Kelly B. Cartwright

Reading Comprehension Difficulties
Kelly is a researcher, professor, author, and advocate who studies the role of executive function in reading.
newport-news, united-states, virginia
author, educator, psychologist, speaker


Kelly B. Cartwright, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Teacher Preparation at Christopher Newport University (CNU) where she directs the Reading, Executive function, And Development Lab (READ Lab) and serves as a Research Scholar for the Center for Education Research and Policy. Kelly’s work explores the development of skilled reading comprehension and the neurocognitive and affective factors that underlie comprehension processes and difficulties from preschool through adulthood. Her work has appeared in Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Reading Research Quarterly, and a range of other research publications. Her books on reading comprehension include Executive Skills and Reading Comprehension: A Guide for Educators, Word Callers: Small Group and One-to-One Interventions for Children who “Read” but Don’t Comprehend, and Literacy Processes: Cognitive Flexibility in Learning and Teaching, which was nominated for the Ed Fry Book Award in 2008. Kelly has served on the Board of Directors of the Literacy Research Association and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. Her research has been supported by grants from the Virginia State Reading Association and the United States Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. Kelly regularly works with teachers in public and private schools throughout the US to better understand and improve reading comprehension for struggling readers, and these experiences inform her research.



  • PhD Experimental Psychology | University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Arkansas, USA [1997]
  • MA Psychology | University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Arkansas, USA [1995]
  • BS Psychology | Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA [1989]

Professional Memberships/ Associations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • Cognitive Development Society
  • International Literacy Association
  • International Mind, Brain, & Education Society
  • Literacy Research Association, Past Board Member
  • Society for Research in Child Development
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for the Scientific Study of Reading

Professional Experience

Professor | Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Virginia [1998-present]

Editorial Board Member| Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy [2020-Present]

Executive Board Member, Ethics Committee Chair | Literacy Research Association [2013-2016]

President | Virginia College Reading Educators [2011-2013]

Member| International Reading Association Professional Standards & Ethics Committee [2010-2013]


Journal Articles

Papers, Workshops & Webinars Presented

Other Publications & Materials

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