Dr. Joellen Maples earned a B.A. in English in 1995, an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction in 1996, an Ed.S. in English Education in 1998, and her Ph.D. in English Education in 2008 from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. She taught English, language arts, creative writing, and reading at the middle and high school levels for eleven years. Her research interests include exploring effective strategies for facilitating democratic dialogue and critical literacy through the reading of young adult literature and online discussion about literature. Dr. Maples is currently an assistant professor in the Literacy Department and is the Literacy Center Director. She is also the Book Review Editor for SIGNAL Journal which is the journal of the International Reading Association's Special Interest Group Network on Adolescent Literature She teaches courses in secondary English methods, critical literacy, young adult literature, content area reading, and action research. When not teaching or writing, Dr. Maples can be found relaxing with the latest young adult novel and spending time with her three dogs and hamster. She also enjoys spinning and boot camp.