Grid of 8 individual headshots: Alridge, Bassok, Cohen, Pianta on the top; Tomlinson, Turner, Willingham, Wyckoff on the bottom.

Eight UVA Professors Among Top 200 'Most Influential' Education Scholars in the Nation

Of the eight UVA scholars included on the list, six climbed in this year’s rankings of university-based faculty members who most influenced educational practice and policy.

Audrey Breen

Photo L-R, Row 1: Alridge, Bassok, Cohen, Pianta; L-R, Row 2: Tomlinson, Turner, Willingham, Wyckoff

Eight University of Virginia professors were named in the 2024 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, all of whom have been included in the rankings before.

Published this week in the Education Week blog, “Rick Hess Straight Up,” the annual rankings identify the 200 university-based faculty members “who had the biggest influence on educational practice and policy.”

Climbing one spot to No. 9 this year, Daniel Willingham, professor of psychology in the UVA College of Arts & Sciences was the highest-ranking UVA scholar on the list. Carol Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Professor Emerita at the UVA School of Education and Human Development and expert on differentiated instruction, was ranked No. 16.

Bob Pianta, Batten Bicentennial Professor of Early Childhood Education and former dean of the Education School, climbed 21 spots to land at No. 34 this year. University Professor of Economics and Education Sarah Turner ranked No. 96 in the 2023 rankings, up from No. 126 last year.

Daphna Bassok, professor of education and public policy and associate director of the EdPolicyWorks research center, jumped 32 spots to No. 146. Jim Wyckoff, professor and founding director of EdPolicyWorks, rose in the rankings nine spots to No. 148.

Returning to the rankings for the second time, Julie Jackson Cohen climbed 14 spots to No. 182. Cohen is focused on improving the quality of teaching and is currently leveraging the use of mixed reality simulations in her research. Derrick Alridge, the Philip J. Gibson Professor of Education and director of the Center for Race and Public Education in the South, rounded out the list of UVA faculty members included on the list with a ranking of No. 196.

“We are fortunate to have these excellent scholars as members of our faculty here at UVA,” said Stephanie Rowley, dean of the School of Education and Human Development. “I am always pleased to see our faculty’s work recognized and celebrated for its impact in the world and in the field of education and human development.”

The scholars included in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings include top finishers on last year’s list, as well as selections made by the RHSU Selection Committee. All members of the committee, which included UVA’s Pianta and Tomlinson, had already qualified for the rankings. The rankings are compiled using a combination of metrics, including book publications, Google scholar scores, media and congressional record mentions. Rick Hess is a former member of the UVA faculty.