Category Archives: Conferences

How to Apply for Conferences

By: Artemis Harris

As graduate students, we are often told we need to be a part of scholarly and academic conversation. It is often suggested that graduate students present their scholarly works at conferences in order to do this. Presenting at conferences not only allows you to be a part of the conversation, but it also allows you to help shape those conversations with your own work. You might currently be at a point where you think you’re ready to present at a conference, or at least want to prepare to. But how does one go about presenting at a conference? 

You need to find a conference that is within your interest to present at. This isn’t always as simple as just signing up and going to one. All conferences are different and will have different requirements and deadlines for application. This blog will break down that process to allow students to be in the best position to be accepted to a conference.  

Where do I find conferences?  

Before you can find a conference, you need to think about the topic you would like to present on. This will be most important to searching for conferences. Remember that you don’t have to have your work completed if you want to present it at a conference. Finding a conference that piques your interest will allow you an idea of what to write about to present in the future. Speaking with your advisors or a professor that specializes in a particular field or genre is also a great idea. It is very likely that they have presented at some of these conferences that will align with your interest and can point you in the right direction. At the very least they might have resources to help you find conferences, which is most important at this stage.  

A good resource to find conferences would be the Call for Papers website. This site will allow students to search for conferences and other calls for papers specifically in literature and the humanities by the topic or field.  

Now that you’ve found a conference and are ready to apply, it is important that you do a few things to make sure we have the best chance of being accepted.  

Make sure that the date of the conference aligns with the time frame you want to do it. 

  • Sometimes in our haste to find a conference, we might not notice that the date of the conference has already passed.  
  • Alternatively, you want to give yourself enough time to write or prepare, so be sure that the conference is not happening too soon that you won’t be ready. 

Check and recheck all the requirements for your submission.  

  • It is very important that you submit everything that is required and that what you are submitting is accurate. Not submitting the correct material or not including the appropriate information can have our application denied.  

Write an abstract for your work.  

  • Most applications will ask for a submission of an abstract instead of submitting the entire work others will require the full work, so check the requirements carefully. 
  • Abstracts are normally between 200 and 400 words, but the length required of the abstract could change depending on the conference. Be sure to check their requirements when writing and adjust accordingly.  
  • Speak with advisors or faculty in that field about the abstract before submitting it. They can give suggestions on making it clearer or more succinct before submission.  

During the submission process a requirement might be to also submit a short professional biography.  

  • Bios are often written in third person for conferences.  
  • When writing use your full first name and reference an accomplishment if possible so that you are more memorable in the reader’s mind.  
  • When writing your bio, keep the information relevant to the audience of the conference.  
  • Keep your bio short and interesting so people get the most information about you before they stop reading. Adding a personal detail or two will help readers make a connection with you.  
  • Remember that a lot of others are submitting too; you want yours to stand out as much as possible without being so long that they lose interest. Again, an advisor or faculty member can help with this.  
  • Be sure to keep in mind the requirements for the bio. Don’t go over the word limit as it could cause your application to be rejected. 

Lastly, be mindful of the deadlines for submission.  

  • Put them in your calendar and set reminders days beforehand so you have enough time to finish and submit it before the deadline. Missing the deadlines will ensure that the application is denied.  

It can take 1-3 weeks for proposals to be selected or denied. If the proposal is accepted, you’ll receive information about the conference, formatting of the sessions, information regarding additional deadlines, etc. Be sure to keep an eye out for this information, especially any new deadlines that might need to be met.  

If you’re rejected, that is okay. This was a learning experience; you can adjust your abstract and bio and submit it to other conferences.  

With this information in hand, you should have everything you need to submit a proposal application to a conference.  

Remember that your advisor and the faculty are always here to help and guide you through this process as well, if you are struggling or need guidance, reach out, you do not have to do this alone.  

Class Discussions and the Scholarly Community

By: Hayley Billet

Classroom settings and course work serve a much greater purpose than to simply provide students with assignments and a final grade. The ideas that are discussed in the classroom help students make connections that will serve them in the future. It helps them form the foundation for the arguments used in their theses as well as synthesizing many important ideas that will guide them in scholarly communities. Classroom learning is about both knowing the content and knowing how to work with (think with and through) the content. 

Classes are meant to guide students through their areas of academic interest and beyond. It is also meant to help students learn about their fields of interest. In both these ways, students are exposed to the breadth and depth of content and theories within the discipline, understanding which theories are used by whom to build arguments. Through the work produced for classes, students can revise their research into something to present at a conference that specializes in their area of interest or something to submit to a journal that is based in their field of interest. Again, the breadth and depth help students understand where their research aligns with contemporary conversations, so they are prepared to present at conferences.  

Graduate courses are meant to mentor graduate students and prepare them for future success, graduate courses invite students to join the scholarly community. This starts in the classroom and through the professors that initiate and provoke these crucial conversations. After all, professors serve as another foundational element that will help students and push them to be better scholars. Whether or not that happens will be up to the individual student. 

It is up to the students to learn from this information and push themselves, using what they have learned in the classroom, to help them succeed in their future careers and interact with others in the scholarly community. It is expected that graduate students develop and refine their writing and critical thinking skills, often on their own in addition to coursework. Their writing is meant to propel them into their future career pursuits and academic choices. The skills graduate and undergraduate students use in scholarly communities are learned and refined in the classroom. Undergraduate students are expected to discuss and build upon their existing prior knowledge of academic topics. Undergraduate students activate prior knowledge (APK) in the classroom, and in doing so discover and develop their academic and scholarly skills.  

English and World Languages graduate students are expected to use their writing as a tool for success. Graduate school is an opportunity for students to strengthen their professional and creative writing skills. This will help English and World Languages graduate students become better writers and learn to establish themselves in professional settings. They are able to draw from their academic work and classroom conversations and use that to help them interact in scholarly communities and solidify themselves as successful academic scholars. Getting along with other colleagues in the scholarly community and maintaining academic conversations in these fields starts in the classroom.  

The value of building many ideas, having academic conversations (the back and forth of a discussion), and synthesizing these ideas and experiences together is crucial in helping graduate students reach their full academic potential and apply these learned experiences in the classroom to the real-world of academia. It is important that graduate students understand the connections between what they learn and discuss in the classroom and the scholarly community. Not only are they both important to ensure student success, but they also help to strengthen graduate student’s critical, professional, and creative skills. This synthesis of ideas can also be applied to the success of undergraduate students as well. Undergraduate school is concerned with teaching students professionalism and helping them learn how to apply their pre-existing knowledge and sets of skills. This will help them become better academic scholars and get them thinking about their role in the scholarly community. 

By taking what they have learned in the classroom and applying it to the scholarly community, graduate and undergraduate students can begin to establish themselves scholars. Graduate school is meant to introduce students to their field of interest and allow them to begin engaging in professional organizations, conferences, and publications. Undergraduate school is concerned with teaching students professionalism. They each serve an important purpose. The conversations they will have with others in the scholarly community will call back to the conversations they have started in the classroom.  

Classroom conversations serve as the foundation that helps graduate and undergraduate students prepare for conversations with others at conferences, in professional settings, professional organizations, etc. Not only does it serve to build their confidence, but it also serves as a gateway to more important conversations in the scholarly community. 

Graduate Awards, Recognitions, and Presentations

By: Hayley Billet

Graduate school is the pivotal transitory stage in which students begin to solidify themselves as scholars. It is crucial that graduate students establish their presence at conferences, become representatives of their areas of academic interest, and receive notable recognition for their effort and hard work. Not only will it build their resumes and confidence, but it will help launch their future careers and academic endeavors.  

That being said, it is important that we acknowledge and celebrate the accomplishments of our graduate students in the English and World Languages Department. During this time of uncertainty, they have exhibited great determination and perseverance. Graduate work is not easy, and we would like to recognize these students for forging through the graduate program and going above and beyond in their studies.  

English MA student Maddie Bair will be presenting at the Rhetoric Society of America’s Charge for Change 2022 conference in Baltimore on May 27th. She will be presenting her thesis work.  

English MA student Hayley Billet will be presenting at the Northeast Modern Language Association 2022 conference in Baltimore on March 12th. She will be presenting her thesis work in a roundtable discussion. 

English MA student Jordan Traut has been awarded the Graduate Studies Fellowship and received funding from the Wickersham-Burrowes Fund for Excellence in the Arts. This will be used to fund her study abroad trip to Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, as well as her trip to a Native American musical in Oklahoma City. 

Jadon Barnett, an English MA student, was awarded funding from the Wickersham-Burrowes Fund for Excellence in the Arts. He will use the funding for his independent study in board game development with Dr. Pfannenstiel. 

Sean Guckert, an English MA student, presented a paid guest lecture on disability studies and institutionalized care. A reflection from Sean on his experience as a guest lecturer and his presentation is coming soon. 

We appreciate the efforts of our graduate students and commend them for their hard work and dedication. 

Experience MAPACA

Skyler Gibbon and a group of fellow graduate students attended the Mid Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association conference last November. Read about Skyler’s experiences below! 

Skyler Gibbon at a panel discussion.

As graduate students, we get fun opportunities outside the boundaries of this university… or county… or state. These opportunities often come in the form of conferences — a gathering of students and professors coming to share their work. This often means creating connections and building relationships with people of similar area interests. 

This past November, several English graduate students left for Pittsburgh for a three day trip to the Mid Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association (MAPACA) conference. This took place at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, which is at the heart of the Cultural District (and also has the best taco restaurant around). We all went bearing different ideas to share, from play pedagogy to hip hop poetics. I presented ideas from my thesis: The Rhetorical Influence and Hermeneutics of Hip Hop Culture. I talked about how “Holy Profanity” and hip hop artist use the sacred to express authentic experiences. I have presented on this topic before, but this was on a larger scale. It was not only helpful to hear audience members provide insights for my work, but to also hear notions of using my work in their curriculum.

There was an array of presentations up for viewing, all organized by specific areas of study – lgbtq studies, film studies, religious studies, game studies, etc… Unfortunately, the presentations overlap with each other, so it was impossible to go to as many presentations as I wanted to. However, I was intrigued by all that I did see. I watched presentations from the beginning to end of day, each day. 

Because a number of the people I traveled with are invested in game studies, I found myself watching presentations in this, which I don’t do traditionally. I am usually to be found in studies involving a typical social justice connection. I am not so familiar with game studies and play pedagogy, so this was a good opportunity to get more informed. I watched professors dress up in superhero costumes in a skit to demonstrate the value of comic book pedagogy. This fed my curiosity while also being quite entertaining. I went in with the hopes of catching my professor looking like Spiderwoman. I was disappointed that this didn’t happen, but she promises that there will be a costume for both of us next year. 

Jason Hertz presenting at the conference.

There was quite a bit of play, actually. As a person who is really interested in looking for ways to build bridges through vulnerability, I was really intrigued by one of the gaming presentations we saw together. The presenter showed us three different games that use love and sex themes to build intimacy and vulnerability between players. Afterwards, Dr. Nicole Pfannenstiel co-led a “parlor games” session, where we played a card game that she and another graduate student co-created. This game was a really fun way of practicing rhetorical skills. The simplest way I can describe it is as a creative Apples to Apples with rhetoric. 

There were a few chances to socialize, as well. There was a graduate student social, where participants played “MAPACA Jeopardy.” Winners received Starbucks gift cards (because what would a graduate student want more?).  There was also a reception and a formal dinner, where leaders were recognized for the labor they put into creating and organizing this conference. As a little outing in the city, I went to see a play production of The Scarlet Letter, which was really impressively done.

Overall and looking back, this was a really great time. It exceeded my expectations. Getting to travel in a car with others to a different place brought adventure to our academia (and laughter). I got to explore a bit of the historically and culturally rich, old city of Pittsburgh. Also, every conference I go to is a reminder of how my work connects with the work of others. I look forward to applying to MAPACA next year (which is in Princeton, NJ), as well as any other conferences that come my way!

