Ten UVA Scholars Ranked in 2021 EDU-Scholar Public Influence Rankings


Audrey Breen

Professors Rimm-Kaufman and Alridge are new to this year's influencer list alongside eight returning faculty members.

Ten members of the University of Virginia faculty have been named to the 2021 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, which recognizes the 200 faculty members at U.S. universities "who did the most last year to shape educational practice and policy."

The eleventh annual rankings — compiled by former UVA faculty member Rick Hess, now a member of the American Enterprise Institute — were published this month in Hess' Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." According to Hess, more than 20,000 scholars would qualify for the ranking.

Sara Rimm-Kaufman, commonwealth professor of education at the UVA School of Education and Human Development, and Derrick Alridge, professor and director of the school's Center for Race and Public Education in the South, were new to this year's list. Rimm-Kaufman came in at No. 128 and Alridge at No. 196.

Carol Tomlinson, professor emeritus at the School of Education and Human Development, was the highest ranked at No. 16. Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology in the College of Arts & Sciences and a scholar affiliated with the Education School’s Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, ranked No. 18.

Bob Pianta, dean of the School of Education, jumped 15 spots in this year's ranking and was rated the 40th-most influential university-based scholar. Sarah Turner, professor of education and economics, ranked No. 138 and Josipa Roksa, professor of higher education and sociology, ranked No. 161.

Returning influential scholars also include a host from the EdPolicyWorks research center, a collaboration between the School of Education and the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Jim Wyckoff, professor and director of the center (No. 173), associate professor Ben Castleman (No. 184), and associate professor Daphna Bassok (No. 191) each made the list.

Hess’s rankings were compiled using a variety of measures, including presence on last year’s ranking, Google Scholar score, newspaper mentions, education press mentions and others. New additions to the list were nominated by members of the RHSU Selection Committee, all of whom had already qualified for the 2021 rankings. Tomlinson and Pianta served on this year’s committee.