Ann Martinelli, Ed.D.

Associate Teaching Professor, Elementary & Early Childhood Education
Program Chair
Office Phone
Office Location
Cloverly, 207

Dr. Martinelli earned her Ed. D from Widener University's School of Human Service Professions in 2017. Her work considers how embedding community partnerships in pre- and full-time student teaching supports teacher candidates’ understanding of culturally responsive pedagogy and exposes them to diverse teaching environments. Prior to her time at Abington, she was a faculty member at Cabrini University and an Adjunct at Chestnut Hill and Montgomery County Community Colleges. Dr. Martinelli worked in public schools, charter schools and an approved private school for adjudicated youth as an educator for since 1998. Dr. Martinelli currently builds partnerships with school districts across Philadelphia and the surrounding area to build collaborative and reciprocal relationships for educational initiatives and student teacher placement. Dr. Martinelli is passionate about sharing her knowledge regarding the Literacy process with colleagues and pre-service teachers in the college classroom.  

Dr. Martinelli joined the PSU Education Program in Fall 2013 as an Early Childhood and Literacy professor.  Teaching the courses has presented her with the opportunity to think deeply about how we can engage pre-service teachers in the literacy process. Dr. Martinelli assumed the role as Program Chair of Education in 2017. She was also appointed as a Faculty Fellow in 2019, this role allows her to guide colleagues in professional dialogue with the aim of improving classroom pedagogy in higher education. 


2021  Aqua Grant, $20,000, Pending.Outdoor Classroom for Upper Moreland School District

2021  Chancellor's Grant, $5,000, AWARDED. Anti-oppression Pedagogy and Curricular Alignment 

2019  William Penn Foundation, $110,000.00, REJECTED; Using Digital Literacies to Represent Diverse Cultures 

2019  Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, $149,000, REJECTED; Summits for Substance Use Prevention 

2019  National Science Foundation, $100,000.00, REJECTED; Stem and Literacy Education in Urban School 

2018  Center for Intercultural Leadership, Penn State, $5,000.00, AWARDED; Representing and Validating Identity of Linguistically and Culturally Diverse Learners Through Multicausal Children’s Literature 

2018  Academic Environment Committee, Penn State, $500.00, AWARDED. Exposing Teaching Candidates to Cultural Sustainable Children’s Literature          

2018  Academic Environment Committee, Penn State, $500.00 AWARDED; Trauma in Education  

2018  Academic Environment Committee, Penn State, $500.00 AWARDED; Creating a Cultural Awareness through STEM  

2017  Seeding for Change Grants, Penn State, $5,000.00 AWARDED; Teacher Transformation through Cultural Immersion at McClure Elementary. 

2017  Barnes and Noble Grant, Penn State; $22, 500.00; Awarded. Advancing Culturally Sensitive Literacy in Greater Philadelphia Area by Advance Literacy and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy 

2017  Academic Environment Committee, Penn State; $500.00 AWARDED; Writing Across the Curriculum with the infusion of Cultural awareness 

2017 Academic Environment Committee, $500.00; AWARDED. The Importance of Infusing Cultural Responsiveness Children’s Poetry into the Curriculum 

2016 Schreyer Teaching Grant, Penn State, $6,600, AWARDED; Teacher Education and Community Partnership Experience 

Honors and Recognitions

2021            Penn State Abington "Lion Heart" Awarded by Class of 2021

2019            Penn State Abington Faculty Fellow  

2019            Faculty Senate Advisor Award- Penn State Abington 

2018            Penn State Abington Student Government Association Unsung Hero Award  

2017            Widener University Doctoral Achievement Award 

2017            Penn State Abington “Lion Heart” Awarded by Class of 2017 

2016            Faculty Senate Teaching Award for Non-Tenure Faculty- Penn State Abington 

2016            Penn State Abington Student Government Association Faculty Advisor for Club 

2016            Penn State Abington Student Government Association Women Who Inspire  

2014            Penn State Abington Student Government Association Unsung Hero Award  

Teaching interests and courses taught

Content Area Literacy
Instruction in Early Childhood Education Derived from Developmental Theories  
Child’s Play as an Educative Process

The Education Club

Leadership, service, and scholarship are the pillars of the Education Club at Penn State Abington. The Education Club is committed to serving our Community Partnership Schools in Philadelphia and Norristown.

