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Heidi Anne E. Mesmer

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Professor

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Professor
Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Professor and Program Leader, Reading Specialist Program

School of Education
1750 Kraft Drive
Room 2105 (0302)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-8343 | hamesmer@vt.edu

Heidi Anne E. Mesmer, Ph.D., is a Professor in Literacy in the School of Education at Virginia Tech. She has studied beginning reading materials, text difficulty, and struggling readers since 1999. Her research has appeared in Reading Research Quarterly, The Educational Researcher, Elementary School Journal, and Early Childhood Research Quarterly. She has written and directed eight grants aimed at improving reading instruction in K-5 classrooms. Dr. Mesmer is the author of several books including Letter Lessons and First Words: Phonics Foundations that Work (Heinemann, 2019), Alphabetics for Emerging Learners: Building Strong Reading Foundations in PreK (2021). Teaching skills for complex text: Deepening reading in the classroom (Teachers College Press, 2016) Her research has been supported by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, and an American Educational Research Association/Institute of Education Sciences grant. She is the recipient of the Outreach Award, from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, and the Promising Scholar Award, from the School of Education, Virginia Tech. In 2014, she delivered The George Graham Lecture in Reading at the Curry School of Education, University of Virginia. She is regularly called upon by states and professional organizations to deliver lectures in her area of expertise (e.g., International Literacy Association, State of Maryland)

  • Reader-text Matching
  • Early Reading, Grades PK-3
  • Phonics
  • Ph.D., University of South Florida 
  • M.Ed., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
  • B.A., College of William & Mary 
  • International Literacy Association
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Virginia State Reading Association
  • Editorial Boards / Activities
    • Reading Research Quarterly, Editorial / Curatorial Review Board Member (01-01-2021 -- present)
    • Reading Teacher, Editorial / Curatorial Review Board Member (01-01-2021 -- present)
    • Reading and Writing Quarterly: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Editorial / Curatorial Review Board Member (01-01-2021 -- present)
    • Literacy Research and Instruction, Editorial / Curatorial Review Board Member (01-01-2021 -- present)
    • The Journal of Educational Research, Editorial / Curatorial Review Board Member (01-01-2021 -- present)
    • Reviewer (Number of articles reviewed during 2020 in parentheses):
      Reading Teacher, Editorial Review Board Member (1)
      Reading and Writing Quarterly, Ad Hoc Reviewer (1)
      Journal of International Psychology, Ad Hoc Reviewer (1)
      Literacy Research and Instruction, Ad Hoc Reviewer (2)
      Elementary School Journal, Ad Hoc Reviewer (1)
  • 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

Books

  • 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. A. (2019). Letter Lessons and First Words. Heinemann. 
  • Mesmer, H. A. (2016). Complex Test: Deepening Close Reading in the Classroom. Teachers College Press. 

Journal Articles

  • 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.    
  • 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
  • Mesmer, H. A. (2020, Jan.). Reader-Text Matching. A Keynote address given at the annual sales meeting of Learning A-Z.

VEARS: Va Educators Applying Reading Science

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