Devin Kearns Receives John J. Russell Award for Advocacy in Education

The John J. Russell Award for Advocacy in Education is given annually to an individual who has made an impact in helping children with learning disabilities reach their full potential. Their efforts may be in fields of research, pedagogy, legislation, education, or business. This year’s award is presented to Dr. Devin Kearns. 

Dr. Kearns has dedicated his career to advancing reading outcomes in elementary and middle school students, as a teacher, literacy coach, reading specialist, researcher, and curriculum developer. 

As an associate professor of Special Education in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut and research scientist for Haskins Laboratories, Dr. Kearns’ focus is on linking educational practice to cognitive science and neuroscience. He still regularly works in schools, supporting teachers and administrators as they strive to improve literacy rates and build communities of young readers and writers. 

Dr. Kearns sits on several editorial and advisory boards, including the National Center on Intensive Intervention. His work with the NCII furthering data-based individualization—or instruction informed through the systematic use of assessment data, validated interventions, and research-based adaptation strategies—is moving the needle on reading outcomes for children. In recent years, Devin has assisted the NYC DOE in their initiative to implement DBI systematically and sustainably within NYC public schools, which has not only had a big impact on the students served, but has also inspired a strong sense of collective efficacy for teachers and administrators in these schools. 

The Windward Institute is also fortunate to benefit from Dr. Kearns’ breadth of knowledge and insights as a member of our advisory board.