Dr. Rutherford also serves as the State Director for the Campaign for Grade Level Reading. Since joining the faculty at UM, Dr. Rutherford has secured multiple grants for approximately $5 million within the CELI to ensure that Mississippi students have access to effective reading instruction. She has extensive K-12 experience in Mississippi and Alabama where she taught reading and mathematics. Dr. Rutherford also serves on the State Reading Panel, was founding President of the Higher Education Literacy Council, and is a member of the SE Region Educational Laboratory Advisory Board (SE/REL). Dr. Rutherford holds a Ph.D. in Reading Education from Auburn University.