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Washington State University
College of Education

Sarah Newcomer


Sarah Newcomer

Associate Professor

Literacy Education
Tri-Cities Campus
Floyd 207Y
2710 Crimson Way
Richland, WA  99354-1671


Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Sarah Newcomer’s qualitative research centers on language and literacy educational practices, particularly for culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students, many of whom are also English learners (ELs). Research on literacy education for CLD students is significant as today’s schools become increasingly diverse. Despite the “funds of knowledge” or accumulated skills, knowledge, and experience CLD students bring to school, an achievement disparity persists for many of these students.  A key question confronting all stakeholders is how to ensure that all students are successful. The need for research investigating best practices for supporting the (bi)literacy development and academic success of CLD students, along with a scholarly passion stemming from her experiences as a bilingual educator, position her research within the intersection of language, literacy, and culture.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Newcomer teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in K-8 literacy education methods as well as language, literacy, and culture. She has also taught courses in Children’s Literature and Introductory Research Methods.

Recent Accomplishments

  • 2016 – Concha Delgado Gaitan Presidential Early Career Fellowship Award, Council on Anthropology & Education, American Anthropological Association. “The Concha Delgado Gaitan CAE Presidential Fellowship is aimed at supporting junior scholars as they navigate their early careers as post-Ph.D. educational anthropologists, in ways that contribute to their success within the academy or the world of K-12 education policy and practice.”
  • 2016 – Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, Washington State University, College of Education.


  • 2017-2018 – Co-PI: Case Based Instruction for Culturally Responsive Teaching. Washington State University College of Education Berry Family Fellowship. Principal-investigator: Dr. Kira Carbonneau, Co-Investigators: Drs. Yuliya Ardasheva and Brenda Barrio. Amount: $20,000.
  • 2016- 2020 – Co-PI: Equity for Language Learners—Improving Practices and Acquisition of Culturally-Responsive Teaching (ELL-IMPACT). Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students, National Professional Development program. Principal-investigator: Dr. Gisela Ernst-Slavit, Co-Invesigators: Drs. Yuliya Ardasheva, Judy Morrison, Kira Carbonneau. Amount: $2,272,000.00.
  • 2013- 2014 – Co-PI:Bridging Community Literacy Practices & Funds of Knowledge in the Classroom. (2013-2014). Washington State University College of Education Faculty Funding Award, Co-investigator: Dr. Eric J. Johnson. Amount: $8,996.39.
  • 2012 – PI:Slicing the Ceba: Examining Language Education Policies in Catalonia. Fulbright U.S. Student Scholarship, Arizona State University. Amount: $10,791.18.

Selected Publications

  • Newcomer, S. N. (2017). “Like a family”: Investigating the power of authentically caring teacher-student relationships for Latinx students. Journal of Latinos and Education.
  • Puzio, K., Newcomer, S. N., Pratt, K*., Burks, K*., Hooker, S*., & Jacobs, M*.(Accepted for March 2017). Creative failures in culturally responsive instruction. Language Arts, 94(4).
  • Ardasheva, Y., Newcomer, S. N., Firestone, J. B., & Lamb, R. (2016). Mediation in the relationship among EL status, vocabulary, and science reading comprehension. Journal of Educational Research. Published online:
  • Newcomer, S.N. & Puzio, K. (2016). Didn’t we do this yesterday, maestra? Literacy Practice and Research, 41(3), 23-29.
  • Newcomer, S.N. & Collier, L.C. (2015). Agency in action: How teachers respond to Arizona’s 4-hour Structured English Immersion program. International Multilingual Research Journal, 9(3), 159-176. doi: 10.1080/19313152.2015.1048179.
  • Puzio, K., Newcomer, S.N., & Goff, P. (2015). Supporting literacy differentiation: The principal’s role in a community of practice. Literacy Research and Instruction, 54(2), 135-162. doi: 10.1080/19388071.2014.997944.
  • Newcomer, S.N. & Puzio, K. (2014). Cultivanda confianza: A bilingual community of practice negotiates restrictive language policies. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, doi: 10.1080/13670050.2014.983043.
  • Martinez-Roldán, C. & Newcomer, S. (2011). Reading between the pictures: Immigrant students’ interpretations of The Arrival. Language Arts 88(3), 188-197.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Language and Literacy, Arizona State University, 2012.
  • M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Arizona State University, 1999.
  • B.A. Spanish, Northern Arizona University, 1995.