National Postsecondary Education Expert Sara Goldrick-Rab Joins Education Northwest as Senior Fellow
Sara Goldrick-Rab, an award-winning scholar-activist focused on making higher education more accessible, affordable, and supportive of students, has joined Education Northwest as a senior fellow. In this role, Sara will collaborate on projects centered on postsecondary success.
Over the last two decades, Sara’s visionary research, teaching, and advocacy has changed how higher education supports college students. A sociologist by training, she focuses on revealing unheard truths and sharing that knowledge with multiple publics. Her award-winning book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, documents the failures of policymakers and higher education institutions to make college affordable. Her dozens of groundbreaking studies identifying and addressing college students’ basic needs for food, housing, child care, transportation, and health supports sparked the internationally known #RealCollege movement and inspired federal and state legislation as well as countless privately funded programs.
I’ve long been impressed with Education Northwest’s thoughtful, community-centered work and was pleased to see it emerge as a leader in the movement to secure students’ basic needs. I’m excited to engage in this new way to advance its highly impactful research.
“We are so excited to welcome Sara to our team,” said Christopher Mazzeo, Senior Director of Applied Research & Equitable Evaluation at Education Northwest. “Sara’s innovative research has shifted our understanding of what students need to be successful in higher education. Our team and our partners across the country will now have access to Sara’s wealth of knowledge and experience, which will ultimately help us increase access and opportunity for all students.”
In 2013 Sara founded the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. Until 2022, she oversaw its growth into The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, a national translational research center. In 2016 she founded Believe in Students, a national nonprofit that distributes emergency aid to students and inspires faculty members to become powerful educators who recognize their students are humans first.
“I’ve long been impressed with Education Northwest’s thoughtful, community-centered work and was pleased to see it emerge as a leader in the movement to secure students’ basic needs. I’m excited to engage in this new way to advance its highly impactful research,” said Sara.
The recipient of many awards, Sara has appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and received the $100,000 Grawemeyer Award in Education, which she distributed to students around the country. In 2016, POLITICO magazine named Sara one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. She earned a Carnegie Fellowship, a William T. Grant Foundation Faculty Scholars Award, the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2021 she was named a Monumental Alumna by George Washington University. Sara earned tenure at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent nearly 20 years teaching there and at Temple University.
“The Education Northwest team has used Sara and the Hope Center’s research to support many of our postsecondary success projects,” said Michelle Hodara, Senior Leader of Applied Research & Equitable Evaluation. “Being able to collaborate directly with Sara will strengthen our work and allow us to better support our partners and the students they serve.”