Patricia A. Edwards is a Distinguished Professor of Teacher Education and a Senior University Outreach Fellow at Michigan State University. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Michigan State University 1994 Teacher-Scholar Award and the 2001 Distinguished Faculty Award. She holds a Bachelors' of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Albany State University (Albany, GA); the Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education from North Carolina A & T University (Greensboro, NC); the Educational Specialist Degree in Reading Education from Duke University (Durham, NC); and the Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Reading Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, WI).
She was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association from May 1998 to May 2001 and served from December 2006 to December 2007 as the first African American President of the National Reading Conference (NRC). NRC is the world's premier reading research organization. She has served as an advisor to the First National Goal "Readiness for School," and the Michigan State University Institute for Families, Youth, and Children. She is the newly elected Vice-President of the International Reading Association (IRA). She will serve as Vice President of the Association in 2008-2009, as President-Elect in 2009-2010, and as President in 2010-2011.
She is a nationally recognized expert in parent involvement, home, school, community partnerships, multicultural literacy, early literacy, and family/intergenerational literacy, especially among poor and minority families. She is the author of A Path to Follow: Learning to Listen to Parents (with Heather Pleasants & Sarah Franklin, Heinemann, 1999), Children's Literacy Development: Making it Happen Through School, Family, and Community Involvement (Allyn & Bacon, 2004), Tapping the Potential of Parents: A Strategic Guide to Boosting Student Achievement Through Family Involvement (Scholastic, 2009) and seven forthcoming books It's Time for Straight Talk: Stories from the Field And Commentary About Successes and Failures in Reaching and Teaching Children of Color (Heinemann), Looking Back to Move Forward in Educating African American Students (with Gwendolyn McMillon & Jennifer Turner, Teachers College Press), Reaching Nontraditional School Families in Nontraditional Ways (with Gwendolyn McMillon) What Research Has to Say about Literacy and the Family: Current & Emerging Directions in Family Literacy Research (with KaiLonnie Dunsmore, Heinemann), Reaching Nontraditional School Families in Non Traditional Ways (with Gwendolyn McMillon, Teachers College Press), Occasions for Conversation: How to Build Successful Communication between Schools, Families, and Communities (with Mark Conley & Mary Tomczyk, International Reading Association, and Best Practices in ELL Instruction (with Guofang Li, Guilford Press).