Stephanie Sowl was born and raised primarily by her mother and grandmother in Rockford, IL. As a working-class, first-generation college student, Stephanie attended a federally recognized work college where she gained experience within the admissions and registrar’s offices. There, she discovered her passion for helping college students from matriculation to graduation and became more aware of the barriers facing students in that process.
Stephanie has been working in higher education for more than a decade in academic advising and college access programming, as well as data management under a First in the World research grant at Arizona State University designed to increase student retention, critical thinking skills, and graduation through project-based learning. Currently, Stephanie is a Ph.D. candidate at Iowa State University and her dissertation explores how college enrollment is spatialized across the United States and how social and economic diversity at a community-level impacts the formation of college-going cultures. Her research interests include college access and success by examining spatial inequality, geographic mobility, and social class.
Blackburn College (BA) & University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (EdM)
Your role in one sentence: I support the Campaign’s educational equity efforts by conducting research regarding higher education access and success in California.
When I am not at work helping students get to and succeed in college I am… traveling, practicing yoga, or spending time with friends over meals.
If not higher education then what cause? Community development & revitalization; addressing social class inequities