Mount St. Joseph University

Amy Murdoch, Ph.D., Director of Reading Science Program, Receives Funding for Literacy Project

Campus News, Press Releases, Master of Arts: Reading Science, School of Education, Department of Graduate Education

By: Sasha Feldmann

File Under: cincinnati, graduate education, reading science program, school of education

Dr. Amy Murdoch, Mount St. Joseph University



CINCINNATI, Ohio (September 20, 2018)—Amy Murdoch, Ph.D., director of Mount St. Joseph University's Reading Science Program, has been awarded a grant for an early literacy and learning program to support children and families experiencing poverty. The project was launched on September 1, 2018.

Dr. Murdoch was awarded the grant from the SC Ministry Foundation Sister Elise Fund. The SC Ministry Foundation promotes the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.

The grant will help provide schools with a low-cost, research-validated, comprehensive literacy program that works to close the achievement gap between children living in poverty and their more advantaged peers.

According to Dr. Murdoch, research has shown that while quality early literacy programs can successfully improve student academic achievement, too often preschools serving children living below the poverty line don’t have access to high-quality instructional materials.

Through this project, a program will be created that includes classroom instructional materials, family education, teacher training, and support for children who struggle. The program will be written by Dr. Murdoch with the support of other faculty in the Mount’s School of Education and experts in the field. The effectiveness will be evaluated using a scientific research design.

“Early language and literacy skills set the foundation for a child’s success or struggle in school,” says Dr. Murdoch, “We want to support our region's preschools in making sure they have what they need to help all children, regardless of their economic status, and that these students have the opportunity to build a strong foundation for school success. With the help of the SC Ministry Foundation, we are able to work toward this important goal.”

Amy Murdoch earned her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Cincinnati with an emphasis on early literacy. She is currently chair of graduate education and an associate professor in the Mount’s School of Education. She is also the director of the Reading Science graduate program, which became one of the first International Dyslexia Association (IDA) approved programs in the nation. Dr. Murdoch has also worked in Cincinnati Public Schools as director of various early literacy programs and as an education consultant helping school districts implement research-based reading practices. Her work has been presented at local and national conferences and has been published. Dr. Murdoch has been named one of the Top Professors in Ohio by Ohio Magazine.

About the Mount

Mount St. Joseph University is a Catholic institution grounded in the spiritual values and vision of its founders, the Sisters of Charity. Located on the west side of Cincinnati in Delhi Township, the Mount is dedicated to students’ success and well-being, emphasizing values, integrity, and social responsibility. The Mount was founded in 1920 as one of the only women’s colleges in the eastern United States at the time. Today the University educates a diverse coeducational population of more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Nearly 99 percent of those who earn a degree from the Mount are employed, enrolled in graduate studies, or volunteering within six months of graduation.

About SC Ministry Foundation

Since 1996, SC Ministry Foundation has been promoting the mission and ministry of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati as a public grant-making organization that supports direct service, advocacy and systemic change. Through their commitment to living Gospel values, the Foundation strives to reduce poverty and injustice, maximize human potential and build healthy communities through regional, national and international partnerships and collaborative initiatives. For more information, visit or call (513) 347-1122.