Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Kelli Criss

Meet Dr. Kelli Criss

Degrees and Experience
  • Ph.D., Language and Literacy Education (University of South Carolina)
  • M.Ed., Interrelated Special Education (Regent University)
  • B.A., Spanish and English (Georgia Southern University)
Biography and Professional Achievements

Dr. Kelli Criss holds a bachelor’s in Spanish and English, a master’s in exceptional student education, and a doctorate in language and literacy emphasizing culturally and linguistically diverse education. Over the last 20 years, she has worked in public and private elementary schools and colleges. She has taught reading instruction to preschool, elementary, middle grades, and pre-service teachers.

Criss’ research with Spanish/English bilingual learners explores cultural identity, critical literacies, translanguaging, and collaborative learning among children and parents. Her dissertation research in a Florida elementary school focused upon initiating and facilitating a bilingual family book club which supported parents and children in developing Spanish/English bilingualism alongside one another.

Her volunteer experiences include teaching English to bilingual adults, mentoring bilingual elementary students, writing grants with educators, and working on short-term missions in Argentina and South Africa. Currently, Criss also serves as the Vice President of Content at Legion Digital Marketing.

  • Criss, K. (2014). “El Círculo Familiar Bilingüe de Libros / The Bilingual Family Book Club: Creating Translanguaging Spaces with Latino Picture Books” (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest. (3609141)
  • Criss, K. (2014). “Building on children’s worlds: Shifting instructional focus.” [Review of the book Diversity in youth literature: Opening doors through reading]. Language Arts, 91, 436-442.