Gemma recently received her doctorate in Literacy Education from Syracuse University, where her work focused on the affective experiences and writer identities of adolescent writers in out-of-school spaces, particularly those who are LGBTQ+. Gemma’s dissertation, “A Sense of Safe Connection”: An Affective Narrative Exploration with Queer Teenage Writers in an Out-of-School Time Space, received the 2022-2023 All University Doctoral Prize. She spent the 2022-2023 school year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Literacy Education at Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY.
Academic Honors and Fellowships
- All University Doctoral Prize, Syracuse University (2022-2023)
- William D. Sheldon Fellowship, Reading & Language Arts, Syracuse University (2020-2021)
- Public Humanities Fellow, Humanities New York (2018–2019)
- Spector-Warren Fellow in Holocaust Education (2018, 2019)
- Merit Scholarship, Harvard Graduate School of Education (2009)
- Cooper-Novack, G., & Jones, K. (2022). Creative writing as a way of knowing each other in digital spaces. In T. S. Hodges (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teacher Practices for Diverse Writing Instruction (pp. 70–87). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-6684-6213-3.ch005
- Coleman, J.J., Schey, R., Blackburn, M.V., Brochin, C., Cooper-Novack, G., Crawley, S.A., Cruz, C., Dutro, E., Helton, J., Islam, A., Jiménez, I., Johnson, L., Lizárraga, J.R., Shrodes, A., Simon, R., Wickens, C.M., Young, C.A. (2022). Intergenerational queer method(ologies): Dialogues in literacy research. Literacy research: Theory, method, and practice, 71(1), pp. 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1177/23813377221117165
- Cooper-Novack, G. & Nordquist, B. (2022). Unsettling community and university: Finding fluidity in community literacies and the academy. In Henry, L., & Stahl, N., eds. A field guide to community literacy: Case studies and tools for praxis, evaluation, and research. Taylor & Francis.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2021). Curation. English Journal, 110(3), 47.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2020). Sonnet for Sixth Grade. English Journal, 110(1), 105.
- Vaughn, M., Jang, B.G., Sotirovska, V., & Cooper-Novack, G. (2020). Student agency in literacy: A systematic review of the literature. Reading Psychology, 41(7), 712-734.
- Berger, E. & Cooper-Novack, G. (2013). Inclusive practices for graduate students with disabilities: A writing coach model. NASPA Knowledge Communities.
Academic Conference Presentations and Workshops
- Cooper-Novack, G. & Jones, K. (2022). Affective experiences of marginalized adolescent writers on Zoom: A cross-case synthesis. Literacy Research Association, Phoenix, AZ.
- Cooper-Novack, G. & Jones, K. (2022). Creative writing as a way of knowing each other in digital spaces. American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2022). New self-portraits: Deep dialogue to create poetic texts. Central New York Reading Council Conference (virtual).
- Cooper-Novack, G., & Johnson, L.P. (2021). Dialogue on intergenerational queer methods. Literacy Research Association (virtual).
- Cooper-Novack, G., Nordquist, B., Laila, A., Mohamed, K., & Mohamed, R. (2021). Creating sustainable arts literacy programming for refugee youth through partnership. Conference on Community Writing (virtual).
- Storm, S., Cooper-Novack, G., Lund, V.K., & Starling-Davis, E. (2020). Agency and justice through creative writing in and out of school. Literacy Research Association. (accepted, not presented due to COVID-19)
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2020). Multiliteracies in a shared language of US-based out-of-school time
- programs. American Educational Research Association Conference, San Francisco, CA. (accepted, not presented due to COVID-19)
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2020). Collective writing exercises to build relationships in literacy classrooms. Central New York Reading Council Conference, Syracuse, NY.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2019). Creating collaborative writing with refugee-background youth. National Council of Teachers of English Conference, Baltimore, MD.
- Nordquist, B., Cooper-Novack, G., Robinson, M.J., & Farah, H. (2019). Community literacy and
- superdiversity: Doing the work across time, space, and culture. Conference on Community Writing, Philadelphia, PA.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2019). How critical audience shapes authorship: The resuscitation of the author. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Pittsburgh, PA.
- Cooper-Novack, G. (2019). Why fiction? A systematic literature review of fiction writing pedagogy in secondary school curricula. American Educational Research Association, Toronto, ON, CA.
- Jang, B.G. & Cooper-Novack, G. (2019). How preservice teachers exercise agency in planning and executing two distinct ELA lessons in a mediated field experience. American Educational Research Association, Toronto, ON, CA.
- Jang, B.G., Roy-Campbell, Z., & Cooper-Novack, G. (2018). Bridging the gap between preservice teachers’ coursework and fieldwork: Mediated field experience (MFE) in an elementary ELA methods course. Literacy Research Association, Palm Springs, CA.
- Berger, E.C., Cooper-Novack, G., & Hussein, Y. (2014). More time is not enough: Supporting graduate students with learning disabilities using a writing coach model, a case study. Conference on Equity and Social Justice, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.
- Abdel Ghani, K., Cooper-Novack, G., Gill, M.F. & Kittredge, S. (2014). The Brighton Word Factory: Fun collaborative writing exercises. Massachusetts Poetry Festival, Salem, MA.
- Conference Committee, New York State Reading Association (2023)
- Graduate Committee Member / New Media Scholarship Co-Chair, Writing and Literacies SIG, American Educational Research Association (2020–2022)
- President, Open Doors LGBTQ+ Grad Students Organization, Syracuse University (2017–2022)
- Student Representative,School of Education Assembly, Syracuse University (2018–2019)
- Teaching Mentor, The Graduate School, Syracuse University (2018–2021)
Gemma connects with her students in rich and meaningful way. She never sees a room full of students, but rather a room full of humans ready to explore and experience the world together.
Gemma … arrived in Ghana on day one to call on all the schools where we have relationships through our scholarship program. She recruited two co-teachers so that what she would organize over the next six months would be carried forward and be sustained (and it has!). When she started teaching her curriculum I must admit to skepticism. Until I witnessed her teaching and the class interaction. Theater done the way Gemma does it is multi-variable, where each child participating develops leadership, management and peer accountability. Original storytelling helps each child face their own hurts and hurdles, often very serious -- the plays are written by the kids to represent the lives they have to deal with in a setting with such great poverty.
You were my favorite enrichment teacher that I ever had.
student, age 10
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