MTSU Dyslexia Center’s New Assistant Director to Boost Research Efforts

Middle Tennessee State University’s Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia is continuing its mission toward a deeper understanding of dyslexia by bringing on Jennifer Stewart this summer as the new assistant director for research initiatives.

“I’m very much looking forward to my new role at the center,” said Stewart, who brings her years of published research experience to the position. “I’m excited to continue my work serving this population in the best ways I can.”

Karen Kehoe, the center’s director, said Stewart will fulfill one of the center’s three key goals around dyslexia — to educate, to evaluate and to research.

“Dr. Stewart will run the center’s research lab, mentor graduate student researchers and help to set short- and long-term goals to ensure the lab consistently produces rigorous scientific and translational research on dyslexia,” Kehoe said. “She will also ensure compliance with university protocols and serve as the center’s primary point of contact with the Institutional Review Board at MTSU.”

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Stewart also brings her years as a teacher and leader of professional development to the center, which Kehoe said made her a perfect fit.

“Dr. Stewart has secured and managed several large grant awards from educational and other national institutions, has a strong record of producing high-quality scholarly and translation research, has taught K-12 students with learning disabilities, and has designed and developed professional training opportunities for educators,” Kehoe said.

Stewart’s background has allowed her to hit the ground running, already jumping into multiple of the center’s ongoing projects.

“I’ve been working on a joint project with the College of Education’s Department of Elementary and Special Education evaluating the implementation and efficacy of an online dyslexia module,” Stewart said. “I’m also collaborating with our Center for Educational Media on developing a brand new, two-year program to train dyslexia therapists that launches this month.”

Additionally, Stewart will review data collected by the center concerning educators’ use of data and screening to inform instruction, training opportunities and correctly identify students who may be at risk of dyslexia or related difficulties.

Kehoe, who joined the center as director herself last year, emphasized that she wants the community to know the center is resource for all K-12 educators and families of students with dyslexia.

“The center touches the lives of so many more students through our work with schools and teachers, our research and the resources we develop and curate,” she said. “Our website houses many of these resources, including ‘Expert Minute’ videos, guidebooks for families and educators and infographics.

“I would encourage anyone who knows or loves someone with dyslexia to check out our website, send us an email at [email protected] or call our center at 615-494-8880. Our staff is always eager to assist!”

Learn more about the Center for Dyslexia at

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