Stephanie Al Otaiba, Ph.D.

Stephanie Al Otaiba

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Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair in Teaching & Learning

Stephanie Al Otaiba, Ph.D. joined Southern Methodist University in January 2012 as Professor of Teaching and Learning in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development. She was named the Patsy and Ray Caldwell Centennial Chair in Teaching and Learning in 2014. Previously, she was an Associate Professor at the Florida State University (FSU) and she remains a faculty affiliate of the Florida Center for Reading Research. She received her Ph.D. in 2000 in Human Development from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and prior to that, she was a special educator for over a decade in the United Arab Emirates. She enjoys teaching graduate courses in literacy, special education, assessment, response to intervention and mentoring doctoral students.

Dr. Al Otaiba's research interests include school-based literacy interventions, response to intervention, learning disabilities, diverse learners, and teacher training. She has published over 150 journal articles and book chapters related to these interests. She has also developed reading curricular materials. Her line of research has been supported by several federally funded grants from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences, the Office of Special Education Programs, and from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Click here to learn more about her current projects.

Her research has garnered numerous prestigious awards. In 2001, she received the Outstanding Dissertation Award from the International Reading Association. In 2010, she was the recipient of The Council for Exceptional Children Division for Research Distinguished Early Career Research Award. She also received the Developing Scholar Award and the Graduate Faculty Mentor Award at FSU in 2010. In 2017, she received the Distinguished Career Award from the Special Education Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association. In addition, SMU has awarded her with a Ford Senior Research Fellowship and the University Scholar/Teacher of the Year in 2017, and the Simmons School of Education awarded her the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2018. She was elected as a Fellow by the American Educational Research Association in 2020 and received the Jeannette E. Fleischner Career Leadership Award from the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children in 2021.

Dr. Al Otaiba serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Learning Disabilities. Previously, she was an Associate Editor of Education Researcher and the Elementary School Journal and also serves on numerous editorial boards for scholarly journals in the field of education. For over a decade, she has served on review panels for grants for the Institute of Education Science and has reviewed for the Office of Special Education Programs. She is on the Executive Board for the International Dyslexia Association and in the past was Vice President and President of the Division for Learning Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. Dr. Al Otaiba has consulted nationally and internationally related to literacy intervention, special education, and assessment.