For me, it’s wonderful.
Over the course of his career, Coady has written or co-written over two dozen books and book chapters and produced several short films, including Small town, big dreams, which chronicles the story of an immigrant family in a rural Florida community and their elementary school’s efforts to create community classrooms where multilingual students could build their confidence.
Coady is also a three-time Fulbright Scholar, having worked on projects related to multilingual education in South Africa, Ukraine and Poland.
She has received over $10 million in grants, including from the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, and received the Exemplary Contributions to Practice-Engaged Research Award from American Educational Research. Association (AERA) in 2020.
Coady earned his Ph.D. in Social, Bilingual, and Multicultural Foundations of Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder; an honorary degree in teaching from the National University of Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine; a master’s degree in language, literacy and cultural studies from Boston University; and a bachelor’s degree in international perspectives and business administration from the University of New Hampshire.