Tom DePaola
Tom  DePaola

Tom DePaola

Cohort: 2015

USC Provost's PhD Fellowship

Bachelor's: Purchase College (SUNY), Purchase, NY (2010)



Higher Education

Research Interest

Higher education and urban political economy; contingent academic labor and the politics of university work; higher education's role in urban restructuring and gentrification; the "public good mission" of higher education; insititutional marginalization and mobility among underserved student populations; critical pedagogy; resistance and solidarity movements; student debt.

Tom DePaola

Tom DePaola is a third-year doctoral student concentrating on higher education. He is advised by Dr. Adrianna Kezar and is a research assistant in the Pullias Center for Higher Education, where he is currently working on a 5-year mixed-methods study of college success among low-income scholarship recipients. Before coming to Rossier to pursue a doctorate, Tom worked for the division of academic affairs at Bronx Community College in New York City, where he developed a social justice-focused internship program for criminal justice students and served as an academic advisor as well as an adjunct instructor in the first-year program. He brings a diversity of interests that grew out of an undergraduate background in literature, philosophy, and sociology.


Professional Experience:

  • Research Assistant, Pullias Center for Higher Education, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, August 2015 - Present
  • Provost's Fellow in Urban Education Policy, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, August 2015 - Present
  • Internship Coordinator, Bronx Community College, Criminal Justice Program, New York, NY, January 2012 - July 2015
  • Activity Coordinator, Bronx Community College, Division of Academic Affairs, New York, NY, Septermber 2011 - July 2015
  • Adjunct Instructor, Bronx Community College, First-Year Program, New York, NY, September 2012 - May 2015
  • Member:
    • American Educational Research Association (AERA) Divs. G+J
    • Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC)
    • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)

Selected Publications

  • Kezar, A. & DePaola, T. (forthcoming). Academic Labor in Transition (2019). Eds. W. Tierney, L. Perna, & G. Britton. Reforming Higher Education Series: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • DePaola, T. & Kezar, A.  (forthcoming). “The Changing Face of Faculty at Research Universities.”In: Hidden and Visible: The Role and Impact of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education Institutions (2018). Eds. H. Garcia, K. Nehls, & J. McNaughtan. New Directions for Institutional Research, Jossey-Bass.
  • Kezar, A. & DePaola, T. (forthcoming). “The Changing Politics of Faculty Work.” In: Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education (2018). Ed. H. Coates. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Kezar, A. & DePaola, T. (forthcoming). “Understanding the Need for Unions:  Contingent Faculty Working Conditions and the Relationship to Student Learning.” In: Professors in the Gig Economy: The Unionization of Adjunct Faculty in America. (2018). Ed. K. Tolley. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • DePaola, T. (2014). Collaborating for social justice through service-learning. New Directions for Community Colleges, 165, 37-47.

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