Heidi Anne E. Mesmer

Heidi Anne Mesmer, Associate Professor, School of Education

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer



Public Safety Bldg,
Suite 201
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Office: 540-231-8343


Department Membership

School of Education


  • Text Difficulty and Readability
  • Reader-text Matching
  • Beginning Reading
  • Phonics and Word Study

Professional Activities

  • International Literacy Association
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Virginia State Reading Association


  • Ph.D. University of South Florida 
  • M.Ed. Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
  • B.A. College of William & Mary 

Research Interests

    Awards and Honors

    • Outreach Award, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech 2012
    • Promising Scholar Award, School of Education, Virginia Tech 2009
    • National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow 2003

    Selected Publications


    • Mesmer, H. A., Mesmer, E., & Jones, J. (2014). Reading interventions in primary grades: a common sense guide to RTI. New York: Guilford Press.
    • Mesmer, H. A. (2008). Tools for matching readers to texts: research-based practices. New York: Guilford Press.


    • Mesmer, H. (2016). Text matters: Exploring the lexical reservoirs of books in preschool rooms. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 34(1), 67-77, 497. 
    • Mesmer, H. A. E., & Williams, T. O. (2015). Examining the role of syllable awareness in a model of concept of word: Findings from preschoolers. Reading Research Quarterly, 50(4), 1-15. 
    • Mesmer, H., Cunningham, J. W., Hiebert, E. H. (2012). Toward a theoretical model of text complexity for the early grades: Learning from the past, anticipating the future. Reading Research Quarterly, 47(3), 234-258. 
    • Mesmer, H. A. (2006). Beginning reading materials: A national survey of primary teachers' reported uses and beliefs. Journal of Literacy Research, 38(4), 389-425.    

    Sponsored Research

    Mesmer, Heidi (2012) (100%), "Leading in Reading: Year 2” A subcontract through Radford funded by No Child Left Behind, Title II through State Council of Higher Education In Virginia. $28,464

    Mesmer, H.A., Jones, J., & Mesmer, E. (2011). 50% effort. Leading in Reading: Capacity Building for Literacy Achievement. A grant funded to No Child Left Behind, Title II through State Council of Higher Education In Virginia. $169,763

    Mesmer, H. A., Mesmer, E., Jones, J., & Graves-Jacomen, L. (2009). Teach for Achievement: Data-based decision-making in content reading. State Council of Higher Education in Virginia through No Child Left Behind, Title II. $150,000

    Additional Information

    Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Ph.D., has studied beginning reading materials and text difficulty since 1999. Her research has appeared in Reading Research Quarterly, The Educational Researcher, The Journal of Literacy Research, The Reading Teacher, and other books and journals. She has written and directed eight training grants in two states aimed at improving reading instruction in K-5 classrooms.