Skip to contentSkip to navigation


Ph.D., Education, September 2013
University of California, Davis
Dissertation Title: High school teachers’ instruction of writing: Negotiating knowledge, student need, and policy
Area: Language, Literacy, & Culture
Designated Emphasis: Writing, Rhetoric, & Composition Studies

M.A., Education, January 2010
University of California, Davis
Thesis Title: Using a professional teaching community to develop teachers’ specialized knowledge of academic writing
Area: Language & Literacy

California Single Subject Teaching Credential, English, May 2002
Subject: English
Project Impact, San Joaquin County Office of Education

B.A., English, History Minor, March 1999
University of California, Davis

Professional Biography

Juliet Michelsen Wahleithner teaches courses focused on literacy for undergraduates, credential candidates, and MA students within the Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education Department at Fresno State. She also serves as the co-director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, the local site of the National Writing Project. Additionally, Dr. Wahleithner is an affiliate faculty member of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at Fresno State. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Dr. Wahleithner taught high school English and journalism and served as a district level instructional coach in Lodi Unified.

Dr. Wahleithner’s research focuses on the teaching and learning of literacy in secondary schools and teacher development for teaching English Language Arts at the secondary level. In particular, Dr. Wahleithner is interested in teachers’ knowledge for the instruction of writing and secondary students’ development as writers prepared to meet post-secondary writing and literacy demands.

Areas of Expertise / Research Interests

Secondary writing instruction; in-service and pre-service teacher development; literacy development; teacher inquiry; program evaluation; writing assessment; qualitative methodology

Current Research Projects

An Evaluation of Fresno State’s First Year Experience Program: Examining the Program’s Impact on Overall Student Success and Student Literacy Development (PI), funded by Kremen School of Education Dandoy grant and California State University Chancellor’s Office Research, Scholarship, & Creative Activities Award

  • Longitudinal study examining impact of participation in First Year Experience cohort program on underrepresented minority students’ future success at the university by analyzing student grades, retention, and time to graduation; conduct and analyze interviews with 19 case study participants three times each academic year.

Tracking the Pathways of 100 Urban Youth From 8th Grade to Adulthood, with Michal Kurlaender (PI) and Kelsey Kurlaender

  • Longitudinal study tracking the academic achievement and post-secondary aspirations and pathways of 100 urban youth from middle school through adulthood

Teacher Inquiry Project, with Steven Z, Athanases (PI) and Lisa Bennett

  • Study examining the impact of engagement in teacher inquiry on new teacher’s development of knowledge for the teaching of secondary English Language Arts

Selected Publications

Wahleithner, J. M. (in press). Five portraits of teachers’ experiences teaching writing: Negotiating knowledge, student need, and policy. Teachers College Record.

Bennett, L., Athanases, S., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2015). “Like a ball and glove”: Teachers’ conceptions of the promise and challenges of conducting classroom inquiry. Action in Teacher Education.

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2015). Adaptive teaching for English Language Arts: Following the pathway of classroom data in preservice teacher inquiry. Journal of Literacy Research.

Wahleithner, J.M. (2014). The National Writing Project’s Multimodal Assessment Project: Development of a framework for thinking about multimodal composing. Computers and Composition.

Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2013). Learning about English learners’ content understandings through teacher inquiry: Focus on writing. The New Educator, 9(4), 304-327.

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Fostering data literacy through preservice teacher inquiry in English language arts. The Teacher Educator, 48(1), 8-28.

Athanases, S. Z., Bennett, L. H., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2013). Responsive teacher inquiry for learning about adolescent English Learners as developing writers. In L. C. de Oliveira & T. Silva (Eds.), L2 writing in secondary classrooms: Student experiences, academic issues, and teacher education. NY: Routledge.

Athanases, S. Z., Wahleithner, J. M., & Bennett, L. H. (2012). Learning to attend to culturally and linguistically diverse learners through data in preservice teacher inquiry. Teachers College Record, 114(7), 50 pages.

Athanases, S. Z., & Wahleithner, J. M. (2012). Educators’ conceptions of academic literacy and language. In C. Faltis & B. Arias (Eds.), Academic language and second language learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Courses Taught at Fresno State

LEE 213: Teaching the English Language Arts

LEE 156: Content Area Language and Literacy Instruction (Single Subject Credential)

LEE 180T/LS110W: Writing in the K-8 Schools (Liberal Studies cohort & upper-division writing course)

LEE 80T: Academic Literacy (First Year Experience cohort)