I am an Associate Professor of Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia: a teacher, researcher, and life-long learner . . . a lover of language, intercultural connection, and the idea of educación. You can email me at dornerl @ missouri.edu, find me on Twitter @ lisamdorner, or visit me at LinkedIn.
My work falls into three main areas: language policy and planning in education, educational policy implementation, and immigrant family integration in “new” spaces (like rural Missouri). I am especially interested in the development of language immersion education and how immigrant families and children navigate educational options in the Midwestern United States. And I am a proud fellow of the Cambio Center and, in 2018, a Fulbright Specialist.
I believe *change is local*, so I strive to work in partnership with local schools, families, and teachers. Together, we devise projects and answer difficult questions. We also create together: for example, I have worked with Springboard and the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates to develop online curricula and conversations about the immigrant experience (www.lacesproject.org). Over the years, I have also conducted professional development and program evaluations for non-profit organizations, US Department of Education grant projects, universities, and K-12 school districts, and I am on the Advisory Board of Beloved Community, dedicated to working toward equity from all angles.
*I love teaching.* I have taught students of all ages, from preschool to college. Most recently, I have taught undergraduate education courses where we inquire into community and societal change, graduate courses in research methods, and specialty courses on the theories of human development, educational policy, and immigrant families.
I received my *interdisciplinary* Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University. Previously, I worked as a Program Director at Education for Global Involvement in Chicago, an Assistant Language Teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program in Niigata, Japan, and an instructor at the City Colleges of Chicago. I hold a B.A. and M.A. in English, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy. I consider myself an “emerging bilingual” in Spanish and a hopeful speaker of Japanese.
Finally, I love to read, hike, and *explore the world* with my family, friends, and students. Over the past few years, I have read Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende, Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario, Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. (One of my favorite Ted Talks is The Danger of the Single Story by Adichie.) With my daughter, I’ve re-read the series, Little House on the Prairie — and made sure to discuss the way it positions “Indians” and tells only one slice of the story of “settling” the western United States. I’ve also sought out novels that address issues of justice/injustice and position girls and people of color in powerful roles for both my son and daughter. I’d love to recommend Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Frankly in Love by David Yoon, and The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. And who doesn’t love the brother/sister combo in the Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan, the fantastical series of Harry Potter, and the writing of Lemony Snicket (A Series of Unfortunate Events). HAPPY READING.