Kristiina is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada and is currently serving as the Associate Dean and Graduate Program Coordinator. She received her Ph.D. in Language and Literacy Education from The University of Georgia (Athens, GA) in 2004. Prior to her academic career, Kristiina was an FSL and ESL teacher in Ontario and Québec. Kristiina’s research and practice are framed in community-engaged scholarship that aims to use the space of research to engage with practical problems defined by community stakeholders. One of her overarching goals is to give voice to marginalized individuals and communities.

Her more recent work examines the impact of culturally sustaining early literacy instructional practices on the language and literacy development of adolescent English language learners with limited prior schooling, and exploring the use of decolonizing pedagogies in teacher education. Her research can be found in journals such as TESOL Quarterly, The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, The Journal of Children’s Literature, Middle School Journal, and Oral History Forum histoire orale. Kristiina was born and raised in Waterloo Region and is committed to giving back to her community. Kristiina’s relationship with Strong Start to Reading started as a Strong Start Volunteer.