Professor Chosen for Reading Hall of Fame

Educator honored for decades of research into how children learn

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Professor Bill Nagy

Bill Nagy wants the whole world to read. He likes to deep dive into the human mind, exploring how we learn language. Then he uses that research to bring children maximum success in developing their reading ability.

For 35 years invested in the professional reading community, Nagy was elected by his peers into the Reading Hall of Fame (RHOF) on May 5, 2009. He was honored in Minneapolis at the annual conference of the International Reading Association.

“We in the School of Education are very excited to see Dr. Nagy listed among the most famous experts in reading,” says Frank Kline, interim dean of the school. “The Hall of Fame members list is a Who’s Who of the most important contributors to our knowledge about the act of reading. Bill Nagy belongs there.”

A professor of education and an internationally known expert in vocabulary acquisition and instruction, Nagy earned a doctorate in linguistics from the University of California-San Diego. His extensive research includes the personal observation of first graders in a Chinese classroom and the use of brain imaging with children who have dyslexia as part of an interdisciplinary research team at the University of Washington.

In the 2006–07 academic year, Nagy and Assistant Professor of Education Scott Beers developed the master’s of education degree program in literacy at SPU.

Jim Hoffman, president of RHOF, says Nagy’s efforts have influenced the work of other reading researchers. “Bill’s contributions are instrumental in keeping the topic of vocabulary in the forefront of reading research.”


By Clint Kelly (