Dr. Maria Coady received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2001, where she was a US Department of Education Title VII Fellow. Her dissertation, Policy and Practice in Bilingual Education: Gaelscoileanna in the Republic of Ireland, under the guidance of Dr. Kathy Escamilla, investigated bilingual education programs in Ireland where Irish Gaelic and English are used as mediums of instruction. 

Prior to and throughout her academic career, Dr. Coady taught both English and Spanish to learners from grades Kindergarten through adult levels. In 1987-1988, Dr. Coady was among the first 25 US students to live and work in Buenos Aires, Argentina under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), after the democratic election of the President. She taught business English in Paris, France, between 1988 and 1990 and returned to the US and worked in business and as a corporate paralegal. In 1993, Dr. Coady received a Master’s degree in Education from Boston University under the guidance of Dr. María Brisk. She taught English in Chelsea Public Schools and Spanish at Northern Essex College.

Dr. Coady worked at Brown University as an Adjunct Instructor and at the LAB at Brown University (Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory) in Providence, RI before coming to UF. At UF, Dr. Coady has directed home literacy projects (Libros de Familia) with rural English learning families, community-based language development projects under the Ford Foundation, and US Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). 

Dr. Coady has won numerous awards, including the UF Graduate Faculty Advisor of the Year, Bilingual Research Journal reviewer of the year, and the UF Scholarship of Engagement Award. In 2018 she was selected by her peers for the Irving and Rose Fien Endowed professorship. She received the UF runner up Champion of Diversity Award in 2019 and was elected the Chair-Elect for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Bilingual Education Special Interest Group. 

Dr. Coady is the current President of the Florida Association for Bilingual Education (FABE). She is the Director and Principal Investigator of a $2.4 million US Department of Education National Professional Development grant (Project STELLAR).  Dr. Coady is active in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Bilingual Education Special Interest Group. She is also a US State Department Fulbright Specialist Scholar and has worked in Ukraine and South Africa in that capacity. She has conducted professional development with educators and foreign departments of education in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, and China.

Some of Dr. Coady’s publications include the books, Why TESOL (2018, with E. W. Ariza), Connecting School and the Multilingual Home: Theory and Practice for Rural Educators (2019), and The Coral Way Bilingual Program (2019, fall). Her upcoming book is Early Language Learning Policies in the 21st Century: An International Perspective (2020, with S. Zein). She has published in TESOL Quarterly, the Bilingual Research JournalTheory into Practice Journal, NABE Journal, and others.

Dr. Coady resides in Gainesville, Florida, with her family.