Sarah Rapp

Assistant Professor

Sarah Rapp
Sarah Rapp




Stevenson 2014
Available By Appointment Only
  • PhD: UC Santa Cruz, expected Fall 2022
  • MA (Education): UC Santa Cruz, 2017
  • MA (Educational Leadership): Sonoma State University, 2013
  • Single Subject Credential (CLAD), English: Sonoma State University, 2001
  • BA (Psychology): UC Santa Cruz, 1998


  • Divergent Award for Excellence in Literacy in a Digital Age (Initiative for Literacy in a Digital Age Research, 2023)
  • Milam-McGinty-Kaun Award for Excellence in Teaching (Education Department, UCSC, 2017-2018)
  • Emerging Scholar Award (24th Annual Learner Conference, Honolulu, 2017)
  • Elliott Fellowship for Professional Renewal Award (Sonoma State University, 2007)
  • Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Nominee (Elsie Allen High School, 2005)
Academic Interests
  • Dialogic Theory and Pedagogy
  • School Culture and Community
  • Youth Participatory Action Research
  • Critical Literacy
  • Transliteracies
  • Educational Leadership
  • Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education

I joined the Educational Leadership Department at SSU in 2022. I am the graduate advisor for the MA in Educational Leadership. Before teaching at the university level, I was a high school English and English Language Development teacher, assistant principal, and instructional coach. I also collaborated with families, the local school district, and SSU to open a new elementary school focused on project-based learning. My research explores the possibilities and tensions of implementing student-centered and justice-oriented pedagogy. I am interested in what happens when students extend their learning by communicating with those outside the classroom. I believe that we have a lot to learn from our students and from each other. In my free time, I walk my dog, play games with my kids and spouse, read good books, watch bad TV, get together with friends, and drink tea.    

Selected Publications & Presentations

Rapp, S. M., & Low, D. E. (2022). Agent E, Mr. Happy, and me: Using abduction to author(ize) adolescents’ stories and selves. Paper presented at the annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA). San Diego, California.

Rapp, S. M. (2022). Starting conversations with sweatshirts: Mobilities and immobilities in a high school student’s multimodal texts about racism. Paper presented at the annual meeting of National Council of Teachers of English Assembly for Research (NCTEAR). Virtual.

Low, D. E., & Rapp, S. M. (2021). Youth identities and affinities on the move: Using a transliteracies framework to critique digital dichotomies. In E. Aguilera & J. Z. Pandya (Eds.), Critical literacies in a digital age [Special issue]. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 16(2).

Low, D. E., & Rapp, S. M. (2020). Multimodal making: Skateboarding, beatmaking, and iMoviemaking as youth literacies and classroom practice (K.16). Paper presented at the annual meeting of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Virtual.

Rapp, S. M. (2019). “Our voices will be heard”: Reframing an undergraduate writing class as dialogue with the public. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Literacy Research Association (LRA). Tampa, Florida.

Rapp, S. M. (2019). Reframing school literacy as communication with real audiences: Affordances for linguistically diverse students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of American Educational Research Association (AERA). Toronto, Ontario.

Rapp, S. M. (2017). “Something you’ve never seen before”: New designs for skateboards, schooled literacy, and students’ selves. Paper presented at the 24th Annual Learner Conference. Honolulu, Hawaii.