If you are interested in participating in MAPACA, do get in touch with either Dr. Nicole Pfannenstiel or Dr. Caleb Corkery. They  will help guide you through the submission, travel, and presentation aspects if this is your first conference.

Skyler Gibbon

Demystifying Dyslexia Conference 2020

Thanks to all who Attended!

Thanks to the many people who attended the conference to learn more about dyslexia.  The movement to get equity in education for people with language-based learning differences is certainly taking hold.  We will have videos of some of the conference presentations shortly.

Thanks to Conference Organizers Rachel Hicks and Sara Page Stinchcomb

Sara Page Stinchcomb, organizer and presenter
Sara Page Stinchcomb, organizer and presenter

As anyone knows who has put on a conference, there is a lot of work behind the scenes.  Two Millersville University students helped organize this conference: Ms. Rachel Hicks and Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb.  I was waiting until they were in the room to thank them, but they were always just passing through to the next assignment.  Rachel and Sara set up the brochures, the social media, many of the emails, the child care, the buttons, the raffle, and the volunteers.  They are amazing colleagues to work with.

Thanks to our Presenters and Panelists

Wow. The combined experience in the rooms was so impressive. We learned so much. Thank you, sincerely, for sharing your expertise.

The Day

Rebecca Warner and pqdb table
Rebecca Warner and pqdb table
Heather Layman from Lancaster's CDC
Heather Layman from Lancaster’s CDC on left

The day began with 11 different tables, from the Center for Dylexia, to schools and microschools, to psychologists, to organizations like Decoding Dyslexia (both PA and VA represented),  to camps, to jewelry.  These resources enabled attendees to browse the regional resources.


Here are some links to

Morning Sessions

Dr. Janet Josephson, Associate Professor of EMEE

The Day began with a review of what dyslexia is and isn’t, and an estimate of its impact on school-aged children with disabilities.  Dr. Janet Josephson, Associate professor of Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education got the audience members talking and engaged in understanding the foundational scientific data about dyslexia.

Dr. Josephson’s presentation  was recorded, and will be available at the end of this week.  Her slides are already available.  Ms. Page Stinchcomb then told her story about how teachers impacted her life positively by giving her a nickname in second grade (“Miss Math”) and by using multi-modal teaching to give students different avenues to comprehend the materials.

Dr. Margaret Kay
Dr. Margaret Kay

Dr. Peg Kay then explained about how what testing reveals, and how the varied tests can be used to modify instruction to help the student in the classroom.  In the photo at the left, she indicates how students who have established an IQ at the higher hand may be determined to have a disability by testing in those areas with scores at the lower hand.  This deviation from expected performance is what establishes the disability.

In the past in Pennsylvania, students would have to do so poorly in their classes that they would be in the lower percentages of the population (the “wait to fail” model), but in recent years Dr. Kay explained how the “Response to Intervention” model would work.  Unfortunately, many students with dyslexia are not identified in the 0-10 window (by their grade) where interventions would help.  The system also is ill prepared to identify dual exceptionals (students with both a disability and a gift).

Dr. Kay also talked through instances of multiple disabilities, including students who may have ADHD and dyslexia or a visual impairment and dyslexia.  She noted that vision therapy for students who have a visual impairment (in addition to the phonological impairment that dyslexia is–she carefully reinforced that dyslexia is NOT a visual impairment) is now covered by insurance due to the USDE’s letter-on-visual-impairment-5-22-17.

The Keynote Panel
The Keynote Panel

At lunch, the power panel of Daphne Uliana (Dyslexia and Literacy Network), Rebecca Warner (middle left, Decoding Dyslexia VA, pqdb), Hollie Woodard (middle right, Council Rock School District), and  Angela Kirby (right, PaTTAN)(pictured above) discussed where Pennsylvania is in terms of meeting the needs of kids with dyslexia in K-12 and college. They noted that intervention to create a better outlook for students would probably be most successful in getting more training for pre-service teachers or teachers doing their masters.  In Pennsylvania, even a reading specialist has no required training in dyslexia. Angela Kirby mentioned that PaTTAN offers many trainings for both teachers and parents that offer scholarships. There is a three-day training in June that might be particularly helpful. The panel noted that only 7 schools in Pa are IDA certified, and 6 of these are at the masters level.

