Cathryn Mercier graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1981, completed an MA in Children's Literature and then a M.Phil. in English at Simmons College, and earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary study of Children's Literature at Boston University. Now a Full Professor, she has been at Simmons College since 1985 where she currently serves as director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Simmons College and the director of the Children’s Literature graduate degree programs.
Cathie has co-authored three biocritical studies of young adult authors. Her interest in children’s literature – especially the visual images in picture books and the figurative power of adolescence in literature for adults – has contributed to a variety of publications across disciplines with footholds in children’s literature.
Her professional leadership has included the 1994 and 2012 Caldecott Committees, the 1999 Newbery Committee, the 2000 Sibert Committee, chairing the 2004 Sibert Committee, and chairmanship of the 2009 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award Committee. She has been an advisor to the MacArthur Foundation, serves on the National Youth Ambassador Committee of the Children’s Book Council, and is a founding member of Children’s Books Boston.