Dr. Holt is Emeritus Professor, Educational Leadership, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Dr. Holt served for six years as Executive Director of the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC), where she oversaw the acquisition of over $1M in grant awards. Prior to her position at the IERC, Dr. Holt was a tenured Professor and Program Coordinator of Educational Research and Evaluation at Northern Illinois University, where she worked as faculty for 18 years. Holt has conducted research and collaborated with other scholars in the areas of education policy, early grammatical growth in young children, adult literacy, inequities in degree persistence and completion among women and underrepresented minorities, affordability in higher education, and methods of multivariate and growth modeling strategies for problems in social science. She is also the proud daughter of a WWII army nurse who served in the 34th Field Hospital in North Africa and Italy.

Grants Awarded

  • Holt, J. K. (PI), Klostermann, B. K.(co-I). Promising Practices of Early Childhood Educator Preparation Program Innovation Grantees, $241,254 Illinois Board of Higher Education. Funded 9/15 – 6/17.
  • Holt, J. K. (PI). St. Louis Graduates Research Partner. $35,000 St. Louis Graduates. Funded 4/16 – 2/17.
  • White, B. R. (PI), & Holt, J. K. (co-I). Innovation Zones Evaluation. $181,850 Funded 2/16 – 3/17.
  • Holt, J. K. (PI) & White, B. (co-I). Impacts of principal preparation redesign on Illinois school districts. Wallace Foundation, $50,000 Funded 7/14 – 6/16.
  • Klostermann, B.K. (PI), White, B. (co-I), & Holt, J. K. (co-I). Principal preparation Implementation review project. Robert R. McCormick Foundation, $500,000 Funded 6/14 – 5/16.
  • Klostermann, B.K. (PI), & Holt, J. K. (co-I). Implementation review of the 5Essentials Survey. Illinois State Board of Education, $103,808 Funded 4/14 – 8/14.
  • Holt, J. K. (PI), & Lichtenberger, E. J. (co-I). Developing Indicators of Progress Towards a College Degree, DePaul University, $30,000 Funded 3/13 – 5/13.
  • Hadley, P. (PI), Rispoli, M. (co-I), Holt, J. K. (co-I). Simple strategies to accelerate children's early grammatical growth, NIH R21 $416,899 Funded 3/2012 – 3/2014.
  • Magliano, J. (PI), Durik, A.(co-I), & Holt, J. K.(co-I) (2009). Assessing the impact of topic interests on comprehension processes. Law School Admissions Board, $85,312 Funded 9/09 – 8/10.

Recent Publications

    Invited Publication
  • Presidential Address
    Holt, J. K. (2006) How do we measure up? Capturing the complexities of educational growth. Mid-Western Educational Research Journal, 19(1) 2-7

    Book Chapters
  • Holt, J. K., & Zaleski, D. (2016). Teaching multilevel modeling. In M C. Smith & N. Defrates-Densch (Eds.). Challenges and limitations in Educational Psychology teaching and learning (pp. 369 – 382). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.


  • 2007: Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research - Language Editors Award for 2006 for 2006 article, Individual Differences in the Onset of Tense Marking: A Growth-Curve Analysis
  • 2006: NIU College of Education Service Award
  • 2001: Social Science Research Institute Research Fellowship for 2001-2002
  • 1994: 1994 Outstanding Research Award, Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Southern Illinois University
  • 1981-2010: Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society
  • 1981: Phi Beta Kappa Book Award for Outstanding Graduating Senior in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Southern Illinois University
  • 1981: Charles L. Foote Award for superior achievement in Zoology, Southern Illinois University