Dr. Henk specializes in reading and language studies and has earned a national reputation for his work in assessing reader and writer self-perceptions and for the development of classroom literacy observation instruments. He has published and presented his work extensively and has served on several elite editorial review boards and in numerous leadership roles in national literacy organizations.
Henk's literacy career began at Edinboro University (PA) where he earned a bachelor of science degree in secondary education English and a master of education degree in reading in 1975 and 1976, respectively. He then served as an elementary school reading specialist in Corry (PA), before going on to receive his doctorate in reading and educational psychology from West Virginia University in 1982. Upon degree completion, Henk assumed the position of assistant professor of reading education and director of the reading clinic at the University of Georgia.
The College Reading Association recognized Dr. Henk with a service award in 2003 and with a prestigious lifetime achievement award in 2004. At Penn State Harrisburg he received institutional awards for both teaching and research, and he was named as an outstanding alumnus of Edinboro University in 2000.
As a dean at Marquette, Henk has successfully led efforts for national accreditation, the designation of his academic unit as the College of Education, the creation of a new baccalaureate degree, the formation of the Greater Milwaukee Catholic Education Consortium, and the establishment of Teach For America in Milwaukee, and the mounting of the popular Marquette Educator blog which he anchors. His university service has included the Executive Committee of Academic Senate, the Task Force on Shared Governance, the Campus Master Planning Committee, and co-chair of the Marquette Community Campaign. He is also active in numerous community service and outreach activities. His civic engagement includes membership on the Leadership Council of Milwaukee Succeeds, the Greater Milwaukee Committee Education Committee, Catholic School Commission Executive Committee and the board of directors for the Milwaukee Academy of Science.