Carol Booth Olson is the Director of the UC Irvine site of the National Writing Project and an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in American Literature from UCLA and was honored as Outstanding Graduate Woman of the Year. Dr. Olson has edited three books: Practical Ideas for Teaching Writing as Process (1997), the best-selling publication of the California Department of Education (1986; 1987); Thinking/Writing: Fostering Critical Thinking Through Writing (Harper Collins, 1992); and Reading, Thinking, and Writing About Multicultural Literature (Scott Foresman Publishers, 1996). In addition, her single-author text, The Reading/Writing Connection, is now in its third edition (Pearson Education, 2011). Her newest book Helping English Learners Meet the Common Core Standards for Writing, was just released by Teachers College Press (2015). Dr. Olson has also published over thirty journal articles on interactive strategies for teaching writing, fostering critical thinking through writing, applying multiple intelligences theory to language arts instruction, using multicultural literature with students of culturally diverse backgrounds, and more.
In 1994, Dr. Olson and three UCI Writing Project teacher researchers won the first annual Caddo Gap Press Award for California Education Research for a study of the impact of teaching multicultural literature on the writing of ethnic and linguistic minority students. She has also received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the UCI Committee in Teaching Quality and the Outstanding Contribution to Reading Award from the Orange County Reading Association. In 2007, Dr. Olson received the Alan Purves Award from the National Council of Teachers of English for the article in Research in the Teaching of English deemed most likely to impact educational practice for an eight-year long study in Santa Ana Unified School District and in 2009, she received the Richard A. Meade Award from NCTE for the same article. Dr. Olson is the developer of the Pathway Project intervention to improve the academic writing of Latinos and English Learners. She has been the PI on a Goal 3 IES grant, an i3 Validation grant, and an Office of English Language Acquisition, National Professional Development grant.