Sara Page Stinchcomb and Abigail Rissinger
Sara Page Stinchcomb and Abigail Rissinger

After lunch, breakout sessions began.  Millersville University Students Abigail Rissinger (right) and Sara Page Stinchcomb (left) shared their experiences with reading, writing, and school in Breakout session 1. Other sessions covered many topics, from Dyslexia with Anxiety and ADHD, to using Orton Gillingham in the Classroom.

Overall, the day offered significant expertise to the community, and especially parents and teachers of kids with dyslexia.  As one attendee put it, the conference “was OUTSTANDING!  It was incredibly organized with some of the best dyslexia thinkers our state has to offer.”  Another stated, the “organization and amount of information is outstanding and it is so important that so many teachers and parents (and administrators) need to hear and be aware of!  I wish more administrators would attend to see what curriculums would be beneficial in classrooms!  My never ending battle in the real world of teaching… getting the right curriculum and training to the teachers!”

Resources from the Demystifying Dyslexia Conference 2020

We are happy to share our resources from the 2020 conference to help community members.

Dr. Margaret Kay:

Dr. Sarah Haas:

Kevin Ghaffari:

Social/Emotional Concerns:

Compensatory Skills:

Lauren Maffett, M.Ed. and Rachel Moore, MD:

Daphne Uliana:

Who’s Who at the DeMystifying Dyslexia Conference

We are looking forward to sharing insights about dyslexia with you on February 8th.
Check out the expertise that will be “in the room.”

Speakers in Order of Appearance

Sara Stinchcomb

Ms. Stinchcomb is a student at Millersville University majoring in Mathematics. She was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 7 and has since tackled many of the challenges of dyslexia.

Dr. Jill Craven

Dr. Craven is a  Millersville University English professor. She received her Doctorate In Comparative Literature from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She is Chair of the English Department and a parent of a dyslexic child. She is the founder and organizer of this conference.

Dr. Janet Josephson

Dr. Janet Josephson is an associate professor in the MU Department of Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education (EMEE). She conducts research in Universal Designs for Learning, behavior management for inclusive settings, and the experience of pre-service teachers in field placements. In previous years, she had worked as a special education teacher in New York and Philadelphia.

Dr. Margaret Kay

Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. NCSP, FABPS is a licensed psychologist in PA and DE, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, and a Fellow of the American Board of Psychological Specialties with Forensic Specialization in Educational and School Psychology. Dr. Kay has been in private practice since 1980 and performs Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE’s) for school-age children, college students, and adults with language-based learning disorders of the dyslexic type.

Rebecca Warner

Rebecca Warner is a founding member of Decoding Dyslexia Virginia and the creator of the Dyslexia Symbol pqbd.  A graduate from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and a jewelry designer by trade, Rebecca’s advocacy began about 10 years ago as she began navigating her two sons through public school with dyslexia and ADHD.  She serves on the Special Education Advocacy Committee with the Virginia Department of Education and is a partner with the Dyslexia Friendly Libraries of Virginia, but her passion is connecting with parents who are trying to support their dyslexic children.  “Apparently it DOES take a village.”

Lauren Maffett, M.Ed

Lauren Maffett is a Pennsylvania-certified public school teacher with a master’s degree as a Reading Specialist. She currently works as a preschool director. She has two dyslexic children of her own. In addition, she is a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner with the Children’s Dyslexia Center and co-founder of Lancaster Reading Solutions, LLC.

Rachel Moore, MD

Rachel Moore has worked as a family physician, an artist musician, and a teacher. She lives with her daughter and husband, who both have dyslexia. She is a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner with the Children’s Dyslexia Center and co-founder of Lancaster Reading Solutions, LLC.

