Kristen C. Wilcox

Kristen C. Wilcox

Department of Educational Policy & Leadership
School of Education


Catskill 229

PhD, Curriculum and Instruction, University at Albany

Dr. Kristen C. Wilcox outside smiling posing with arms crossed in blue top

Kristen Campbell Wilcox holds a PhD from the University at Albany with a specialization in Curriculum and Instruction. A former second and foreign language teacher in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Brazil, and with Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese languages in her toolkit, her areas of research interest have focused on the intersections of language, culture, and academic performance among diverse learners and what policies, processes, and practices close opportunity gaps among adolescents and young adults in particular.  

She has received a number of awards for her teaching, service, and research including the National School Development Council's Cooperative Leadership Award, University at Albany, School of Education’s Full-time teaching award, The University at Albany’s Community Engagement Award and the Literacy Research Association’s Committee on Ethnicity, Race, and Multilingualism Early Career Award. Wilcox has been called upon to conduct research and offer guidance to state as well as national leaders particularly with regard to closing opportunity gaps for diverse learners. In this capacity she served on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics and New York’s Governor Cuomo Summit for Drop-out Prevention and Student Engagement.

As a bridging and translational scholar who seeks to connect research and practice, her research delves into questions around policy and leadership as well as curriculum and instruction with a consistent emphasis on what malleable factors within classrooms, schools, and districts impact socioeconomically, linguistically, and culturally diverse youth outcomes. She has published her research in six books and edited volumes, eight book chapters, dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, and practitioner journal articles, newsletters, briefs, blogs, and reports. Her research has appeared in such academic journals as the Journal of Educational Change, Peabody Journal of Education, Educational Administration Quarterly, Journal of Research in Rural Education, Education and Urban Society, Journal of School Leadership, Teachers College Record, Research in the Teaching of English, Reading & Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies among others.

As Research and Development Director of NYKids (a public-private research practice partnership) for 15 years, Wilcox has led numerous studies of odds-beating schools (i.e. schools achieving above-predicted outcomes among diverse youth) identifying the salient policies, processes, and practices that differentiate these schools from others with less exemplary student outcomes. Wilcox’s NYKids research informed her development of a set of improvement science based resources and tools that support system-wide improvements, which she has presented at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching annual summits. Based on her research, Wilcox has worked with over 40 K-12 district and school teams as well as higher education leaders in using improvement science-based processes to improve outcomes and support sustained improvements across the educational pipeline.