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Ruth E. Quiroa, Ph.D.


Associate Professor
M.Ed. Reading Program
Ed.D. Teaching & Learning / Reading, Language & Literature Major Director
School of Advanced Professional Programs

Programs/Classes Taught:

Ed.D Teaching & Learning--Reading, Language, & Literacy Major

  • Language, Linguistics, & Literacy
  • Reading Comprehension: Research and Application
  • Special Topics: Youth Literature in a Diverse World
  • Ed.S. Capstone Course

M.Ed. Reading

  • Survey of Youth Literature, P-12
  • Diverse Perspectives in Youth Literature, P-12
  • Adolescent Literature
  • Teaching Writing
  • Language Development & Variation
  • Seminar in Language Literacy, & Library Education
  • Special Topics: Exploring Latino/a Cultures through K-12 Literature; Latino Families & Students (K-12): Literacy & Literature; Meeting the Needs of K-12 English Language Learners

M.A.T. Elementary and Middle-Level Teacher Education

  • Literacy Methods: K-5
  • Literacy Methods: Grades 6-8

Areas of Expertise:

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

  • Representation of Latinidad in picturebooks and graphic novels
  • Influence of white aesthetics in children's picturebook awards
  • Impact of multicultural literature on instructional practice
  • Latinx-themed literature (P-12)
  • Multicultural and general literature for children and adolescents (P-12)
  • Impact of BIPOC literature on in-service literacy teachers
  • Wordless picturebooks
  • Bilingual / ESL Education
  • Literacy for culturally and linguistically diverse students
  • Culturally responsive instruction
  • Language, literacy, and culture

Grant Work:

U.S. Department of Education's Grant "Preparing Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program" or PPOHA. NLU Grant Title: "CLAVE: Colaborando con las comunidades Latinas para AVanzar en Educación / Collaborating with Latino Communities to AdVance Education. Current Roles: Member of Grant Writing Team and currently the Doctoral Fellowship Faculty Mentor



Ruth E. Quiroa, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Reading & Language at National Louis University and a former kindergarten and bilingual (Spanish/English) second grade teacher. She teaches master's level courses in youth literature, comprehension, teaching writing, and pre-service literacy methods, as well as doctoral courses in comprehension and diverse youth literature. Her research focuses on picturebooks and the politics of aesthetics and the impact of BIPOC literature on K-12 teachers’ instructional practices. Other research areas include trends and issues of Latinx-themed youth literature published in the U.S., international Spanish-language youth literature, and wordless picture books. 


Ph.D., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ESL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004. M.Ed., Education, Curriculum & Instruction / Language & Literacy / ELL-Bilingual Education University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1998 Multiple Subjects Elementary Teaching Credential California State University, Los Angeles, 1992 B.A., Psychology Olivet Nazarene University, 1987

Research and Interests:

Selected Publications (by date)

  • Naidoo J. C., & Quiroa, R. E. (forthcoming). Exploring the world of Latinx nonfiction children’s literature nonfiction Latinx literature. In T. Crisp, R. Gardner, & S. Knezek (Eds.). Using diverse nonfiction children’s books in K-8 classrooms. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Ochoa, P., & Quiroa, R. E. (2020). Transformative learning in a Mexican American mothers’ book blub. The Reading Teacher.
  • Quiroa, R. E. (May/June 2017). Curating a diverse and anti-biased collection: Building capacity to identify and use youth literature in the classroom. Literacy Today.
  • Quiroa, R. E. (2016). Filling the gap: The looking glass legacy of Julie Kline and the Américas Book Award. In L. Henderson (Ed.). The Américas Award: Honoring Latino/a children’s and young adult literature in the Americas. Lexington Books.
  • Naidoo, J. C., & Quiroa, R. E. (2016). Beyond Calaveras and Quinceañeras: Fostering bilingual Latino students’ identity development with culturally relevant literature. In E. R. Clark, H. L. Smith, & B. B. Flores (Eds.) Multicultural Literature for Latino Bilingual Children: Their words, their worlds. Rowman Littlefield.
  • Quiroa, R. E. (April 30, 2016). Be:Tween Column: Pat Mora on Día, the Arbuthnot lecture, and diverse books: 20 years and counting. School Library Journal.
  • Quiroa, R. E. (May 17, 2016). BeTween Column: Gutsy, funny, and flawed: Angela Cervantes on crafting strong Latina characters. School Library Journal.
  • Quiroa, R. E. (2013). Promising portals and safe passages: A review of PreK-12 Latino/a-themed literature. In J. C. Naidoo & S. Park (Eds.) Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading. ALA Editions.
  • Cummins, S. & Quiroa, R. E. (2012). Teaching Tips: Teaching for writing expository responses to narrative texts. Reading Teacher, (65)6, 381-386.

