Title: Associate Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education
Company: Kennesaw State University
Location: Kennesaw, Georgia, United States
Debra J. Coffey, Associate Professor of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at Kennesaw State University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in education.
As the daughter of a teacher, Dr. Coffey had been interested in education and literature since childhood. When she was in first grade, she imagined how she would teach in the future, and enjoyed finding opportunities to learn in her daily life. Dr. Coffey went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in home economics education, with an emphasis in child development, occupational childcare, English, and curriculum and instruction, from Carson-Newman University in 1980. In 1982, she completed a Master of Science in child and family studies at the University of Tennessee, and in 2004, she was awarded her Doctor of Education in teacher education, with an emphasis in language, literacy, and ESL education.
At the start of her career in the early 1980s, Dr. Coffey gained experience as a graduate assistant and teacher at the University of Tennessee Child Development Laboratory. From there, she served as an elementary school teacher at the Christian Academy of Knoxville for 19 years before returning to the University of Tennessee as a doctoral student 2000. Dr. Coffey remained at the University of Tennessee as an adjunct professor until 2004, when she became an associate professor of literacy and language education at Kennesaw State University. Looking ahead, Dr. Coffey intends to continue teaching, write more books and develop a professional journal.
Dr. Coffey was the recipient of the 2018 A.B. Herr Award for Outstanding Contributions to Literacy Education from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, and has been recognized as a distinguished professor at the undergraduate and graduate level several times. She attributes her success to following her parents’ examples, her diligence in pursuing her goals and fulfilling expectations, and to the strength she gains from her Christian faith. To remain abreast of her field, Dr. Coffey is active in the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers, the American Psychological Association, the International Literacy Association, Literacy Research Association, Georgia Reading Association, Georgia Council for the Social Studies, International Alliance for Invitational Education, International Studies Association, Association of Teacher Educators and the American Educational Research Association. She is also involved with the National Council of Teachers of English, Whole Language Umbrella, National Association for Multicultural Education, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
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