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Ayan Mitra Named Holmes Scholar of the Month

Ayan MitraCongratulations to Ayan Mitra on being named the March Holmes Scholar of the Month. Mitra recently defended his dissertation, titled “Exploring Neurocognitive Processes that Underline Reading Performance in Children: A Foundational Study.” His other research agenda attempts to bridge the gap between education and neuroscience. Mitra strives to understand how connectivity across different regions of the brain (coherence) is predictive of reading measures in widely used cognitive reading assessments. With rapidly evolving neuroimaging techniques providing better spatial and temporal resolution to brain imaging, it is increasingly important for literacy scholars to theorize the neural basis of reading.

Mitra, who is a Holmes Scholar at the University of South Carolina, exemplifies the tenets of scholarship, research, and leadership. He hopes that his research will help teachers and reading specialists in South Carolina understand the brain in relation to literacy. This can help assist with implementing appropriate strategies in the classroom. He underderscores that understanding how the brain processes written and spoken language will assist educators to devise new curricula. Mitra’s engagement with this field has already forged connections between education and psychology and has led to numerous research studies and publications, including “A Confluence of Complexity: Intersections Among Reading Theory, Neuroscience, and Observations of Young Readers.”

In addition to his research experiences, Mitra has taught courses in higher education focused on reading instruction and assessments. Mitra has also designed and developed a literacy lab investigating how children acquire literacy and instructional interventions. His goal is to secure a faculty position at a research institution to further his work while designing and teaching courses in educational neuroscience to equip educators and psychologists with a deeper understanding of current brain research in relation to educational practices. 

To nominate a Holmes Scholar for the Scholar of the Month recognition, please use this online form. Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis. 

Leslie Ekpe of Texas Christian University is the Holmes Council Vice President.