Dr. Susan L. Groenke, director of CCYAL, earned a B.A. in English in 1993 and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction in 1995 from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. She then taught English, language arts, creative writing, and media production at the middle and high school levels for six years before returning to Virginia Tech to pursue her doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction. In 1999, Dr. Groenke was nationally board certified in English/Language Arts for Adolescents. She received her Ph.D. in 2003. Her research interests include exploring effective strategies for facilitating democratic dialogue and critical thinking skills through the reading of young adult literature and online discussion about literature. Dr. Groenke is currently the program advisor for the English education program. She teaches courses in secondary English methods, young adult literature, and action research.