Each semester the Education Club visits McClure, Anne Frank, and McClure Elementary schools to teach lessons and provide donations to support the education of the students. It is a meaningful and authentic task that makes a huge impact on both the PSU pre-service teachers and well as the students from our partnership schools.

Education Club group shot

As a group The Education Club strives to make a difference in the community by living a mission of service.

Image: Penn State
Research Interests

Research Interests

I am passionate about sharing my knowledge regarding the reading process with colleagues and pre-service teachers in the college classroom.  I am also motivated to share educational instruction with fellow educators who desire to move forward with teaching the reading process to learners through advising and counseling sessions. 

I am well versed in offering professional development sessions to support teachers’ knowledge of reading practices. The core area of my research is on the development of the lifelong learner and how we maintain a high level of engagement through the effective use of technology.  

A philosophy that governs my action is that “everyone is capable of learning something ... they need to have an open mind and an open heart to the process.”   I see the most success with this when the teacher-student BOND has been created.  This connection facilitates student engagement with the learning experience and course content. This bond is one of the most rewarding aspects of teaching for me.

I joined the PSU team in fall 2013 and have found a niche in teaching Early Childhood and Literacy courses.  Teaching the courses has presented the opportunity for me to think deeply about how we can engage pre-service teachers in the literacy process.


Selected Publication

Senyshyn, R. and Martinelli, A. (2020), "Learning to support and sustain cultural (and linguistic) diversity: perspectives of preservice teachers", Journal for Multicultural Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Martinelli, A (2012) Administration of Electronic Portfolios In Off-campus Programs. Montreal, Canada.



Widener University, Chester, PA                         
Doctor of Education, December 2017 
Dissertation: Transforming Teacher Candidates' Perception of Teaching in Urban Community  

Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia, PA 
Special Education Certification, August 2003 

Temple, Philadelphia, PA                         
Masters of Educational Administration, August 2001 

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA                                         
Bachelor of Arts in Education, May 1998 


PA Instructional II Elementary K-6 

PA Instructional II Early Childhood N-6 

PA Reading Specialist K-12, PA  

Special Education K-12 

PA Principal K-12 

Papers and Presentations


Martinelli, A (2021). Using the Liquid Syllabus to Humanize Teaching. Presented at Faculty of Futures Conference, virtual.

Martinelli, A. & Senyshyn, R. (2021). Learning to Support and Sustain Cultural (and Linguistic) Diversity: Perspectives of Preservice Teachers. Presented at Lilly Conference, Virtual.   

Martinelli, A., (2019). Cultural Sustainability in an Urban Teacher Education Program: Bringing Equity to Education. National Student Teaching Conference, Slippery Rock University, peer-reviewed/refereed.  

Martinelli, A., (2019). Teacher Candidates’ Awareness of their Intentions, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Teaching in Urban Communities, EERA, Myrtle Beach, peer-reviewed/refereed. 

Martinelli, A. & Reisboard, D. (2017). Awareness of Teacher Candidates’ Intentions Attitudes, and Perceptions of Teaching Children of Color in Urban Communities. National Association for Multicultural Education Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Martinelli, A. (2017).  Awareness of Teacher Candidates’ Intentions Attitudes, and Perceptions of Teaching Children of Color in Urban Communities. Kappa Delta Pi Convocation. Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. 

Martinelli, A. & McHenry, N. (2017). Community-Engaged Teacher Education Program. Ball State University. Muncie, Indianapolis. 

Martinelli, A. & Reisboard, D. (2017). Transformation of Teacher Candidates Intentions Attitudes, and Perceptions of Teaching Children of Color in Urban Communities. Eastern Educational Research    Association. Richmond, Virginia. 

Martinelli, A. (2017). Transformation of Teacher Candidates Intentions, Attitudes, and Perceptions of Teaching in Urban Communities.  Widener Research Symposium. Chester, Pennsylvania. 

 Martinelli, A. (2017). Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. 

Martinelli, A. (2016). Community Partnerships in Higher Education. Kappa Delta Pi Convocation. Orlando, Florida.