Alicia Dowd

Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

Alicia C. Dowd, Ph.D., is professor of education at Penn State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. Her research focuses on political–economic issues of racial and ethnic equity in college student experiences and outcomes, organizational change, accountability, and the factors affecting student attainment in higher education. From 2009 to 2015, Dowd co-directed the Center for Urban Education (CUE) at the University of Southern California, where she was instrumental in developing the Equity Scorecard, CUE’s signature action research process.  She is the coauthor, with Estela Mara Bensimon, of Engaging the “Race Question”: Accountability and Equity in U.S. Higher Education (published 2015 by TCPress), which presents lessons learned from Equity Scorecard implementation in multiple colleges and universities in two states (California and Wisconsin). That collaboration, which is focused on the mission of producing the tools that higher education needs to bring about racial equity in higher education, will continue through Dowd’s role as a CUE senior research associate.

            Dowd is currently utilizing cultural historical activity theory and critical race theory to investigate data use and organizational change under conditions of accountability in postsecondary settings. Her research interests include emerging methodologies for the study of educational interventions to improve equity and effectiveness and faculty development to address racialized phenomena such as stereotype threat and implicit bias. Dowd’s research has been funded by the Spencer, Ford, Gates, Hewlett, Lumina, Nellie Mae, and Jack Kent Cooke Foundations as well as the National Science Foundation.  Her research has been published in numerous journals including the Review of Educational Research, Harvard Educational Review, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education,and Teacher’s College Record.

      Dowd is a frequent speaker on the topics of diversity and equity. She has provided Congressional testimony on diversity in STEM to the House subcommittee on Research and Science Education and addressed the topic of “Developing supportive STEM community college to four-year college and university transfer ecosystems” at a convening of the National Academies of Sciences. Most recently, she was invited to address The National Academies’ Board on Testing and Assessment, Assessing Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies Committee and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM.

      Dowd was awarded the doctorate (Ph.D.) by Cornell University, where she studied the social foundations of education, labor economics, and curriculum and instruction.

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My Interest in ASCN: Alicia Dowd part of Accelerating Systemic Change Network:Member Profiles
Penn State Ed Policy Studies/Center for the Study of Higher Education Professor Prior Organizational Change Work As co-director of USC's Center for Urban Education (CUE) for six years, I led action research ...

My Interest in ASCN: Alicia Dowd part of Accelerating Systemic Change Network:Workshop: July 2016:Participant Profiles
Penn State Ed Policy Studies/Center for the Study of Higher Education Professor Prior Organizational Change Work As co-director of USC's Center for Urban Education (CUE) for six years, I led action research ...

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