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Dr. Susan James

  • Position: Associate Professor & Director, Emerald Coast Writing Project
  • Department: School of Education
  • Office Location: Building 85, Room 194
  • Campus: 850.474.2613


Dr. Susan Densmore-James had dual majors when she earned her Ph.D. at Florida State University in 2011.

The majors were Language Arts and Reading Education, and both figure heavily in research by James, an Assistant Professor at UWF’s School of Teacher Education and Educational Leadership.

In her research she has explored ways to enable students to become better readers and writers, and she examines methods for teachers to tap their students skills. She also has conducted research on undergraduates’ perspectives concerning spirituality and education.

Among the peer-reviewed publications carrying research by James: Schools: Studies in Education, The Florida English Journal, Journal of Research on Christian Education, and Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth. She also has published peer-reviewed interviews with prominent authors of young adult literature.

James was instrumental in making UWF an official member of the Emerald Coast Writing Project. As a Emerald Coast Writing Project site, UWF provides a three-week summer training program for Pensacola-area teachers. The project gives teachers more tools for teaching writing and helps them show other teachers how to boost students’ writing skills.

James, a graduate of a Emerald Coast Writing Project program, said she considered it the best professional training she received while she was teaching in middle and high school.

At UWF she teaches both online and face-to-face courses to both graduates and undergraduates.

Degrees & Institutions

James received her bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies Education from San Diego State University. She went on to earn her master's degree in Reading Education from the University of West Florida, and her doctorate degree in Language Arts and Reading Education from Florida State University.


  • Engagement and motivation as a method of working with secondary students (particularly high-risk students i.e. English Language Learners, Exceptional Student Education, and low Socio-Economic-Status students)
  • Effective instruction for pre-service teachers in the area of literacy resulting in highly qualified teachers in the field
  • The role of emotional intelligence in learning
  • Differentiation of research-based instruction, High Impact Practices, and critical reflection through use of the Reflections Interactive Notebook

Current Courses

  • Secondary Literacy
  • K-12 Literacy
  • Assessment
  • Secondary Methods of English
  • Teaching Effective Writers

Keywords: compassionate learners, culture in mainstream classrooms, books and community building, reflections interactive notebooks, virtual coaching for teachers, cultivating student engagement, Chris Crowe, Charlie Price, Alan Sitomer