Hiller A. Spires will be the Interim Director for the NC State College of Education’s William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation effective Aug. 1, 2018, until a permanent director is appointed. Spires, who is a professor of literacy education in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, served as the founding director of the Friday Institute from 2002 to 2006, and currently is a senior research fellow of the institute.
“Dr. Spires has a deep understanding of the Friday Institute (FI) and the importance of its relationships with key stakeholders in North Carolina. Her familiarity with the staff and knowledge of the internal workings of the FI make her ideal for this position,” said Dean Mary Ann Danowitz. “She will provide the stability and continuity needed at the Friday Institute as we conduct a national search for a permanent director.”
Spires’ research, which has brought in approximately $10M over the years, focuses on how teachers engage culturally and academically diverse students in disciplinary and digital literacies. As the founding director of the New Literacies Collaborative, she has conducted workshops with thousands of teachers in North Carolina nationally, and internationally. She recently helped create a state-of-the-art school in Suzhou, China, and edited Digital Transformation and Innovation in Chinese Education, published by IGI Global.
Spires also leads the New Literacies and Global Learning graduate program, including the Graduate Literacy Cohort, which graduates its second group in May 2018.
Since joining NC State in 1987, Spires has received numerous awards and recognition, including NC State’s Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor, Centennial Campus Partnership Award, Jackson A. Rigney International Service Award, and the Gertrude Cox Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology. She has been a member of the Academy of Outstanding Faculty in Engagement and Extension since 1997. She received a Change Leadership Fellowship from the Harvard Business School and a Leading Creatively Fellowship from the Center for Creative Leadership.
Spires received her Ph.D and M.A. in Literacy and English Education, respectively, from the University of South Carolina. Her Bachelor of Science in English Education is from Tennessee Temple University.
As interim director, Spires will oversee the work of the Friday Institute and serve on the search committee to select a permanent director.