JOE CORTINA earned his B.A. degree in English from San Diego State University and his master's degree and doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction in reading from the University of North Texas. He has taught undergraduate teacher education courses in reading at the University of North Texas and Texas Woman's University. In 1981 he was selected to represent the Dallas County Community College District as a nominee for the Piper Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition, Dr. Cortina was selected as his division’s nominee for Richland's Excellence in Teaching Award in 1987, 1988 and 1993. In 1992 he was selected as an honored alumnus by the Department of Elementary, Early Childhood and Reading Education, of the University of North Texas and in 1994 he was a recipient of an Excellence Award given by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In addition to teaching reading courses at Richland College, he has served on interdisciplinary teaching teams for honors English courses and has served as a faculty leader of Richland's writing-across-the-curriculum program. Dr. Cortina has served on the conference program committees for both the College Reading and Learning Association and the National Association for Developmental Education. He has also served as a member of the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. He is a frequent speaker at professional meetings and inservice workshops.
JANET ELDER was graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin with a B.A. in English and Latin. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was the recipient of a government fellowship for Southern Methodist University's Reading Research Program, which resulted in a master's degree. Her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction in reading is from Texas Woman's University where the College of Education presented her the Outstanding Dissertation Award. She established the first comprehensive secondary reading program in the Dallas Independent School District, and has conducted extensive staff development training for Dallas area teachers. After teaching reading and study skills courses at Richland for several years, she was asked to develop and implement an honors program for the college. After coordinating the honors program during its first six years, she resumed teaching full time. In addition to teaching reading courses, Dr. Elder periodically serves on interdisciplanary teaching teams for honors English and humanities courses. She has served on a task force that re-evaluated Richland's writing-across-the-curriculum program. She has twice received the Extra Mile Award from special services (disabilities) students, has twice been her division's Piper Award nominee for excellence in teaching, and in 1993 received an Excellence Award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. In 1999 she was one of three nominees for Richland's Excellence in Teaching Award. A frequent presenter at professional conferences and inservice workshops, she has a deep interest and expertise in “brain friendly” instruction.