Texas Tech University

Mellinee Lesley, Ph.D.

Professor, Interim Department Chair
Curriculum & Instruction

Email: mellinee.lesley@ttu.edu

Phone: 806-834-1186

Office: Education 320


Dr. Mellinee Lesley is a Professor in the Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies program in the College of Education at Texas Tech University. She has previously worked as a high school English teacher and served as the director for a developmental reading program. Dr. Lesley has earned several teaching awards at the secondary and university level, is a fellow of the National Writing Project, and recently received the Community Engagement Scholarship Award for Exemplary Projects from the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities in Association with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.  

Throughout her scholarship and teaching, Dr. Lesley has been committed to fostering agentic identities and literacy skills for historically marginalized adolescent and adult learners. She has over thirty publications about this work that include four books. A significant part of her scholarship has focused on the role of content area and disciplinary literacies in advancing academic opportunities for underrepresented populations of students. Dr. Lesley is also pursuing a line of inquiry around pairing engaged scholarship with literacy reform in K-12 settings.  

Mellinee Lesley


Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania - Language in Education, Reading/Writing/Literacy

M.A., New Mexico State University - English, Rhetoric and the Teaching of Composition

B.A., University of Iowa - English

Areas of Expertise

  • Critical Literacy and Critical Media Literacies
  • Adolescent and Media Literacies
  • Closing Literacy Achievement Gaps for Adolescents
  • Gender, Subjectivities, and Literacy
  • Developmental Literacy
  • Content Area Literacy and Disciplinary Literacies
  • Writing Pedagogy in K-12 and Postsecondary Settings
  • Engaged Scholarship and the Democratization of Knowledge
  • Teacher Research
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Critical Ethnography


Lesley, M., Saldana, R., Smit, J. & Jung, J. (Eds.). (2022). Liminal spaces of writing in adolescent and adult Education. Lexington.

Guzzetti, B. & Lesley, M. (Eds.) (2016). Handbook of research on the societal impact of digital media. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Lesley, M., McMillan, S. & Webb, S. (2013). Taking a multiliteracies approach to content area literacy, second edition. Kendall Hunt Publishing, Dubuque, IA.

Lesley, M. (2012). Invisible girls:At risk adolescent girls writing within and beyond school. New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishers.

Recent Publications

Lesley, M., Beach, W., Stewart, E., & Keene, J. (in press). Reflexive narratives as a tool to confront university researcher roles in engaged scholarship. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship.

Guo, L., Wang, J., Lee, J., Lesley, M. (in press). Examining the differentiated impacts of balanced literacy: An analysis of reading comprehension skills. Reading & Writing Quarterly.

Lesley, M., Higgins, A., Beach, W. Stewart, E., & Keene, J. (2022). Shared accountability: How one school is reforming a writing curriculum through sustained engaged scholarship. Literacy Research and Instruction. DOI: 10.1080/19388071.2022.2138646

Saldana, R., Stewart, E., Lesley, M. & Beach W. (2022). Perspectives on cultivating a qualitative researcher's identity. In A. Zimmerman (Ed.), Methodological Innovations in Research and Academic Writing. IGI Global.

Lesley, M., Beach, W., Ghasemi, E., & Duru, H. (2021). “This year we've mostly focused on just getting kids comfortable with the idea of writing something”: Factors undermining writing pedagogy in an “underperforming” high school. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 37(3), 279-299.

Lesley, M. (2021). Writing about the self as a vital component of preparing doctoral students to write for research and publication. In A. Zimmerman (Ed.), Developing Students' Scholarly Dispositions in Higher Education. (pp. 212-231). IGI Global.

Hite, R., Shin, S., & Lesley, M. (2021). Reflecting on responsible conduct of research: A self study of a research-oriented university community. Journal of Academic Ethics. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-021-09418-0

Stewart, E., Cho, J., Lesley, M. & Smit, J. (2021). Home literacy initiatives of middle school families during the 2020 quarantine period: Transformation in education? Current Issues in Middle Level Education: Vol. 26: Iss. 2, Article 2. Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/cimle/vol26/iss2/2

Lesley, M.  (2020).The undulations of writing for publication. Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education, 19 (4). Retrieved from https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/taboo/vol19/iss4/9.

Kersch, D., Krause dos Santos, G., Meyrer, K., & Lesley, M. (2020). Teacher training, equality, access and critical literacy in COVID-19 times. Calidoscópio, 18(2), 477-484.

Kersch, D. & Lesley, M. (2019). Hosting and healing: A framework for critical media literacy pedagogy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 11(3), 37-48.