Nine UVA Education Faculty, 3 Alumni Named to Influential Scholars List

January 11. 2017 — Once again, nine members of the University of Virginia faculty have been named to the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognizes the 200 faculty members at U.S. universities who "contribute most substantially to public debates about education."

The sixth annual rankings — compiled by former UVA faculty member Rick Hess, now a member of the American Enterprise Institute — were published today in Hess' Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." They are based upon a variety of quantitative metrics that "recognize university-based scholars in the U.S. who are contributing most substantially to public debates about education," including measures of publishing and press, Web and social media citations, according to Hess' explanation.

Three U.Va. faculty members, including two leaders of U.Va.'s Curry School of Education, earned spots in the top 25. Carol Tomlinson, William Clay Parrish Jr. Professor and chair of the Educational Leadership, Foundations, and Policy Department, rose to the 13th slot. Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and a scholar affiliated with Curry's Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, ranked No. 18, and Curry School Dean Robert Pianta was rated the 25th-most influential university-based scholar.

Returning influential scholars include a host from Curry's Education Policy program. Professor Jim Wyckoff rose to No. 134. Education policy professor Sarah Turner (No. 163), assistant professor Daphna Bassok (No. 174), and assistant professor Ben Castleman (No. 188) also made the list.

Josipa Roksa, associate professor in the Higher Education program, ranked No. 125. Michelle Young, professor and director of the University Council for Educational Administration, moved up to No. 167.

"Again, as in recent years, we see these rankings recognize the exceptional influence of Curry School and UVA scholars on educational policy and decision making," said Pianta. "The importance of our engagement as scholars in deliberations concerning policy cannot be understated. And the fact that our influence spans preschool to higher education shows the breadth of talent here at the University.  As the country and states move to shape public education in the US, the university and Curry School will be a go-to place for advice and solutions."

Alumni from the Curry School are also well represented on the list. Coming in toward the top of the list (No. 58) is Jonathan Plucker, who graduated with a Ph.D. from educational psychology in 1995 and was recognized as the 2015 Curry Distinguished Alumnus.  Alfredo J. Artiles, who graduated with a master’s degree in 1998 and a Ph.D. in 1992 both in special education, ranked 103. Artiles was also recognized as a Curry Distinguished Alumnus in 2009. Finally, Patrick McGuinn, who earned his master’s degree in education policy in 2002, was ranked as the 105th most influential scholar.