Graduate Student Policy Seminar

Thursday, October 7, 2021
10:00am-4:00pm Atlantic Standard/San Juan Time
Event will be held virtually

Graduate Student Policy Seminar, presented by the ASHE Council for Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE), provides graduate students with opportunities to interact with researchers and policymakers who are knowledgeable about critical public policy issues related to higher education. The seminar also offers participants an opportunity to engage other advanced graduate students with similar interests and ambitions from universities across the nation. 

Who should attend

  • Graduate students in higher education programs who are interested in the intersections of public policy and higher education
  • Graduate students who have successfully defended their proposal or who are in the process of developing their proposal
  • Graduate students whose dissertation research focuses on public policy issues (broadly defined). 
Learning/Program Outcomes
The Graduate Student Policy Seminar will
  1. Engage students in critical analysis of substantive state and federal policy issues that influence American higher education (such as free college/finance, financial aid, accountability, equity and social justice, HEA reauthorization, degree attainment, governance and leadership, the CARES Act to name a few) and institutional responses to and agency in shaping those policies.
  2. Expose students to career networks crucial for transition to scholarship or policy work

2021 Schedule

  • Welcome
    • Krystal L. Williams (2021 GSPS Chair), The University of Alabama
  • Networking Activity
  • Panel I: Critical Conceptualizations and Frameworks Used in Policy Analysis
    • Critical Quantitative Data Use in Educational Policy
      • Jay Garvey, University of Vermont
    • Toward culturally sustaining governance in higher education
      • Raquel Rall, UC Riverside
      • Demetri Morgan, Loyola University Chicago
      • Felicia Commodore, Old Dominion University
    • Critical Policy Analysis, the Craft of Qualitative Research, and Analysis of Data on the Texas Top 10% Law
      • Anna Neuman, Teacher College, Columbia University
  • Breakout Rooms w/ panelists
  • Lunch Break
  • Panel II: Racial Equity and Higher Education Finance
    • Black student debt crisis
      • Jalil Bishop, Villanova
    • Exploring the Effects of Tuition Increases on Racial/Ethnic Diversity at Public Colleges and Universities
      • Greg Wolniak, University of Georgia
    • Free college and racial equity
      • Amy Li, Florida International University
    • College affordability for Latinx populations
      • Vanessa Sansone, UTSA
  • Break out Rooms w/ panelists
  • Networking Activity
  • Break
  • Small-Group Discussion via Breakout Rooms (Policy Roundtables)
    • Chris Nellum, Ed Trust West
    • Katherine Wheatle- Lumina Foundation
    • DeShawn Preston, United Negro College Fund
    • Vikash Reddy- The Campaign for College Opportunity
    • Daisy Gonzales, Cal CCs
    • Maria Claudia Soler , ACE
    • Brian Bridges
    • Hironao Okahana, ACE
    • Tiffany Jones, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Closing Remarks
  • Optional: Happy Hour

Event Chair

Krystal L. Williams
University of Alabama

Please feel free to reach out to the event chair with questions about the content of the event. Questions about registration or event logistics can be directed to the ASHE Office at (202) 660-4106 or


  • The seminar fee is $30 for ASHE members and $50 for non-members.
  • The fee is typically expected to be covered by the student's program for the in-person event. We strongly encourage programs to cover the registration fee for the virtual event as well. If additional documentation is needed, please contact ASHE Executive Director Jason Guilbeau at
  • Registration Closes and Payment Deadline: September 30, Noon Atlantic/San Juan Time
  • Learn more about accessibility for this event at
  • During registration, participants will agree to the ASHE Virtual Events Code of Conduct, provide information about accommodation requests, and answer a few event-related questions.
    • **You will be asked to answer the questions (1)  "Briefly describe (50 words or less) your interest in the study of public policy in higher education" and (2) "Please share the working title of your dissertation study. Please note that students studying a broad array of topics that may inform state, federal, local, and institutional higher education policies are eligible to participate." We suggest you prepare this ahead of time and paste it into the box. This will help event chairs better plan for the event.
  • ​All ASHE Professional Development events encourage participants to engage throughout the event in various ways. To provide an environment that is conducive to learning and engagement and to provide a safe space (to the extent possible), Professional Development events are not recorded.​