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Marcia Invernizzi ’72

Marcia Invernizzi ’72 - Marcia Invernizzi is the Henderson Professor of Reading Education and the Director of the McGuffey Reading Center in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. 

Ms. Invernizzi received a bachelors degree in English from Washington College in 1972. She then attended the University of Virginia, where she earned both masters and doctoral degrees in Reading Education in 1976 and 1985, respectively.

At the University of Virginia, she advises masters and doctoral students in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education where she teaches doctoral seminars in a variety of reading education focused disciplines.  She is the primary author of Virginia’s statewide literacy assessment program, PALS (Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening) and Principal Investigator of a $1.6 million grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences to develop a comparable literacy assessment for Spanish speaking students in primary grades. As a founder of Book Buddies, a nationally recognized reading tutorial for struggling readers, Invernizzi’s research continues to revolve around evidence-based practices for the prevention of reading difficulties.

Dr. Invernizzi has co-authored ten books including the phonics, spelling and vocabulary development series, Words Their Way, and has published over 30 articles in scholarly journals.  She is the primary author of four nationally-used literacy assessments, and has authored chapters in numerous edited volumes.  Dr. Invernizzi has also provided testimony at congressional hearings on reading.

Dr. Invernizzi is recognized as one of the Top 100 Innovators in the 2008 initiative, “From Academic Research to Real World Applications.”  She has also been honored with the 2006 Curry School of Education’s Outstanding Professor honor, the 2004 Samuel Miller Award for Community Service, and was given the 2004 Henderson Professorship, which she still holds today.  In 2005, Dr. Invernizzi was awarded the Washington College Alumni Citation for Excellence and, in 2011, she received an honorary Doctor of Letters, also from Washington College.

Professor Invernizzi continues to conduct research and publish on the subject of developmental spelling and its relationship to reading and writing.  She currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband Michael, and their two children.

Campus Involvement

Class Year

1972