Lynne Vernon-Feagans

Lynne Vernon-Feagans
Senior Research Scientist
919.966.5484
919.843.5623
Sheryl-Mar North, Room 129
Campus Box 8040
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8040

Over the last 30 years, Lynne Vernon-Feagans has focused her interest on children at risk – especially African-American children who live in poverty. As part of the Abecedarian Project, she led a study on children’s use of language in their home neighborhood and in their classrooms at school. Her resulting book helped educators and practitioners understand the disconnect between the children’s neighborhood language and culture and the school’s language and culture to help better understand the challenges faced by minority children during the transition to school.

Presently, Vernon-Feagans is principal investigator of a 10 year NICHD multi-site, multi-disciplinary, birth-cohort study of that is a representative sample of children born in each of three poor, rural Pennsylvania and North Carolina counties. With policy implications for rural families and their children, this landmark study involving 23 investigators collects in-depth measures of families, poverty and rurality, biological markers of family stress, family health, family work, family interactions and home and childcare literacy activities, as well as child cognition, language, emotionality and sociability. Additionally, Vernon-Feagans serves as co-principal investigator of the National Research Center on Rural Education Support funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. With colleagues, she developed a series of randomized clinical trials to test the effectiveness of her Targeted Reading Intervention, a web-based consultation (Tier II intervention) for classroom teachers. Results suggest significant reading gains for children in limited income rural kindergarten and first-grade classrooms. She and her associates are now developing outreach models to deliver state-of-the-art professional development to rural schools around the country through innovative webcam technology. 

Education:
• PhD, Developmental Psychology and Linguistics, University of Michigan
• BA, Economics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill