Two Faculty Members Named 2022 AERA Outstanding Reviewers

University of Pittsburgh School of Education faculty members Eleanor Anderson and Emily Rainey were named 2022 Outstanding Reviewers by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).

Each year, AERA journal editors recognize top peer reviewers for providing exemplary, thorough, and timely reviews of the manuscripts received by their respective journals. The Outstanding Reviewer awards were presented at the 2023 AERA Annual Meeting, held April 13-16, 2023, in Chicago.

Anderson, an assistant professor of research-practice partnerships in the Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy at Pitt Education, received the recognition for her work as a peer reviewer for the journal Educational Researcher. The publication aims to make new findings in education research widely accessible.

“I see my role as a reviewer as trying to see and articulate what’s already good about a manuscript, while putting into words what I think the authors could strengthen to make their piece an important contribution to the literature,” says Anderson.

This is the second year in a row that Anderson has been recognized as an AERA Outstanding Reviewer.

“I really enjoy reviewing, and I put a lot of care and thought into it,” she says. “It is nice to be acknowledged for that effort.”

Anderson’s research examines how educational organizations can work toward durable and equitable change. She uses fieldwork, qualitative content analysis, and inferential statistics to understand the current dynamics in K-12 schools. 

“I’m excited about possibilities for helping educators and stakeholders direct their efforts in a strategic way,” Anderson says. “There’s no magic bullet, but we can try to help figure out ways of working that are more likely to lead to change that lasts.”

Rainey, an assistant professor of language, literacy, and culture in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading at Pitt Education, received the Outstanding Reviewer award for her peer review work with the journal AERA Open. The publication is an open-access journal that emphasizes rapid review and dissemination to advance timely knowledge related to education.

“I am honored to receive this recognition, and I’m glad that awards for peer review exist in our field,” Rainey says. “At its best, peer review offers constructive feedback, which we all need to develop our work. In that way, it is a form of peer mentorship.” 

Rainey is committed to improving the quality of literacy instruction in traditionally underserved school and community contexts. “This commitment,” she says,“has led me to questions of literacy teacher education and disciplinary literacy.”