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Dr. Jessica Toste is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at The University of Texas at Austin and affiliated with The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. She received her PhD in educational psychology from McGill University. She teaches courses on reading instruction, learning disabilities (LD), and special education law. Her research interests are primarily related to students with LD and effective reading interventions, with a particular focus on motivation as a determinant of school success. She was named one of the 2017 “Texas 10,” nominated by UT alumni as a professor who inspired them during their time on the Forty Acres. Toste was trained in reading intervention research as a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University and as a Fulbright scholar/visiting researcher at the Florida Center for Reading Research. She has worked as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Toste serves on the National Board of Directors of GLSEN (www.glsen.org) and is the founder and chairperson of the GLSEN Austin Chapter. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Disability Rights Texas (DRTx), the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas, and volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem for children who have been abused and neglected.