Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies

Purpose of the Chair

The Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies was established in 1988 as a professorship in the College of Education for the purpose of building public awareness about the nature of dyslexia and about promising approaches to identification of children who struggle to read and effective interventions to address their needs. The chair is intended to enhance the skills of teachers, school psychologists, and parents to more effectively identify and assist dyslexic students and students who struggle to read. The chair also was established to contribute to the research base that defines dyslexia and reading failure, guides the identification of individuals who struggle with reading and why, and informs the content and strategies for effective instruction. Moreover, the chair was established to support efforts to improve the knowledge and skills of area educators through consultation and education, as well as provide consultation services for Tennessee school systems, individual teachers, other school personnel, and families. The Chair is tasked with establishing and maintaining a resource and reference center, the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia, to actively engage in the research efforts of the Chair and actively support the translation of research to pratice. The Chair supports efforts to develop and deliver curriculum for courses on effective ways to educate dyslexic children and children who struggle with reading; and engages in research and supports the efforts of other university faculty in their research activities.


OdegardTim Odegard is a professor of psychology and holds the Katherine Davis Murfree Chair of Excellence in Dyslexic Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, leading the efforts of the Tennessee Center for the Study and Treatment of Dyslexia. He also serves as faculty for the PhD in Literacy Studies program, and the Masters in Literacy program. He completed his B.A. in psychology at Hendrix College, his M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Arkansas, and his NICHD supported National Research Service Award postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Arlington. He is also a trained educator who has worked with students with reading disabilities, and completed a two-year dyslexia specialist training program at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas. He serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Dyslexia and on the editorial board of Perspectives on Language and Literacy. He is a member of the Understood Parent Advisory Committee and the AIM Scientific Advisory Board. He is a past Vice President of the Academic Language Therapist Association and served as the Vice President of the Texas Dyslexia Licensure Advisory Board.  He received the Luke Waites ALTA Award of Service in recognition of significant contributions made to improve services for individuals with dyslexia, and the IMSLEC Innovator Award as an outstanding MSLE professional. As a developmental cognitive psychologist, his research focuses on memory and language. His research in reading is focused in three areas: identification of children who struggle with reading, intervention for students who struggle to read, and teacher training.