Published: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirsten Musetti TivaringeNominated by one of her students, Kirsten Musetti Tivaringe is one of 30 literacy leaders named to the International Literacy Association’s 30 Under 30 list, a cohort of young innovators, disruptors and visionaries creating positive change in the global literacy landscape.
The competitive 2019 list celebrates rising leaders in the literacy field, and it includes educators, school administrators, nonprofit leaders, authors, volunteers, researchers and social entrepreneurs from 13 countries.

After serving as an elementary school teacher, grade-level chair, and after-school reading tutor in Chicago, Tivaringe is now a children’s literature instructor and doctoral student in the literacy studies at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education. Her desire to promote social justice is what led her to a career in education.

“After noticing deep-rooted, cyclical patterns of injustice, I turned my career to be a proactive agent of change,” Tivaringe said in the latest issue of Literacy Today magazine.

Since making the move from Chicago to Colorado, Tivaringe is once again active in her work and the education community. She is the research assistant for the Build a Better Book project, a National Science Foundation-funded project that engages youth in the design and fabrication of inclusive media, including picture books, games and graphics for children with visual impairments and other disabilities. She is also the cofounder of the international service-learning teacher preparation program, Buffs Teach Abroad. She sees literacy and learning as a means for social transformation. 

“The human right of literacy enables individual and social transformation as people are empowered to advocate for themselves and for others and to organize and create a more equitable and just society,” she said.

Tivaringe and the other International Literacy Association’s 30 Under 30 honorees are featured in the January/February issue of Literacy Today, the organization’s bi-monthly magazine. The International Literacy Association is a global advocacy and membership organization dedicated to advancing literacy for all through its network of more than 300,000 literacy educators, researchers and experts across 146 countries. 

“[The honorees’] contributions are paving the way to more accessible and equitable literacy learning in their schools, communities and beyond,” said Marcie Craig Post, International Literacy Association Executive Director, in a news release. “It’s an honor to recognize these young leaders whose vision and tenacity are transforming our world.”

To view the Literacy Today feature and read more about the honorees’ accomplishments, visit

Kirsten Musetti Tivaringe Build a Better Book

Kirsten Musetti Tivaringe reads Goodnight Moon to the student interns and designers in the Build a Better Book Project