Rachel Besharat Mann CV.pdf




  Adolescent literacy and development (focus on online research and information literacy)

  Effects of digital environments on adolescent development and learning



  Mixed methods study of adolescent information-seeking through social media

o   Pilot study underway

o   Application for grant to expand study in progress

o   Joint project with researchers at the University of Kansas

      The effects of frequency of use, identity (inc. self-presentation, social comparison, and self-esteem) and media literacy among parents of adolescent social media users

o   Survey data & analysis

o   In data-collection phase

o   Joint project with researchers at Fordham University




Ph.D., Fordham University 2020 Contemporary Learning and Interdisciplinary Research

Dissertation: The effects of social media use and self-esteem on possible selves throughout adolescence
Capstone Dissertation: Digital and print reading habits, preferences, and associated skills amongst emerging adults

M.S. Ed., Fordham University 2012 Literacy Education 5-12

B.S. Ed., St. John’s University 2007 Secondary Education, U.S. History & Political Science 




Wesleyan University 2023-Present

Associate Professor of the Practice, College of Education Studies

Wesleyan University 2021-2023

Visiting Assistant Professor, College of Education Studies

Courses offered:

      Social Media and Adolescent Psychosocial Development

Course explores psychosocial developmental models of adolescents and examines the potential effects of developing within online contexts.

      Celebrating Learner Differences

Course explores various factors relating to differences in cognitive development and external factors that affect literacy learning in classroom environments.

      Contemporary Literacy

Course explores the changing nature of literacy in contemporary society, beginning with the traditional developmental models of literacy and spanning to include media, digital, critical, and other contemporary literacies within the context of research.

Adjunct Professor 2020-2021

Fordham University, New York, NY

      Teaching graduate and undergraduate students in face to face and remote settings

Courses offered:

      Psychology of Child and Adolescent Development

      Historical, Philosophical, and Multicultural Foundations of American Education




Graduate and Career Coordinator & Advisor 2022-Present

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

      Coordinating graduate and career events on campus, including panel discussions and speaker engagements for student information

      Advising for post-graduation

Grant Coordinator, NOYCE 2019-2020

Fordham University, New York, NY

      Overseeing reporting and compliance for Noyce Grant (supporting teachers in training for STEM subjects)

      Completing and reviewing reports for Noyce and NSF

Graduate Assistant 2016-2020

Fordham University, New York, NY

      Working directly with the head of Curriculum & Teaching, managing the five-year track for teacher certification program

      Training in EdTPA assessment and implementation

      Designing Master’s level academic modules for online content

      Maintaining records for accelerated Master’s program

      Planning and applied research tasks for publication



Frank B. Weeks Visiting Assistant Professor of Education Studies 2022

Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT

Mid-Wes Education Grant 2022

Wesleyan University, Middletown CT

      Funds for conducting research within the Middletown Public School




Manuscript in preparation: Scaffolding civil discourse in the classroom through digital practices.


Besharat Mann, R. (under review). Understanding the impact of social intelligence on problematic social media usage. (New Media +Society)


Turner, K.H., Besharat Mann, R., & Zucker, L. (forthcoming 2024). Connected digital reading: Adolescents’ engagement with a variety of 

texts. In Cremin, T. & McGeown (Eds.) Reading for pleasure: International perspectives from research. Routledge.


Besharat Mann, R. (accepted, pre-print). Can I trust this information: Using adolescent narratives to uncover online information seeking 

processes. Journal of Media Literacy Education.


Besharat-Mann, R. (2022). Social distancing: Closing the gap between digital and social media literacy practices and literacy instruction. New Jersey English Journal, 11(2022), 2.


Besharat Mann, R., & Blumberg, F. (2022). Adolescents and social media: The effects of frequency of use, self-presentation, social 

comparison, and self esteem on possible self imagery. Acta Psychologica, 228, 103629.


Besharat Mann, R. (2020). The effects of social media use and self-esteem on possible selves throughout

adolescence (Publication No. 27743668). (Doctoral Dissertation, Fordham University). ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.



Besharat Mann, R. (2023). What teaching strategies relate to increasing student self-regulation in online learning environments?: Reflections on “This is a weird time we’re in”: How a sudden change to remote education impacted college student’ self-regulated learning. AERA SSRL Time Magazine.


Besharat Mann, R. (2022). Translating learning sciences research to the classroom [webinar]. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE).


Besharat Mann, R. (2020, February 21). How to support digital literacy in adult learners. Digital Promise. learners/


Besharat Mann, R. (2020, February 20). Helping students navigate online sources with critical literacy.

Digital Promise. navigate-online-sources-with-critical-literacy/





Besharat Mann, R. (upcoming - April 2024). Bridging literacies: Adolescent processes of seeking

information online [roundtable]. American Education Research Association (AERA), Philadelphia, PA.