Hollie Woodard

Hollie Woodard is a high school English teacher and technology coach from the Council Rock School District in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She is the PAECT Advocacy Chair, 2017 Keystone Technology Star, 2018 and 2019 Keystone Technology Star Lead Learner, and a member of PTAC and Decoding Dyslexia PA. As the mother of a special needs child, she is a passionate dyslexia advocate and credits much of her teaching innovation to her desire to meet the needs of her most vulnerable students.

Dr. Stacey Irwin

Dr. Stacey Irwin is Professor in the Media & Broadcasting program at Millersville University where she teaches a variety of courses in media production, public speaking, and leadership. Her husband and daughter are unique learners and the inspiration for her documentary, Raising Faith: Stories About Dyslexia, released in 2019. She hosts the website where she shares information about the film and the forthcoming Dyslexia Stories podcast.

Heather Hinkel

Heather Hinkel has been the Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster since 2013. She received her Certified Dyslexia Practitioner-1 (CDP-1) certification in 2008 and her CDP-2 certification in 2012. In 2015, she received certification as an Instructor of Practitioners and has been certifying adults as dyslexia practitioners at both the initial and advanced levels through the Children’s Dyslexia Centers. She has helped students of all ages overcome challenges associated with dyslexia.

Angela Kirby

Angela Kirby is the PaTTAN (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Center)- Harrisburg Office Director and has held this position since 2008. She has previously worked as a teacher, administrator, educational consultant and special assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education.

Daphne Uliana

Inspired by struggles with her three dyslexic children, Daphne along with other advocates helped to pass Act 69 of 2014, which established a pilot program to screen all children for reading difficulty in Pennsylvania.  In 2018, she helped to pass a two-year extension for the pilot program, and she–along with other parent advocates–was instrumental in having an audio version of the Pennsylvania driver’s manual placed online. In 2018, Daphne started the Dyslexia and Literacy Network, an all-volunteer nonprofit to help parents who have children with dyslexia, bring more awareness of dyslexia and advocate for change.

Dr. Sara Haas

Dr. Sara Haas  is a licensed child psychologist in PA who specializes in treatment and evaluations for toddlers through young adults with behavioral and attention struggles. As an established researcher and as a private practice owner (, Dr. Haas often sees clients with dyslexia and co-occurring ADHD and/or anxiety. She is dedicated to empowering youth and young adults to overcome their academic and behavioral challenges. A Buffalo, NY native, she has been sought after for many therapist and teaching positions locally, including positions at Penn State Hershey, Penn State Harrisburg, Dickinson College, and Elizabethtown College.

Kevin Ghaffari

Kevin Ghaffari has been teaching middle and high school students with reading challenges for over 20 years. He has taught in public and private schools in California, New York, Maryland, and, now, Pennsylvania. He is currently teaching at Wheatland Middle School in Lancaster.

Abby Rissinger

Abby Rissinger is a Millersville student with dyslexia.

Faith Irwin

Faith Irwin is a Millersville student with dyslexia. She is the inspiration for the documentary “Raising Faith: Stories about Dyslexia” which focuses on dyslexia and how it presents in children, along with the challenges dyslexia poses.

Katie Shuey

Katie Shuey has been working at The Janus School for four years. In 2012 she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland. Katie got her first teaching job at a public school in Baltimore County. After two years, she decided she wanted to dedicate her time to children who learn differently. She transferred to The Odyssey School in Baltimore, MD, focusing on dyslexia and a variety of learning differences. After two years at the Odyssey School, Katie moved to Pennsylvania for some life opportunities. Katie loves working at The Janus School where she can teach ALL learners and put her students first.

Jen Risser

Jen Risser has been a teacher and Reading Specialist at the Janus School for 19 years. She graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor’s degree and a certification in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and a Master’s degree in Reading and Language Arts and a certification as a Reading Specialist.


Decoding Dyslexia is a grassroots movement of parents concerned with the limited access dyslexic students have in public schools to services, technologies, and reading programs that truly work for them. Decoding Dyslexia PA is led by volunteer parents and other interested people who work together to increase awareness of dyslexia and related neurolinguistic learning disabilities; to educate parents, educators and policy makers; and to advocate for children with dyslexia. Chapters of Decoding Dyslexia are in every state in the USA, and the movement has spread to other countries, such as Canada.

