What it means to be literate today is very different than what it meant 10 years ago and what it will mean 10 years from now. As a result, Walden University reading and literacy experts have been selected for their abilities to promote 21st-century literacy in students from a very young age. They provide proven skills that both students and teachers need in order to thrive in today's fast-paced, information-driven world. As educators, administrators, and policy-makers, these experts bring new literacy perspectives that form the basis of research-based best practices and which provide leadership in literacy on a national level.

Donald Bear, Ed.D.

Dr. Bear is a professor in the department of Educational Specialties in the College of Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. He also serves as director of the university's E.L. Cord Foundation Center for Learning and Literacy. Dr. Bear consults with school districts to develop their literacy programs. He is the co-author of Vocabulary Their Way: Word Study with Middle and Secondary Students and Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction.

Linda Gambrell, Ph.D.

Dr. Gambrell, a professor of education in the Eugene T. Moore School of Education at Clemson University, recently served as president of the International Reading Association (IRA) and was a member of the IRA's Board of Directors. In 2004, she was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame. Her current research interests are in the areas of reading comprehension strategy instruction, literacy motivation, and the role of discussion in teaching and learning. She is co-editor of Literacy Teaching and Learning and serves on the editorial advisory boards of Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Literacy Research, and Reading Research and Instruction.

Dorothy Strickland, Ph.D.

Dr. Strickland offers more than 50 years of knowledge and perspective as a reading and literacy expert. She began her landmark career as an elementary classroom teacher, and went on to serve as a reading consultant and learning disabilities specialist before assuming such leadership roles as president of both the International Reading Association and its Reading Hall of Fame. Today she is a senior research fellow at the National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University Graduate School of Education where she holds the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Chair in Education. She has authored and edited numerous publications on language development and reading.

Alfred W. Tatum, Ph.D.

Dr. Tatum has emerged as a leading voice on adolescent literacy,  conducting cutting-edge, qualitative research on the literacy development  of African-American adolescent males and teacher professional  development in urban middle and high schools. A former eighth grade teacher and reading specialist, he offers professional development  support to schools nationwide in addressing the literacy needs of students characterized as vulnerable. Dr. Tatum is an associate professor in the Department of Literacy Education at Northern Illinois University and is active in several professional international and national literacy organizations including serving on the board of directors for the  International Reading Association.