Selected Presentations (by date)

  • Keenan, K., Guzmán, D., & Quiroa, R. (October 1, 2020). "2020 Vision: Selecting and using P-8 culturally relevant texts in a digital world." Illinois Reading Council Conference, Peoria, IL. 
  • Quiroa, R. E. (November 2018) Current visual portrayals of Latinidad in illustrated picturebooks for youth. Paper presentation at the 50th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA), Chicago, IL
  • Quiroa, R. (November 2017). Immigration in the Americas: On dividing distances, documents, discrimination, and dreamers.” Presentation on a panel titled, “Representing, rendering, and respecting diverse lives and labels,” National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention, St. Louis, MO.
  • Quiroa, R. (October 2017). How do international radical change books influence students and teachers?” 12th International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Regional Congress. Seattle, WA.
  • Quiroa, R., & Huftalin, A. (January 2016). "The silent surprising worlds of wordless picture books.” Comprehensive Literacy and Reading Recovery® 

  • Quiroa, R. (October 2015). "Murals in 32 pages." A teacher and librarian workshop titled, "The Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Highlighting the 2015 commended list teacher and librarian workshop”  at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 
  • Quiroa, R. (January 2015). “The Languages and complexities of wordless picturebooks: Developing Comprehension Strategies for English Learners (Grades PreK-12).” An ELL-focused breakout session for National Louis University’s Center for Teaching through Children’s Books and ESL STEM Success Grant’s “Picture Book and Visual Literacy Institute.”
  • Quiroa, R. (October 2015). “Latin@ picture books as murals for children,” presentation title as an invited member of the Association for Library Services for Children (ALSC) panel titled, “Adventures through a cultural looking glass and what we found there: Trends in diverse children’s literature in the US and beyond” at the 11th International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Regional Conference sponsored by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) national conference in New York City. October 2015.
  • Quiroa, R. (September 2014) The wonderful world of books without words: Complex texts with open access. Paper presented at the International Board on Books for Young People’s (IBBY) 34th International Congress in Mexico City.

 Youth Literature Award Selection Committees:

  • Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Selection Committee, 2020 - 2022 (the Jane Addams Peace Association); Randolph Caldecott Award 2019 Selection Committee (Association of Library Services for Children, a division of the American Library Association).

  • Randolph Caldecott Award Selection Committee, 2019 (the Association of Library Services for Children, a division of the American Library Association).
  • Pura Belpré Award Selection Committee, 2013 (REFORMA: National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos & the Spanish-Speaking and the Association of Library Services for Children, a division of the American Library Association).
  • Américas Book Award for Children and Adolescents Selection Committee, 2010-2012 (Consortium of Latin American Studies Association)

Additional Engagement in the Field of Literacy:

  • School Library Journal reviewer of Latinx-themed texts (Spring 2014 to present).
  • Appointed Co-Chair of the Association of Library Services for ChildrenLSC/National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos & the Spanish-Speaking and the Association of Library Services for Children, Young Adult Library Services Association Pura Belpré Award Expansion Task Force, January – December 2018
  • Co-Chair of the Pura Belpré Revision Task Force Invited member of the Diversity in the ALCS (Association for Library Services to Children) Task Force, whose function is to thoroughly examine diversity within all areas of ALSC such as membership, recruitment, award committees, and leadership and to recommend short-term and long-term strategies for developing richer diversity within the association. Spring 2015 - 2017.
  • Co-founder of the Américas Collection Special Collection of books for Children and Adolescents at the National Louis University library. This is a collection of 1500+ Spanish, bilingual, and Latino/a-themed children's and young adult books, with the majority originally published in Spanish by Latin American authors & illustrators.

Contact Information:

phone/fax: 630.874.4563

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