Meet Dr. Jennifer Summerlin, a three-time UAB alumna and Assistant Professor in our Reading Education program!

Dr. Summerlin has spent her tenure within the K-6 setting serving in multiple teaching roles and as a reading coach for two Alabama school districts. She has a passion for helping students increase their reading achievement levels which drives her research and academic focuses.

Since 2019, Dr. Summerlin has represented UAB on the Children's Literature Assembly, the committee of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) that chooses the 30 Notable Children's Books in Language Arts for the nation. A huge honor and one we are proud to boast for our students, faculty, and staff!

Get to know a little more about Dr. Summerlin below.

SOE: Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?
JS: "We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." - Howard Zimm.

SOE: What advice do you have for students?
JS: Work hard and do all of the readings. The readings for the course are critical for understanding and engaging in the essential discussions during our class sessions. Also, don't be so hard on yourself! You have never taught before, so you are not expected to have all of the answers already. YOU'VE GOT THIS, AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE A WONDERFUL TEACHER!

SOE: What's your favorite part of the job?
JS: I LOVED my time at UAB as an undergraduate student in the Teacher Education program. I would walk up and down the hallways hoping one of my professors would walk out of their office to speak to me. Now I ABSOLUTELY LOVE being on the other side of that office door. It is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly. I love teaching rising teachers, but the BEST part of my job is when they graduate, start teaching, and return to share something learned that has truly made a difference in their teaching.

SOE: What is a fun fact about yourself?
JS: I love to repurpose old furniture, sew, quilt, knit, paint, and do crafts of all kinds! I also love to spend time with my family. My husband and I have been married for 29 years. We have two beautiful adult daughters (Alex and Abby), one son-in-law (John), and one grandson (Henry) that is the cutest little kid on the entire planet!

If you're interested in learning more about Dr. Summerlin, click here.