10 Brilliant Dallas Women: Dr. Rose Brock, Educator and Literacy Advocate

Welcome to 10 Brilliant Dallas Women, a pop-up online series about 10 awesome women making Dallas a better place to live. 

A 20-year veteran educator, Dr. Rose Brock has dedicated her career to turning teens into lovers of the written word. Building relationships with readers through books is her superpower.

Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of Brock’s work: She is a professor but has a healthy list of literary accomplishments outside the classroom. For one, she's heavily involved in the North Texas Teen Book Festival. Working with festival founders from the Irving Public Library system, Brock helped lead the charge in getting the NTTBF off the ground and running, using some of her relationships with esteemed writers and publishers to help secure the 53-author lineup. The North Texas Teen Book Festival is a free, one-day event with over 60 young adult and middle grade authors signing books, talking about books, and hanging out with their fans. It’s a cunning way to encourage kids to read and the inaugural festival had an impressive attendance of over 3,500 teens and tweens from DFW and the surrounding areas. (Mark your calendar, the next one will take place on April 23, 2016, and promises to be even bigger.)

Brock’s other passion projects include building libraries in area schools, therapy centers and children’s hospitals. She also serves as a team leader of the International Literacy Association’s Young Adult Choices project, which empowers teens throughout the United States to read and select the best books of the year. Dr. Brock was named by Texas Library Association as the recipient of the Siddie Jo Johnson Award, an award given by the Children’s Round Table to a librarian who demonstrates outstanding library service to children. While working as an educator for Irving ISD and Coppell ISD, she developed over 50 author programs that brought children and teens face to face with New York Times best selling authors by bringing them to their schools all over Dallas/Ft. Worth.

Brock has also tirelessly advocated for audiobooks as a tool for literacy and helped found GUYS LISTEN, a partner project of the national children’s literacy campaign GUYS READ, started by the Library of Congress’ first Ambassador of Young People's Literature, Jon Scieszka. Dr. Brock has an ear for words and frequently speaks and publishes about audiobooks. A piece she wrote for Random House, called “Why Listen? Using Audiobooks to Support Literacy,”  focuses on why listening to audiobooks plays a vital role in a student’s communication and comprehension skills. In the article, Dr. Brock states, “If a student cannot comprehend a message through listening, it is unlikely that she will comprehend that message through reading.” It’s an interesting hypothesis worth exploring yourself once you’re done reading this piece.

In addition to raising awareness about the role audiobooks can play in the literacy landscape, Dr. Brock has published well over 50 ancillary educator’s book guides for children’s book publishers and serves as a peer reviewer for the The Journal of Research in Childhood Education.

Brock earned her B.A in English at Oklahoma State University, then went on to Texas Woman's University to get her Master's in Library Science, followed by a Doctorate of Philosophy from the School of Library and Information Studies. Moreover, during the course of her education and career, she’s received over 20 awards, grants and scholarships.

Dr. Brock is currently an Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University in the Department of Library Science. It’s safe to say she’s earned her place as an educator in listening and verbal skills, and why she towers as a prominent figure in furthering education for children up to college students (who can probably also be considered children if you think back to your days in school).

Dr. Brock is a member of the American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, International Reading Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Texas Library Association, Texas State Reading Association, Young Adult Library Services Association, Guys Read/Guys Listen Project Advisor International Reading Association, Young Adult Choices Project Leader, Texas Library Association and served as the TASL Nominating Committee Chair.

We’ve only skimmed the surface of Dr. Brock’s career but want to end on this: She’s also a regular at San Diego Comic-Con as a fan and speaker on panels, which gives her instant street cred. It's just one more reason why she’s cooler than us.

Want to connect with Dr. Brock? Follow her on Twitter (@reallyrosebrock) and Instagram (@reallyrosebrock).