Rachel Knecht

Graduate Student
Rachel Knecht


Rachel Knecht is a Ph.D. candidate and graduate assistant in Literacy Studies. She is also the graduate student representative on the steering committee for the Nevada Adolescent Literacy Network (NALN). Rachel’s research focuses on supporting adolescents’ reading comprehension, particularly through metalinguistic development. Specifically, Rachel is interested in cultivating dialogical spaces and instructional approaches in which students can draw on their cultural and linguistic identities and further develop metalinguistic awareness to comprehend and critically examine text. In her work with NALN, Rachel has explored the relationship between affective factors, such as motivation, and adolescents’ reading comprehension.

Drawing on her experience as a former middle and high school English Language Arts teacher, Rachel has collaborated with schools in the Reno area and Northern California in professional learning partnerships focused on supporting students’ vocabulary and syntactic knowledge. She has also supported pre-service and in-service teachers as instructor of EDRL 451/651, Reading and Writing in the Secondary School at the University.

Rachel’s work has been published in journals such as Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy and Reading and Writing Quarterly. She has presented on this work at national conferences, including the American Educational Research Association annual meeting and the Literacy Research Association annual meeting.

Rachel was awarded 2023 Outstanding Graduate Researcher by UNR’s Graduate Student Association. She is also a recipient of the 2022-2023 Graduate Dean’s Merit Scholarship.