Rachael VanDonkelaar

Adjunct Professor

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With a bachelor's and master's degree from Furman University, Rachael feels like a Paladin through and through. She started her professional career teaching high school English in Greenville County, and since then, she's taught almost every grade from 6th-12th. Passionate about curriculum and instruction, Rachael is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from Mercer University and loves supporting new teachers with best practices and tools. Her faculty position at Furman includes teaching methods and supervising teacher candidates in the MAT program. When she's not writing, Rachael loves to be by the lake and play board games with her family.

Honors & Awards

  • 2016 Childers Education Foundation Teaching Excellence Award


  • B.A., Furman University
  • M.A., Furman University
  • Current Doctoral Candidate, Mercer University

Research Interests

  • Fake News
  • Literacy
  • Social Media
  • Pop Culture
  • Commercialized Curricula


  • Siegel, P., & VanDonkelaar, R., & (accepted, anticipated 2023). We’re not joking anymore: Context, audiences, and memetics. In Crovitz, P., & Panther, L. (Eds.), How do you meme?Critical memetic literacies in English education. Rutledge.
  • VanDonkelaar, R. (2023). Using emotion regulation to support informed literacy. Journal of Educational Research and Practice.
  • Panther, L., Crenshaw, A., Edber, H., & VanDonkelaar, R. (2023). Georgia literacies for Georgia learners: Advocating for community literacies. FOCUS, 14(1).
  • Edber, H., Panther, L., Crenshaw, A., VanDonkelaar, R., & Curtis, T. (under review). From space to place through community literacies. Voices from the Middle.
  • VanDonkelaar, R. (2023, July). Using emotional regulation to support news literacy. National Association for Media Literacy Conference (NAMLE). Virtual.
  • VanDonkelaar. (2023, May). Using emotional regulation to support news literacy. Tift College of Education CulturED Research Conference (Mercer University).
  • Panther, L., Crenshaw, A., Curtis, T., Tolefree, L., Edber, H. & VanDonkelaar, R. (2023, February). Community as curriculum: Community cultural wealth and multimodal composing. Georgia Council of Teachers of English. Athens, Georgia.
  • Panther, L., Crenshaw, A., VanDonkelaar, R. & Curtis, T. (2022, November). Generational community literacies as grassroots literacy pedagogies. Elevating the Role of Creativity, Identity, and Voice in Literacy. Association of Literacy Education Researchers (ALER). Denver, CO.