Children’s Dyslexia Center

Since opening its doors in 2002, the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster has helped remediate reading and written language skills of over 200 children, and trained nearly 50 tutors. Housed inside the Masonic Center of Lancaster County on Chestnut Street, the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and tutors children for free on a first-come, first-served basis regardless of race, ethnicity, economic status, gender, or religious affiliation.

The Janus School

The Janus School is an independent and accredited day school offering a core academic program to students in central Pennsylvania with learning differences such as language- or math-based learning disabilities, ADHD, high functioning autism, executive function difficulties, nonverbal learning disorders, or auditory processing disorder.  The Janus School aims to inspire, prepare, and uplift students who learn differently to become thriving participants in diverse communities, empowered by their educations and enabled to succeed.

Lancaster Reading Solutions, LLC

Lancaster Reading Solutions offers private lessons and group lessons for students with dyslexia.


Demystifying Dyslexia Conference: February 8th 2020

Millersville University will host the second Demystifying Dyslexia Conference to bring resources pertaining to dyslexia to teachers, future teachers, parents, people with dyslexia, advocates, administrators, and allies. We hope to see you there!  Child care will be available. DDMU20        Instagram: @ddc_mu

Poster: dyslexia-poster-final
Flyer: dyslexia-flyer-final

Holly Woodward’s IEP 2.0–A collection of technology tools to address learning differences

CHILD CARE provided by MU university students with Child Abuse clearances.  Sign up required.
Provided in Room 206 Stayer Hall


Registration is required. A small fee ($5 per credit) will be charged for those desiring CEU or Act 48 credits.


8:15 Coffee and Registration with Info Tables

  • Information about Educational Opportunities at Millersville (Rich Mehrenberg)
  • Online, Virtual Tutoring (Lauren Maffett, Rachel Moore)
  • Decoding Dyslexia PA (Anne Edwards)
  • Decoding Dyslexia Virginia and pqbd (Rebecca Warner)
  • Center For Active Minds  & Sarah Haas, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Director of the Center
  • Dyslexia & Literacy Network (Daphne Uliana)
  • Children’s Dyslexia Center (Heather Hinkel)
  • The Janus School (Janet Gillespie)
  • Office of Learning Services – Accommodations and Kurzweil at Millersville University (Julianne Browne)
  • Dyslexia Interest Group Sign-up (Sara Page Stinchcomb)

9:00 Welcome
Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb, Millersville University Student and Advocate for People with Dyslexia

9:05 Organization of the Events
Dr. Jill Craven, Chair of English

9:10: Understanding the Challenges of Dyslexia and Working to Create Opportunities for Access
 Dr. Janet Josephson, Associate Professor of Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education (EMEE), Millersville University

10:00 A Teacher’s Influence
 Ms. Sara Page Stinchcomb, Millersville University Student

10:15 Break

10:30 From Dyslexia Identification to Getting Services: A Testing to Teaching Model
Dr. Margaret Kay

 LUNCH and KEYNOTE ($12, GORDINIER HALL–Free for MU Students with ID)

  • 12:00 Lunch: Gordinier Hall, Lehr room (2nd Floor)
  • Keynote Panel: Creating and Structuring Advocacy in PA–Making a MovementAngela Kirby (PaTTAN), Daphne Uliana (Dyslexia and Literacy Network), Rebecca Warner (pqbd, Decoding Dyslexia Virginia), and Hollie Woodard (Decoding Dyslexia Pennsylvania); Moderator, Jill Craven (Millersville University)


 2:00 Breakout Session I (Stayer Hall)

