Jennifer Simpson, a native of southern Appalachia, completed her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with minors in religion and social work from Cumberland College. She completed graduate studies earning a Master of Arts degree in Special Education and a Rank I Certificate in Education from Union College. Additionally, she participated in the two-year Adolescent Literacy Coaching Project at Eastern Kentucky University, and presented research on peer-administered reading programs for students with disabilities. She completed her Doctor of Education degree in 2012 from University of the Cumberlands. Her dissertation, “The Effect of Superintendent Tenure on District Achievement in Rural Eastern Kentucky,” examined the relationship between leadership in a school district and student performance.
Dr. Simpson has been a “Reading First” state trainer, and presented at state education conferences including the Kentucky Association of School Councils and the Kentucky Council for Teachers of English and Language Arts. She has participated in the Kentucky Leadership Network for Language Arts endeavor to incorporate literacy in all content areas since the inception of Senate Bill 1. She has also been a contributor to the Kentucky Department of Education’s monthly Literacy Link publication, and the Minnesota English Journal Online.
Dr. Simpson has also presented and published nationally and internationally. She presented research with UC colleagues at the National Rural Education Association Conference and the Mid-South Educational Research Conference. Her research has also been published by the American Association of School Administrators’ Journal of Scholarship and Practice at Seton Hall. Additionally, with Drs. Barry Vann and Aaron N. Coleman she coauthored an article for the Swiss Business School’s Journal of Applied Business Research.
Before coming to the University of the Cumberlands, Dr. Simpson spent over a decade teaching special education at the middle and high school levels in McCreary County, Kentucky. She also served as the Literacy Coach for McCreary Central High School, working with students, parents, and staff to further expand literacy in Appalachia. She volunteers in her local school district and serves as a member of a local school council. Her research interests include: literacy research; leadership studies; higher education topics; adult learning strategies; and effective online teaching. Her first book, coauthored with her husband, will be available in December 2017.