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DJohanson, 2008


Blace A. Nalavany is an associate professor with the East Carolina University School of Social Work. Blace A. Nalavany has extensive social work experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults with dyslexia and their families. His research interests include the social and emotional aspects associated with dyslexia and individuals and families who are marginalized. Dr. Nalavany specializes in research that gives voice to these populations by combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

Lena Carawan is an associate professor with the East Carolina University School of Social Work. Lena Carawan has experience working with children, adolescents, and families in health and school settings. Her background includes work with vulnerable populations. Currently, she is engaged in research with commercial fishing families, adults with dyslexia, and First Nations tribes in Eastern North Carolina. Dr. Carawan’s research seeks to be creative. She is a qualitative researcher who specializes in the use of photography and art as a way to engage individuals who may otherwise be overlooked or left out of research projects.
Robyn A. Rennick, MS is a Director and Teacher/Trainer in The Hardman Technique, a curriculum designed for individuals with dyslexia.  She is the Program Coordinator for Dyslexia Research Institute.  Ms. Rennick has worked with adults and children with dyslexia since 1979.  She has developed a study skills and comprehension program for adults with dyslexia. 
“This project is so exciting for too many adults with dyslexia are extremely isolated and never self-disclose.  Many times they relate that they are afraid of being “caught out”. Few people realize how much strain and stress the adult with dyslexia feels everyday as they struggle to compensate for the weak areas of their dyslexia.  Yet, dyslexia often also brings great talents and unique perspectives as well.”  
Ms. Rennick is dyslexic herself.  You may find more information concerning Dyslexia Research Institute and study strategies by going to  www.dyslexia-add.org and www.learntolearn.biz.

Marci Toppin is a first year Masters of Social Work student at East Carolina University. Marci completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a minor in Child Development at East Carolina University. As an undergraduate research assistant, Marci worked on a meta-analysis on how ADHD affects children and families. Her work included conducting literature reviews, recruiting participants, and data analysis. She is excited to be a part of the Pathways to Success research team and expand her knowledge regarding dyslexia and how this learning difficulty affects individual’s everyday lives. Marci plans to pursue her goal of becoming a licensed clinical social worker where she can provide therapy and counseling to children and families. . 
Pathways to Success: Dyslexia Throughout the Generations 

We would like to thank all of our past Graduate Research Assistants!


    Hailey Harris
    Ayrien Davis                                                                 Malory Overton                     
    Katie Lee Burke                                                           Jessica Langbehn
    Tatum Townsend                                                          Misty West
    Stephanie Sauber                                                        Craig Tombs
    Shauwney Brown                                                         Jessica Bonnlander
    Pam Vetter
Our Research Team
Nicole Deen is a first year Masters of Social Work student at East Carolina University. Nicole completed her undergraduate Social Work degree here at East Carolina University. Nicole has over 10 years of experience working in the local community with children and adolescents with learning and developmental disabilities. Nicole is currently a community based mental health worker working with children and adolescents in the schools, communities, and in homes who are facing mental health and learning challenges and are at risk for out of home placement. Nicole is excited to learn about how living with Dyslexia effects the everyday lives of individuals and how evidence based practice can support individuals in improving outcomes both in school and in the workplace. Nicole is also an avid photographer and interested in how art and photography can help individuals express their feelings and tell their personal stories. After earning her MSW degree, Nicole hopes to obtain her therapist license and continue working with children and families in outpatient and community based therapy.