  1. Experiences of Learning with Dyslexia (Audience: 7) Room 100 Multipurpose Room
    Abigail Rissinger, Sara Page Stinchcomb (Moderator Jill Craven)
  2. Technology for People with Dyslexia (Audience: 7) Room 108-9
    Demonstrations with Hollie Woodard (DDPA)
  3.  Advocacy Workshop for People who Care about Dyslexia Legislation (Audience: 7) Room 104
    Daphne Uliana
  4. “Supporting People with Dyslexia in Math, Science, and Non-Language classes” (Audience: 7) Room 106
    Dr. Janet Josephson
  5. “What to do if your Child shows signs of Dyslexia” (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 5). Room 110
    Dr. Margaret Kay

3:00 Breakout Session II (Stayer Hall)

  1. PA Act 69 Update/Results (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 5) Room 204
    Angela Kirby, Director of PaTTAN
  2. Dyslexia in PA –The on-going battle over the “D” word.  (Audience: 7) Room 110
    Dr. Margaret  Kay; Lauren Maffett M.Ed; Rachel Moore, MD
  3. IEP 101: Proven Strategy to Get the Support Your Child Needs  Room 106
    Hollie Woodard
  4. Orton-Gillingham in the Classroom (Audience: 2, 3, 4, 5) Room 108-9
    The Janus School
  5. Dyslexia plus ADHD and/or Anxiety – Now What? (Dr. Sarah Haas) (Audience: 7) Room 104

4:00   Breakout Session III  (Stayer Hall)

  1. Regional Offerings for Tutoring  and the Children’s Dyslexia Center of Lancaster (Audience: 7) Room 106
    Heather Hinkel, Director of the Children’s Dyslexia Center
    Lauren Maffett, M.Ed.; Rachel Moore, MD; Lancaster Reading Solutions
  2. Dealing with Dyslexia as an Adult–Group Discussion (Audience: 6) Room 104
    Kevin Ghaffari, M.Ed;  Abby Rissinger
  3. Raising Faith (Audience: 7)  Room 110
    Dr. Stacey Irwin and Faith Irwin
  4. Advanced Phonics Presentation  (Audience: 3) Room 108-9
    The Janus School
  5. Advocacy Planning (Audience: 7) Room 204 with refreshments
    Jill Craven (Millersville), Angela Kirby (PaTTAN), Daphne Uliana (Dyslexia and Literacy Network),
    Rebecca Warner (pqbd, Decoding Dyslexia Virginia), and Hollie Woodard (Decoding Dyslexia Pennsylvania)

 Audience Key:

  1. Students
  2. Parents
  3. Teachers and Future Teachers
  4. Counselors
  5. Administrators, Advocates and Attorneys
  6. Adult Dyslexics
  7. Everyone

Sponsored by
Millersville University’s Department of English,
the College of Education and Human Services,
the Department of Early, Middle, and Exceptional Education,
and The School of Social Work

Alumni and Current Students Swap Stories and Insights at Lit Fest

This last semester’s Literary Festival, Writing in Community, was very special.  There were so many moments of genuine community, that made us all remember why we love Millersville English.

Presenting at Boundless: Learning in Ticket to Ride

Elizabeth Duchesneau, a freshman English BSE major, presented at the first Boundless Conference held at the Ware Center featuring the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Read more about her experiences below!

Elizabeth Duchesneau presents at Boundless.

On October 11th, Millersville University hosted the very first Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Conference: Boundless. I’m a freshman, so I had never been to a research presentation conference. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew what my topic was and that I wanted to share all the hard work I had poured into my class with Dr. Pfannenstiel.

The first thing I noticed about the conference was that it was laid out as a giant group discussion of the arts and humanities, split into subcategories. Our class was involved in a discussion about learning in games. Because the conference was relatively small, everyone in the audience could add input along with each speaker, and each speaker could be confident that everyone who was there really wanted to be there to hear what they had to say.

The most important part of presenting my topic, Learning in Ticket to Ride, was figuring out how to engage the audience while also providing understanding of what I had learned. My classmates had some great suggestions about how to communicate ideas successfully, such as maintaining eye contact and speaking clearly and loudly. I also wanted to make sure the audience was open-minded towards the topic, especially since it may have been the first time some people had been hearing about it. I did this by giving explanations of various concepts my class knew well, but others may not have.

-Elizabeth Duchesneau