Alfred Tatum

tatumI came to UIC in 1995 as a graduate student to study in the Reading, Writing, and Language (now Literacy, Language, and Culture) Program and became the first African American male to earn a Ph.D. from this program. Since returning to UIC in 2007, I have served as director of the UIC Reading Clinic, coordinator of the Ph.D. program in Literacy, Language, and Culture, and Department Chair of Curriculum & Instruction. I currently serve as interim Dean of the College of Education.

As one who is committed to making a difference in the lives of young males, I hosted the African American Male Summer Literacy Institute for five consecutive years with the aim to nurture the next generation of African American male writers. Additionally, I developed the Pre-College Leadership Impact Program with several College of Education colleagues to recruit African American males to the teaching profession. My ultimate aim as a research professor is to restore students’ confidence in texts as tools of protection.

Alfred Tatum who was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side is the author of more than 50 publications.  He is a nationally recognized expert on the literacy development of African American youth. The author of three books, he has written literacy curricula distributed by Scholastic Inc. for use by millions of students throughout the country. Two years ago, he participated in the National Summit on Educational Excellence and Opportunity for African American Males, part of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. For more than 10 years, Tatum has served on the national reading committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. He was a board member of two major literacy organizations, the International Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association. Tatum recently authored policy reports and solution briefs for Jobs for the Future, a national organization fostering career-oriented education, and the Council of Great City Schools, an organization of the nation’s largest urban public school systems. Prior joining UIC, Tatum taught at Buffalo State College, the University of Maryland and Northern Illinois University. He was a senior research associate for North Central Regional Education Lab. Dr. Tatum is also a proud father of two sons.

As one who is committed to making a difference in the lives of young males, I hosted the African American Male Summer Literacy Institute for five consecutive years with the aim to nurture the next generation of African American male writers. Additionally, I developed the Pre-College Leadership Impact Program with several College of Education colleagues to recruit African American males to the teaching profession. My ultimate aim as a research professor is to restore students’ confidence in texts as tools of protection.

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