Margaret-Mary Dowell

Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD  

Cecil "Pete" Taylor Endowed Professor

Literacy Leadership & Urban Education
Director, LSU Writing Project
Coordinator, PhD Program in PK-12 Educational Leadership

Bachelor's Degree(s): BA Secondary English, minor Women's Studies, University of Northern Iowa, 1979

Master's Degree: Reading Education, University of Northern Iowa, 1989

PhD: Education, with an emphasis in Literacy Studies, University of Iowa, May 1999

Other: National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) certificate expires November 2025; Early Adolescence/English Language Arts, National License 1995 (field test candidate); recertified November 2005 and November 2015

Phone: (225) 578-5998

Fax: (225) 578-9135


Office: 228 Peabody Hall


Dr. Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell is Professor of Literacy Leadership and Urban Education, School of Education, College of Human Sciences and Education, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Sulentic Dowell is also Director of the LSU Writing Project. Sulentic Dowell’s research agenda includes three strands focused on literacy in urban settings, specifically the complexities of literacy leadership, providing equitable access for marginalized students to literature, writing, and the arts, and service-learning as a pathway to preparing pre-service teachers to teach literacy authentically in urban environs. Sulentic Dowell is a career educator and fierce advocate for public education, spending the majority of her 20-year public school teaching experience in Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, and she served public education as Assistant Superintendent of 64 elementary campuses in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System in Louisiana (2002-2006). Sulentic Dowell’s career accomplishments include being nationally and regionally recognized for her scholarship and teaching as well as being honored by Louisiana State University as a senior Rainmaker (2022). The College of Human Sciences and Education (CHSE) recognized her as the inaugural recipient of the Mentoring Award in 2023, and she was the CHSE’s 2022 awardee of the Distinguished Research. Sulentic Dowell was recognized by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities as the state’s Light Up for Literacy awardee in 2019. She has also been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Contributions to Service-Learning in Higher Education from the Gulf South Summit (2014); she received the LSU Outstanding Faculty Service Learning Award (2013), she was named LSU Flagship Faculty (2012), and was recipient of the (LSU) College of Education’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award (2012). In addition, she was named recipient of The Kenneth S. Goodman “In Defense of Good Teaching Award” in 2007. The University of Southern Mississippi named Sulentic Dowell an Academic Service-Learning Faculty Fellow (2001), and she was finalist of the International Reading Association’s annual competition for Outstanding Dissertation of the Year (2000).

Selected Publications - Books

Sulentic Dowell, M-M, Saal, L, DiCarlo, C. & Willingham, T. (2022). Productivity & Publishing: Writing Processes for New Scholars & Researchers. SAGE. 

Lau, J., Meidl, T. and Sulentic Dowell, M-M. (December, 2019). The Literacy Leadership Guide for Elementary Principals: Reclaiming Teacher Autonomy and Joy. Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Meidl, T. & Sulentic Dowel, M-M. (March 2018). Service-Learning Initiatives in Teacher Education Programs. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Sulentic Dowell, M-M. & Meidl, T. (October, 2016) Expanding Elementary Teacher Education Teacher Education through Service-learning: A Handbook on Extending Literacy Field Experiences for 21st Century Teacher Preparation. Landham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield. 

Selected Grants/Funded Projects

Louisiana Department of Education - Mentor Training for Year-Long Student Teacher Residencies Grant. Submitted fall 2016/Awarded Fall 2017. (Co-Principal Investigator) [$97,500.00]

Louisiana Board of Regents 2017-2019 LaSIP Grant. Writing That Works: Ongoing Professional Development to Improve Students’ Argumentative Writing Using Informational Texts, Grades 7-10. Submitted November 30, 2016. (Co- Principal Investigator) [$280,343.00]

2017-2018 National Writing Project SEED Invitational Leadership Institute Grant (Principal Investigator) [$15,000.00] (indirect cost recovery rate 8%).

Louisiana Board of Regents 2015-2017 LaSIP grant. Writing that Works: Developing Ongoing Professional Development on Integrating the CCSS to Improve Student Writing.” Submitted November 9, 2015. (Co- Principal Investigator) [$148,253.00].

Believe and Prepare Grant with City of Baker Schools, “Professional Development Arts Integration.” Submitted September 15, 2015. (Principal Investigator) [$50,000].

National Writing Project, Louisiana State University Writing Project High Needs Grant 2014-2015. Submitted April 10, 2014. (Principal Investigator) [$20,000].

National Writing Project, Louisiana State University Writing Project Teacher Leadership Development SEED Grant 2014-2016. Submitted February 1, 2014. (Principal Investigator) [$20,000].

East Baton Rouge Parish School System. “East Baton Rouge Parish School System Louisiana State University College of Education Professional Development Writing Initiative Partnership (EBRPSS LSU COE PDWIP)” Submitted September 3, 2010. (Principal Investigator) [$70,000.00].

The LSU/SU Pilot Professional Development Project (PPDP) at Louisiana State University, a Board of Regents LaSIP grant. 2009-2012. (Co-Investigator) Submitted June 15, 2009. [$956,344.50].


Sulentic Dowell Named LSU Rainmaker

Light Up for Literacy Award


LSU Writing Project

Sulentic Dowell Presents at UCEA Conference

Sulentic Dowell Invited to Oberholtzer Foundation Retreat

Sulentic Dowell Serves on VIPS Panel