Keener, K.A. & Besharat Mann, R. (Nov. 16-19, 2023). Broad-casting student voice: Amplifying reading and writing workshop practices with podcasting, National Council for the Teachers of English (NCTE), Columbus, Ohio.


Besharat-Mann, R & colleagues. (March  23-25, 2023). Developmental findings and considerations to inform media literacy instruction. Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Salt Lake City, Utah.


Besharat-Mann, R and colleagues. (March  9-11, 2023). Current approaches to future selves: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives. 

(Adolescents and media literacy within the context of identity development). Invited Symposium – Southern Society for Philosophy &

Psychology, Louisville, KY.


Besharat Mann, R. (December 2022). Strategies to address multilingual learners. Southern Connecticut State University Graduate 



Besharat Mann, R. (November 2021). “You can say anything you want online”: Helping adolescents manage messages on social media 

through critical and media literacy practices [Conference presentation]. National Council of Teachers of English, Virtual.


Besharat Mann, R., Tare, M., & Xiao, W. (November 2020). Understanding the whole student: How learner differences can affect adolescent 

literacy across content areas. [Conference presentation]. National Council of Teachers of English, Virtual.


Besharat Mann, R. & Blumberg, F. (2020, June 1-Sept 1). The effects of online identity-building behaviors and self-esteem of the development of possible selves throughout adolescence [Conference presentation]. Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Chicago, IL. [virtual]


Levy-Cohen, R., Arevalo, J., Battaglia, D., Besharat Mann, R., Bondie, R., Turner, K., Van Owen, G., & Zusho, A. (2019). Urban teens’ use of self-regulated learning strategies: A comparison of survey and diary measures. Poster presented at the American Educational Research 

Association (AERA), Toronto, Canada.


Besharat Mann, R. (2019, November). Adolescents and emerging adults: A comparison of reading format preferences and literacy skills. In 

Turner, K. and O’Byrne, I. (Eds.), Medium matters: connecting research and practice in print and digital reading. Paper presented at the NCTE Annual Convention, Baltimore, MD.




Consulting Research Scientist, 2019-Present

Digital Promise, Learner Variability Project

      Developing models of learning development using extensive research

      Completing multiple literature reviews on varying factors for adolescent literacy development and adult learning

      Working as part of a research team to support cognitive, literacy-specific, social-emotional factors, and personal background factors contributing to literacy development during adolescence 

      Assessing strategies related to developing each factor with supporting research

Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair, 2010-2016

Bronx Community High School, Bronx, NY

      Taught a range of NYS Social Studies curriculum, including United States and World History, Economics, and Participation in Government

      Designed curriculum for Global and U.S. History Sequence

      Developed online curriculum for alternate accreditation

      Developed elective curriculum for social studies and literacy

      Coordinated Virtual Enterprise program

      Participated in city-wide competitions
- Managed relationships with business contacts
- Facilitated foreign and domestic student exchange

      Supervised Learn-to-Work Internships for students

      Designed meaningful literacy based professional development for staff

      Improved Regents Scores

      Managed parent relationships

      Maintained excellent staff and administration relationships

Literacy Coach, 2010- 2016

Bronx Community High School, Bronx, NY

      Oversaw professional development related to literacy instruction

      Developed digital literacy curriculum with teachers

      Worked with individual teachers to improve literacy instruction across content areas

      Managed Achieve3000 online differentiated reading platform use





Fordham University Doctoral Committee, In-progress

The moderating effect of peer-to-peer support between online social comparisons and general belongingness in adolescents

Wesleyan University Graduate Thesis Reviewer, 2023

Topic: Development of numeracy skills in pre-school

Wesleyan University Undergraduate Thesis Reviewer, 2022

Topic: Fidelity of research implementation for preschool math games



Wesleyan University, Media literacy investigation, ongoing

      Managing research team to collect data, academic literature search, data analysis

Wesleyan University Mid-Wes Grant: Media literacy and source evaluation, 2022

      Supervised research team to collect data in a public-school setting

      Data analysis

Fordham University Research Coordinator, 2019-2021

      Lab coordinator for research on coding games for elementary students


Reviewer: Social Education Research 2024

Reviewer: Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace 2022

Reviewer: Technology, Mind, & Behavior (APA) 2022



Wesleyan English Language Learners Program Co-Chair 2022-Present

Communications Committee 2022-23

Colloquia Committee 2021-22



NYS Social Studies 7-12

NYS Literacy 5-12



      American Educational Research Organization (AERA)

      National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)

      Society for Research on Child Development (SCRD)

      National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)

      International Literacy Association (ILA)

      American Psychological Association (APA)