Dr. Annette VanAken joined the Concordia University Chicago community in 2017 as an assistant professor within the College of Graduate Studies.


Previously she taught undergraduate-level courses at Elmhurst College, Triton College and Thiel College. Prior to earning her doctoral degree, Dr. VanAken was a public and private school teacher, working as a director of an early childhood center, and teacher of children from preschool to the eighth grade for 19 years. She holds a doctorate from Liberty University in Curriculum and Instruction, a master's degree from the University of Southern Indiana in Elementary Education, and a bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College in Early Childhood Education, Art, and English. Currently, she is a member of the ISBE peer review team, a consultant for local museums' educational.


Degrees

  • EdD, Curriculum and Instruction - Liberty University; Lynchburg, VA
  • MS, Elementary Education - University of Southern Indiana; Evansville, IN
  • BA, Early Childhood Education - Hillsdale College; Hillsdale, MI

Academic and Professional Highlights

Prior Positions

  • Concordia University Chicago, Illinois, Assistant Professor, College of Graduate Studies, Department of Literacy and Early Childhood Education, 2017 – Present
  • Elmhurst College, Illinois, Adjunct Professor, Elmhurst College Education and History Department, 2017 – 2018
  • Triton College, River Grove, Illinois, Adjunct Professor, Triton College Education Department, 2017.
  • Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, Adjunct Professor, Thiel College Education Department, 2014 - 2016
  • Hillsdale Public Schools, Hillsdale, Michigan, First Grade Teacher, Bailey Elementary, 2005 -2009
  • Albion Public Schools, Albion, Michigan, First Grade Teacher, Harrington Elementary, 2003 -2005, First and Second Grade Cluster Teacher, Albion Open School, 2002 -2003, First Grade Teacher, Crowell Elementary, 1999 - 2002

Research

  • Early Childhood Education
  • Reading Acquisition, Attitudes, and Behaviors
  • Use of Technology for Reading Instruction

Publications

  • VanAken, A. M. (2021). Using ebooks to support reading in early childhood: What do the data suggest. IL ASCD Quarterly Journal 67(3), 16-23.

  • VanAken, A. (Spring 2021). Mental health matters. DLECE Newsletter.

  • VanAken, A. (2020). The temporal, social, and physical environment as applications of the whole child tenets in early childhood. [Column]. Lutheran Education Journal, https://lej.cuchicago.edu/columns/supporting-the-temporal-social-and-physical-environments-of-young-children/

  • VanAken, A. (2019). The temporal, social, and physical environment as applications of the whole child tenets in early childhood. IL ASCD Quarterly Journal, 65(3).

  • VanAken, A. (2018). Effects of reading instruction through the use of ebooks for young readers. Lutheran Education Journal, 148(2), 7-26.

  • VanAken, A., Ryan, T. Howlett, J., Callaghan, J., Fahey, A., Hoffman, D., Vitek, D., Sutton, S., Sinclair, K., Cheng, E., & Cassidy, T. (2018). ICCP Strategic Plan: IC Publication.

Presentations

  • Feedloop: What is it? [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. March 2021.

  • Feedloop: How do we use it? [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. April 2021.

  • The ECE masters and doctoral programs: What are they and why CUC is a place you can call home. [Presenter]. Collaborative Work with KTA Marketing, Online Zoom. (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021).

  • Supporting student during COVID-19. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2020.

  • Collecting student data. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2020.

  • Project approach: Connections to brain and child development. [Workshop Presenter]. LEA-South Africa. July 2019.

  • Project approach: Let's investigate. [Workshop Presenter]. LEA-South Africa. July 2019.

  • Executive functions and early mathematics. [Presenter]. LCMS Early Childhood Consultants Conference, Concordia University Chicago. April 2019.

  • Effective communication with students. [Presenter]. Faculty and Adjunct Faculty CAF', Concordia University Chicago. August 2019.

  • Writing in the discipline preschool through kindergarten. [Presenter]. Urban Teachers Conference, Concordia University Chicago. February 2019.