Emily Solari

Edmund H. Henderson Professor of Education

  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004

Emily Solari is the coordinator and professor in the Reading Education program in the Department of Curriculum Instruction and Special Education. She received her PhD from University of California, Santa Barbara in Special Education, Disabilities, and Risk Studies with an emphasis in Human Development. Dr. Solari’s scholarship has focused on the prevalence, predictors, and underlying mechanisms that drive reading development with the ultimate goal of developing and testing the efficacy of targeted interventions to prevent and ameliorate reading difficulties. Her work has included intervention development and trials with students who have early profiles of reading difficulties, individuals diagnosed with autism, and English language learners. Her work has been particularly focused on translating the science of reading by engaging with practitioners and policy makers to leverage scientific evidence to improve practice in school settings.

Currently, Dr. Solari is the PI of two Institute of Education Sciences research grants, an efficacy grant and a replication grant. Both studies are testing the efficacy of evidence aligned reading curricula with struggling first grade readers in multiple states (CA, VA, and TX).  She also serves as the PI of a Postdoctoral training grant, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, aimed at training fellows who are interested in developing as scholars who investigate academic development, such as reading and writing, in children with ASD. Dr. Solari is also the PI of the predoctoral training grant, funded, by the Office of Special Education program, that will train future scholars and teacher educators in the science of reading and evidence-based reading assessment and instruction for students with disabilities. Her previous research has been funded from state and different federal sources including the US Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Solari directs Virginia Literacy Partnerships (VLP). The office is dedicated to ensuring that all children across the Commonwealth have access to evidence-based literacy screening, instruction, and intervention. VLP is a comprehensive and integrated effort to improve literacy by aligning core activities of outreach, academic programs, and research around a contemporary base of knowledge and evidence. The mission is to create long-term, productive partnerships among researchers, students, policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders in order to further develop our understanding and support of language and literacy development, assessment, and instruction.

She currently serves as the Editor-In-Chief of The Reading League Journal, a new journal dedicated to translating specific reading research findings for a practitioner audience; she is also an Associate Editor for Journal of Learning Disabilities and Remedial and Special Education. She serves on various state and national level executive boards including the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division of Learning Disabilities and The Reading League’s Virginia Chapter.

Dr. Solari is accepting Ph.D. students for fall 2023.