I am a historian of education. I define education broadly, to include formal and non-formal education across the landscape and lifespan. For me, the lens of history sheds light on the interplay between society and institutions of education. It is especially useful in helping us delve into the politics of access and equity in schooling at all levels. In my courses, we explore the histories of various types of institutions and the experiences and contributions of diverse social groups. We also consider the nature of history writing and historiographical debates—How have historians studied and written about certain topics? How have scholars responded to and challenged one another? Whose voice is heard and whose is missing from the dominant narrative? Why? What happens if we shift the lens and ask new questions?
My research has generally focused on the history of women in education, the history of colleges and universities, and philanthropy (the giving of time and money) in education. I’ve published articles and essays in a number of national and international journals—The History of Education Quarterly, The History Teacher, The Journal of African American History, Vitae Scholasticae, and Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, among others. My research has been supported by the National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, the Institute of Advanced Study and Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, and various archives and repositories.
Before attending graduate school, I was a high school teacher. During my doctoral studies at Teachers College, Columbia University, I worked as the coordinator for three philanthropically-funded programs to recruit new teachers. Working with the alums and supporters of these programs took me into New York City schools where educators and community members were engaged in reform. The list of courses I teach reflects both my research interest in higher education and my longstanding interest, as a citizen and scholar, in historical and contemporary issues in public education: C654 Higher Education in the United States, H504 History of American Education, foundations courses for teachers (e.g., H520 Education and Social Issues, H340 ) and topical seminars (H637 or C750) on women and gender in education, educational philanthropy, special mission and minority serving institutions and reform, and social movements in higher education.
I welcome the opportunity to speak with prospective students and to current students who are interested in incorporating historical perspectives into their scholarly projects. Please feel free to send me an email describing your interests.