New Faculty Profiles
This year has been marked by several significant changes to the Higher Education program and CSHE faculty. While we were saddened to bid adieu to Dr. J. Fredericks Volkwein as he set off with wife Kiki to enjoy retirement close to their grandchildren in Connecticut, 2009 has brought some exciting new additions to the faculty. HEPAC is delighted to welcome Dr. John Cheslock, Dr. Leticia Oseguera, Dr. Kimberly Griffin, and Dr. Liang Zhang.
Please join the the Higher Education Program and the Center for the Study of Higher Education in welcoming these new faculty members.
Dr. John J. Cheslock obtained his Ph.D. in Labor Economics from Cornell University in 2001. During graduate school, he minored in education and applied econometrics and served as a research assistant at the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute (CHERI). From 2001-2009, he was on the faculty of the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Cheslock’s research focuses on the economics of higher education with a special interest in enrollment management, faculty labor markets, intercollegiate athletics, and the use of quantitative methods within educational research. His current research projects examine the changing structure of institutional financial aid, the growing stratification in faculty salaries, the impact of Title IX on intercollegiate athletics, and the use of multilevel models in educational research.
Dr. Kimberly A. Griffin is a recent graduate of UCLA’s Higher Education and Organizational Change Program, and also holds a Masters degree from the University of Maryland, College Park in Education Policy and Leadership, as well as a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Stanford University. Prior to completing her doctoral work at UCLA, Kimberly worked in higher education administration, primarily focusing in the areas of diversity recruitment, admissions, and retention in graduate and undergraduate populations at Stanford University.
Kimberly's research interests are primarily focused in two areas: the access, experiences, and outcomes of underrepresented communities in higher education; and the influence of relationships on outcomes at critical time-points. These interests have led her to conduct work on a variety of topics, including the mentoring relationships Black professors form, the experiences and motivation patterns of high achieving African Americans students, the college preparation and choice process of Black immigrant college students, and factors influencing efforts to increase diversity in graduate education.
Kimberly is a California transplant who is slowly but surely getting used to life in central Pennsylvania. Soccer was her activity of choice in California, but lately she spends more time in the yoga studio and kickboxing. She misses her family and friends out west, but keeps herself busy with her dog, Sweet Pea, State College pals, cooking, traveling, and watching sports.
Leticia Oseguera is a Research Associate in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at The Pennsylvania State University and a visiting Assistant Professor in the Higher Education program. Dr. Oseguera earned her doctoral and Master’s degrees in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in Sociology. She has taught courses on Educational Policy, Multicultural Education, Issues in K-16 Schooling, and Student Development in Higher Education. She has also taught Comparative Latino Populations for the UCI Department of Chicano/Latino Studies.
Dr. Oseguera is currently on leave from the University of California, Irvine where she has spent the past four years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education. Prior to UCI, she worked at UCLA and served as an academic coordinator for athletics, she worked as a research analyst for the Higher Education Research Institute, and she worked for the Office of Faculty Diversity.
Dr. Oseguera is a quantitative researcher with a substantive focus on college access, college transitions, and college impact. Her first area of research focuses on educational policies around college access and admissions including standardized testing, financial aid, and percent plans in college admissions. In recent publications, she has evaluated pre-professional preparation programs and these programs’ influence on students’ decisions to pursue careers in those substantive areas. Her second area of research focuses on college transitions. She has published articles on the movement between high school and various postsecondary educational paths. Her third area of research focuses on the impact of college on students. In particular, she has examined college students’ agency and civic development during the undergraduate years. Dr. Oseguera’s work examines how gender, race, and class shape educational experiences and opportunities in the United States
As an undergraduate at UCI, Leticia competed in Division 1 basketball and was inducted into the UCI Hall of Fame for her athletic accomplishments. She holds the single season rebounding record and is also the all-time leading rebounding record holder. Leticia is the 6th of 7 children and now joins two other siblings living on the East Coast. Her parents and 4 other siblings all reside in Southern California. You can find Leticia walking her two dogs (a vizsla and a basset hound) around State College.
Liang Zhang is an assistant professor of education in the Department of Education Policy Studies and a research associate at the Center for the Study of Higher Education at Penn State. He also teaches in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations. Prior to coming to Penn State, he taught at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and Vanderbilt University. He received a PhD in Economics from Cornell University and a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Arizona.
Liang’s research focuses on economics and finance of higher education, particularly on the role of governments and institutions in affecting institutional performances and student outcomes. His recent studies include the return of college education and quality, and public funding and institutional performances. Currently, he is interested in issues related to the academic labor market, especially the increasing usage of contingent faculty at colleges and universities.
Liang is a big basketball fan, and has recently become addicted to football as well, something almost certainly inevitable at Penn State.