The Faculty Spotlight highlights Graduate School of Education faculty members throughout the academic year. Each spotlight includes the research interests, scholarly accomplishments, and academic courses taught by the highlighted faculty member.
Megan Holland, Ph.D.
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
477 Baldy Hall
Megan Holland earned her B.A. in sociology with a minor in urban education at the University of Pennsylvania. After teaching high school English with Teach For America in Mississippi and serving as a paralegal for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York City, she earned her M.A. in sociology in 2010 and then her Ph.D. in sociology in 2013, both from Harvard University. Dr. Holland joined the UB faculty in Fall 2013 and teaches in the educational administration and higher education programs.
Dr. Holland’s research focuses on the intersection of culture and structure in schools and how racial, gender, and class inequalities are reproduced in educational contexts. She uses qualitative methodologies to investigate the processes and mechanisms behind these persistent inequalities. Dr. Holland’s research examines two main areas: (1) the linkages between students’ K–12 school experiences and their access to and persistence in higher education, and (2) the social dynamics of racial integration and segregation among students in different school contexts.
In her current research, Dr. Holland has united her interests in a two-year field study of two racially and socioeconomically diverse high schools, in which she examined how students from different social backgrounds navigated the college application process. She is currently writing a book based on this study, and her other papers from this research have examined the stigma associated with attending two-year community colleges and the role of trust in student-school counselor relationships. Dr. Holland’s work has appeared in Sociology of Education, and has been referred to in The Atlantic and the online Head Count blog for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Last year, Dr. Holland was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellow. Work from her dissertation has been awarded the Myra Sadker Dissertation Award, the Candace Rogers Graduate Paper Award from the Eastern Sociological Society, and an Honorable Mention for the David Lee Stevenson Award from the Sociology of Education section of the American Sociological Association. Dr. Holland is currently working on a number of collaborative projects, including an examination of low-income urban youths’ experiences with postsecondary trade schools, and a methodological paper on the effects of interviewers’ racial and gender identities on data collection and analysis.
Dr. Holland teaches courses that span P–20 and analyze the social context of education from a critical perspective. These courses include: Changing Social Contexts for Educational Leaders; Introduction to Higher Education; Problems and Paradigms in Educational Research; and The American College Student.