By: Gretchen Schroeder

Doctoral student Delicia Greene was recently awarded two prestigious honors. Her proposal has been selected to be presented at this year’s National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Conference. Additionally, Greene has been named a recipient of the Conference on English Education’s (CEE) 2011 Cultural Diversity Grant.

Both of these honors are based on Greene’s proposal, Concrete Roses: A Case Study Exploring the Reading Engagements of Black Adolescent Girls in an Urban Fiction Book Club. Concrete Roses explores both the social and cultural factors that influence the reading engagements of Black Adolescent girls in an Urban Fiction Book Club. More specifically, this case study provides an intimate account of the experiences black adolescent girls bring to urban fiction texts, as well as the experiences that they take away from urban fiction texts. Concrete Roses also focuses on trends in character analyses by drawing on the representation of black girls in urban fiction books and its influence on black adolescent girls’ identity construction. Lastly, this case study explores the social factors present in an Urban Fiction Book Club that influences “sense of community” and full disclosure among members.

The 101st annual NCTE Conference will take place in Chicago in November of this year, where thousands of educators, students and administrators will gather to focus on all aspects of teaching and learning of the English language arts. This year’s theme is “Reading the Past, Writing the Future.”

The purpose of the Cultural Diversity Grant is to increase participation of students and teachers in NCTE/CEE from historically underrepresented groups. Greene will receive a grant of $500 to support travel costs, registration fees and other expenses necessary to participate at the NCTE conference this fall.

“I am extremely honored, considering that this research project is rooted in my years of experience as a school librarian and English educator working with middle school students in the South Bronx,” Greene said. “It was my work with middle school students, libraries and literacy that led me to pursue my PhD.”

Greene is a PhD student at the School of Information Studies (iSchool). She holds master’s degrees in both Library and Information Science and Secondary English Education (Grades 7-12), and an Advanced Certificate in Administration and Supervision. Prior to her arrival at the iSchool, she worked several years for the Department of Education as a middle school librarian in the South Bronx and for several years as a young adult librarian for The New York Public Library. Greene’s scholarly interests are interdisciplinary with the expressed aim of bridging the fields of library and information science, literacy, and English education.