Learning from William T. Grant Foundation PIs who Conduct Critical Research about Young People





Awilda Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education. Her research is at the intersection of higher education policy, college access and choice, and the representation of Black, Latino, low-income and first-generation students in postsecondary education. Her most recent project examines issues of equity in access to rigorous high school coursework and was named a William T. Grant Scholar to further this line of inquiry. Along with many policy reports and contributions to edited volumes, Rodriguez’s work has been published in Research in Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of Higher Education, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She received her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and previously worked as a research fellow at American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Higher Education Reform as well as a research associate at The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.



Micere Keels is an Associate Professor in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. Her research focuses on understanding how sociodemographic characteristics (race, ethnicity, and poverty, in particular) structure the supports and challenges that children and youth experience. She is particularly invested in developing systems-change interventions. She is the principal investigator of a K-12 project and a postsecondary project, both of which aim to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of students from historically marginalized communities. She is the founding director of the Trauma Responsive Educational Practices Project, which is a research-translation and research-practice-partnership that aims to connect the research on the science of trauma with the realities of school and classroom management. Her longitudinal study of a cohort of over 500 Black and Latinx students who entered college in 2013 aims to advance our understanding of postsecondary persistence. Some of the findings from this project are published in her book on Campus Counterspaces.



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