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Contact Information

(615) 343-3717
Payne 106B
VU Mailbox: 414


Ph.D., Northwestern University

Curriculum Vitae

Mimi Engel

Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Education, Dept. of Leadership, Policy & Organizations

Through her work, Mimi Engel aims to contribute to research, policy, and practice related to understanding how policies and programs affect children’s developmental outcomes and opportunities to learn. Her interest in studying how schools and other contexts influence students is informed by her training in human development and social policy and social work. Spanning several areas including teacher labor markets (focus on teacher hiring), early skill formation (focus on mathematics teaching and learning for young children), and contextual influences on children more generally, the central aim of her research is to provide new information about policies, programs, and administrative factors that have the potential to improve students’ school-related outcomes, particularly among children from traditionally under-served populations.

Professor Engel uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate issues in education policy and has worked on a number of studies in the Chicago Public Schools. She also utilizes large-scale national databases. She is currently fielding a longitudinal study, funded by the Heising-Simons Foundation, of instruction in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in a large urban district.

Her publications include peer-reviewed articles in the American Educational Research Journal, Developmental Psychology, Educational Administration Quarterly, Educational Evaluation and Policy AnalysisEducational Researcher, and the Journal of Education Finance and Policy, among others. She holds a Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy and a master’s degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, she worked as a research associate at the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research.

Recent media:
Education Week
Ask a Scientist: What’s the Best Type of Math to Teach in Kindergarten?