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Allison Varnes, PhD

Office of Professional Licensure and Clinical Assistant Professor, Special Education and English Education


Allison Varnes is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education. She earned a PhD in Education with a specialization in English education, a Master of Science degree in Teacher Education with a concentration in special education, and a BA in English, all from the University of Tennessee. Prior to working in higher education, Varnes was a high school special education teacher for eight years.

Varnes has publications in Study and Scrutiny: Research on Young Adult Literature, English Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Knowledge Quest. Her research interests include the effects of education policy reform on experienced teachers, as well as children’s motivation to read. Her dissertation research examined the impact of education policy reform on experienced English teachers in a rural high school.

Varnes is the author of the middle-grade novel Property of the Rebel Librarian (2018) and a second novel to be released in 2021, both published by Random House Children’s Books.


Professional Background

Allison Varnes headshot

Contact Information

  • A329 Jane and David Bailey Education Complex, 1126 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37996
  • Phone: 865-974-5394
  • E-mail: