Sara Goldrick-Rab
Professor of Higher Education Policy and Sociology at Temple University
215-204-1740 |
@saragoldrickrab | CV

Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University, and Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s only action research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She is best known for her innovative research on food and housing insecurity in higher education, having led the three largest national studies on the subject, and for her work on making public higher education free. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream (University of Chicago, 2016), is an Amazon best-seller and a 2018 winner of the Grawemeyer Award, and has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The Chronicle of Higher Education calls her “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” she is ranked 7th in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week, and in April 2018 the Carnegie Corporation awarded her the Carnegie Fellowship.

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Dr. Goldrick-Rab’s commitment to scholar-activism is evidenced by her broad profile of research and writing dissecting the intended and unintended consequences of the college-for-all movement in the United States. In more than a dozen experimental, longitudinal, and mixed-methods studies, she has examined the efficacy and distributional implications of financial aid policies, welfare reform, transfer practices, and a range of interventions aimed at increasing college attainment among marginalized populations. She provides extensive service to local, state, and national communities, working directly with governors and state legislators to craft policies to make college more affordable, collaborating with non-profit organizations seeking to examine the effects of their practices, and providing technical assistance to Congressional staff, think tanks, and membership organizations throughout Washington, DC.

Many professional organizations and foundations have honored Dr. Goldrick-Rab for her work. In 2013, she was invited to testify before the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, chaired by Senators Tom Harkin and Lamar Alexander. In 2014, she received the Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association, and in 2015 she graduated from the William T. Grant Foundation’s five-year-long Faculty Scholars program.

Dr. Goldrick-Rab is widely published in venues such as Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Sociology of Education, Review of Educational Research, and Teachers College Record, and in 2014, Harvard Education Press released her co-edited book, Reinventing Financial Aid Charting a New Course to College Affordability. In fall 2016, the University of Chicago will publish her latest book,Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid and the Betrayal of the American Dream.

Jed Richardson

Jed Richardson
Acting Director
L139G Education | 608-890-2946 |

Jed Richardson is an applied microeconomist focused on education policy. He has studied the academic impacts of student risk factors such as placement in out of home care and contact with the juvenile justice system, early warning and response models for improving the academic outcomes of at-risk students, and the design of school accountability systems. In addition, Jed has led several large-scale research efforts in conjunction with school districts and researchers across the country. Before coming to HOPE, Jed served as Associate Director and Economist at the Value-Added Research Center. He received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Davis.​

Alison Bowman

Alison Bowman
Associate Director
L139F Education | 608-890-3481 |

Alison Bowman handles all project management activities and coordinates the work of the Lab, as well as external relations.  Prior to serving as associate director, she served as the project manager for the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study. Alison holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the La Follette School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied public policy, administration, and tribal affairs. She is also the advisor for Wunk Sheek, the UW American Indian Student Organization. 

Wisconsin Hope Lab Staff
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UW–Madison Graduate Research Assistants

Jamie Hawkins, Sociology
Anthony Hernandez, Educational Policy Studies
Kathy Villalon, Educational Policy Studies


Ryan Adserias, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Kristen Bialik, Journalism
Dominique Bradley, Sociology
Katharine Broton, Sociology
Ellen Bruno, Sociology
Rachel Byington, Interdisciplinary Studies
Derria Byrd, Educational Policy Studies
Russell Cannon, Educational Policy Studies
Dorothy Cheng, Educational Policy Studies
Yeseul Choi, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Emi Coffin, Anthropology
Karole Dachelet, Public Affairs
Ja'Dell Davis, Sociology
Benjamin Emmel, Public Affairs
Brooke Evans, Philosophy
Rachel Feldman, Educational Policy Studies
Derek Field, Economics and Political Science
Victoria Frank, Social Work
Christin Gates, Educational Policy Studies
Amanda Gaulke, Economics
Courtney Luedke, Sociology
James Meadows, Educational Policy and Leadership Analysis
Cody Oltmans, Economics
Jesus Renteria, Educational Policy Studies
Sara Sanders, Public Affairs
Eleni Schirmer, Educational Policy Studies
Alex Schmidt, Sociology
Emily Silber, Human Development and Family Studie
Christian Smith, Educational Policy Studies
Jessa Valentine, Sociology
Wendell Venerable, Sociology
Pa Tou Vue, Counseling Psychology