Skip to main content

URAC Presenter: Researching individualized instuctional strategies

Share on:

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ashley Russell, one of the eight select podium presenters to be featured at this year’s Undergraduate Research and Arts Celebration (URAC) on Wednesday, April 21, will discuss her senior project, ““How Can Teachers Individualize Intensive Reading Interventions to Ensure Successful Outcomes?”

Russell, a senior education major from Belle Vernon, Pa., worked with an 8-year-old dyslexic student, developing individualized reading intervention strategies to suit the student.

Using the Wilson Reading System, a literacy program for students with language-based learning disabilities such as dyslexia, Russell assessed her student’s strengths and areas of growth to determine the best course of instruction. Russell met with her student twice we week to practice decoding, spelling, reading and writing.

“After I began conducting the research, I realized how intensive reading interventions need to be individualized for each student,” she said.

“Normally, teachers follow a plan step-by-step, but learning is not a step-by-step plan. Instruction needs to be modified and changed for the student, and that is exactly what I practiced with the Wilson Reading System,” said Russell.

After completing her student teaching assignment in fall 2020, Russell wanted to learn more about offering assessments to students, collecting data and how to appropriately use her findings to making instructional decisions. Her research project allowed her to accomplish that.

Dr. Sararose Lynch, associate professor of education, served as Russell’s faculty mentor on the project.

“My faculty mentor, Dr. Sararose Lynch has been very helpful and informative. She gave me all the resources that I needed to start this program and continuously guided me,” Russell said.

Westminster’s Drinko Center for Undergraduate Research financially supports undergraduate research through various grants aimed at either the undertaking of research and creative projects at Westminster College or the external presentation and dissemination of research and creative works at conferences. For more information about the Drinko Center, please contact Dr. Karen Resendes, director, at

For more information about Westminster’s education program, go to