A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Deborah Bruce

Assistant Professor of Literacy Education

  • Education
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  • Ph.D., Kent State University (2012)
  • M.A.T., Kent State University (1993)
  • B.A., Otterbein College (1989)

 Courses Taught

  • EDUC 221 Children’s Literature (4 credits)
  • EDUC 223 Adolescent Literature (4 credits)
  • EDUC 313 Language, Literacy, & Curriculum Integration (4 credits)
  • EDUC 332 Methods ADE English (4 credits)
  • EDUC 336 Methods ADE Social Studies (4 credits)

Background and Experience

As a high school English teacher in Northeast OH (1993+), my work with students was never limited by an eight-hour workday or the confines of the four walls of the classroom.  My commitment to my classroom and to my students led to explorations of British literature on the stage, journalism mock press conferences on the school esplanade, poetry readings in the courtyard, monthly publication of a student-run news magazine, and the integration of informing, meaningful technologies.  I was privileged to have served in two very different districts (one inner-city and one suburban) and to have been provided with the opportunity to work with a wide range of students at both schools, from struggling students needing remedial reading/writing intervention to students preparing for AP exams.  

 My work with students and text, particularly in the field of Critical Literacy, led me pursue graduate studies at Kent State University (Kent, OH) under the direction of Dr. Nancy M. McCracken and Dr. James G. Henderson, and eventually to a position at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) Graduate School of Education where I served as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Learning and Instruction (LAI) until August 2013.

 My ongoing work in Critical Literacy inspired the 2013 development and launch of the Southtowns Literacy Resource Center (SLRC) to address community literacy needs in the Southern Tier region of Western New York.  The SLRC was developed to serve as a bridge between pre-service teachers here at Houghton College and the community at large, helping to create a mutually beneficial, empowering partnership for all.  This ongoing work continues to inspire my research in the field of literacy, specifically how our young people derive meaning and are transformed by encounters with text, in both in-school and out-of-school settings.

Personal Interests

My husband (Dr. David L. Bruce, University at Buffalo), daughter (Emma), and I currently live in Holland, NY on a 70-acre farm surrounded by wildflowers, songbirds, hiking trails, and two cheerful Bichon pups who enjoy “herding” geese and other assorted waterfowl.  Since our move from Northeast OH to Western NY in 2009, we have worked to restore not only the main farmhouse but also several outbuildings, converting one to a polycarbonate greenhouse and installing an additional high tunnel in 2013.  Inspired by the work of Elliott Coleman, I personally enjoy the challenge of maintain a four-season greenhouse and participating in local, sustainable farm practices and community initiatives.  I not only enjoy “playing in the dirt”, but also watching the process of seedlings taking root and celebrating as each tender shoot continues to grow! 

Professional Affiliations

  • International Christian Community for Teacher Education
  • New York State Association of Teacher Educators/New York Association for Colleges of Teacher Education
  • National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
  • Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE (ALAN)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)



Bruce, D.S. (2014) Sharing our stories: Using multimodal and multigenre to examine issues in adolescent education. Presented at the meeting of the International Christian Community for Teacher Education (ICCTE) conference Hamilton, ON May 2014.
Bruce, D.S.  (2005) Engaging Intertextuality:  Toward a liberating play of text in the classroom.  Panel Presentation:  Renaissance Wisdom—Exploring the Critical and Carnival in Curriculum Studies.  Presented at the meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA), Montreal, Quebec, April 2005.


Bruce, D.S.  (2006)

Exploring Aporias:  The intersections of critical theory and carnival in the English/Language Arts Classroom.  Panel Presentation:  Locating Curriculum in Emergent Scholarship.  Presented at the meeting of the American Education Research Association (AERA), San Francisco CA, April 2006. Research presented in absentia.

Bruce, D.S.  (2005)

Entering the Sacred Door, Moving Beyond the Veil:  Exploring the intersection of critical theory and carnival in the classroom.  Panel Presentation:  Fluid Motion: Exploring the Intersection of Critical and Carnival.  Presented at the meeting of the Curriculum and Pedagogy Conference (C & P), Oxford, OH, October 2005.

Bruce, D.S.  (2005)

Integrating video composition in the language arts classroom.  Co-Chair, Full Day Session Workshop.  Presented at the meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Indianapolis, IN, November 2005.

Bruce, D.S.  (2003)

I am not creative: The road to using I-Movie software in qualitative research.  Panel Presentation:  The camera is a writing instrument.  Presented at the meeting of the National Reading Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, December 2003.

Bruce, D.S.  (1992)

Classical rhetorical theory and contemporary religious practices: an assessment and an application.   Served as panel Chair. Presented at the meeting of the Speech Communication Association (SCA), Chicago IL, November 1992.



Excellence w/ Distinction Teaching Award (Stow, OH)


American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Graduate Student Seminar Alumni Award


American Educational Research Association (AERA)
Graduate Student Seminar Award