Jacqueline Winsch '17, '19 Named to the International Literary Association's 30 under 30 list

Newark, Del. (January 10, 2023) — Jacqueline Winsch, a Reading/Writing/Literacy Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, is one of 30 literacy leaders named to the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) 2023 30 Under 30 list. This year’s global list celebrates rising leaders and visionaries in the literacy field from 15 countries who are working to advance literacy practices and create more equitable learning environments across the globe.

The 27-year-old of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was recognized for her work at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is the Samuel H. and Annie R. Illman Fellow and researches the influence of drama education in elementary literacy classrooms. Her practitioner research seeks student perspectives to learn what makes drama meaningful in classroom spaces. For her dissertation, Jackie hopes to develop an inquiry group of both elementary classroom teachers and drama educators, where educators can explore drama integration practices to bring into their literacy classrooms. She hopes to co-facilitate this group alongside her students. 


“Drama transforms classroom spaces,” Winsch says. “In my experience, through drama, I have not only seen students gain a greater understanding of literacy texts, but also watched classrooms grow closer as a community, witnessed emerging bilingual students express themselves and their ideas through embodied activities, and seen students develop a deep love of theater and the arts. While I have always had a deep love for theater, as a senior at the University of Notre Dame, I was introduced to drama integration by Christy Burgess and the Robinson Community Learning Center, and quickly realized the power of using drama in literacy classrooms. When I started teaching fourth grade at Saint Laurentius School in Philadelphia as a part of the ACE program, my knowledge of theater and my experiences with classroom drama helped me to integrate drama strategies into my literacy instruction. Now, as a literacy researcher, I hope to learn how more elementary teachers can learn how to use drama integration strategies in their classrooms- especially teachers without the same theater background that I had. I am so grateful for the support of my mentors at both the University of Notre Dame and the University of Pennsylvania as I continue to engage in this research.”

Winsch joins a growing cohort of education leaders. Past honorees include Akash Patel, Spanish teacher and founder of Happy World Foundation; Allister Chang, founder of Civic Suds; and Shiza Shahid, cofounder of the Malala Fund.

“Improving the quality of literacy learning across the globe requires collaboration among sectors and among a vast range of professionals, which is one of the many reasons we look forward to sharing the stories of our 30 Under 30 honorees,” says Nicola Wedderburn, ILA’s interim executive director. “With each list of emerging leaders, we see educators, administrators, authors, technology experts, nonprofit leaders, business leaders and advocates of all kinds who are invested in our mission of literacy for all. Together, they are working toward a more hopeful future and a literacy landscape where equitable learning opportunities are a reality in every corner of the world.”

ILA’s 30 Under 30 honorees are featured in the January/February/March 2023 issue of Literacy Today, ILA's member magazine, which published today. To view the Literacy Today feature and read more about the honorees’ accomplishments, visit literacyworldwide.org/30under30.

This information provided by the ILA as of January 2023.