Dr. Kirsten Slungaard Mumma, a postdoctoral research associate at the Wheelock Educational Policy Center (WEPC), has been selected for the 2021-2022 cohort of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and American Enterprise Institute’s Emerging Educational Policy Scholars (EEPS) program. As part of the program, she’ll join other new PhD graduates and candidates and education policy experts to explore new directions for K–12 education research.
The EEPS program honors researchers that seek to counter the divide between research and policy in education. Slungaard Mumma’s research interests include charter schools, immigrants and English learners, and the effect of education on civic outcomes. Recently, Slungaard Mumma and her co-author used data from an adult education program in Framingham, Massachusetts to show the effects of English language training for adult immigrants, finding positive effects on earnings and civic engagement. She has had the opportunity to present the results of this research to both the Framingham School Committee and the Massachusetts Coalition for Adult Education. Slungaard Mumma hopes the study will help policymakers see the positive impact of these programs.
“We have seen that this program pays for its public costs over time through increased tax revenue from participants,” she says.
Slungaard Mumma, who began her career in K-12 education policy, says she’s always looking for ways to make her research more meaningful. “I’m hopeful that participating in the EEPS program will help me develop relationships with policymakers and reporters at the national level,” she says. “That will help me elevate my research and stay in touch with what is important nationally in education policy.”
“Dr. Slungaard Mumma is an immensely creative and talented scholar pursuing an ambitious research agenda,” says Dr. Marcus Winters, faculty director for WEPC. “It’s wonderful to see her receive this well-deserved recognition as among the most promising emerging scholars in our field.”