Dr. Jessica Toste

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Dr. Jessica Toste (she/her) is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and a fellow in the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. Her program of research is focused on understanding how best to support students’ reading development. Her work investigates methods for intensifying interventions for students with reading disabilities (RD), specifically: (a) affective processes such as motivation and self-determination, (b) data-based instruction. She is the principal investigator on a four-year development grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, focused on building teacher expertise in data-based instruction to support students with RD in the upper elementary grades. She is a Provost’s Teaching Fellow and was named one of the 2017 “Texas 10,” nominated by UT alumni as a professor who inspired them during their time on the Forty Acres. You can read more about her teaching here.

Jess is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Disability Rights Texas (DRTx), the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in the state of Texas. She also serves on the National Board of Directors of GLSEN, and the Advisory Board of the UT University Charter School System. Learn more about Jess’ advocacy and leadership here.

Jess is a proud alum of McGill University, where she completed her PhD in educational psychology in 2011. She was further trained in reading intervention research as a Fulbright Scholar at the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) at Florida State University, and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Special Education at Vanderbilt University. She worked for many years as an elementary teacher and reading specialist in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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