Yianna (Joanna) Drivalas
Yianna (Joanna) Drivalas

Yianna (Joanna) Drivalas

Cohort: 2014

Rossier Dean's Fellowship

University of Pennsylvania
M.S.Ed. Higher Education, 2014

Florida State University
B.A. Theatre & Creative Writing, 2009

Contact info




Higher Education

Research Interest

Institutional and classroom climate and the experiences, perceptions, and retention of underrepresented employees and students; Professional development and racial literacy of college and university staff, faculty, and administration; Pedagogy; Access and readiness; Arts-based research

Research Center

USC Race & Equity Center

Yianna (Joanna) Drivalas

Yianna (Joanna) Drivalas is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education.  Prior to pursuing degrees in education, Yianna had the privilege of teaching at the community college and high school levels.  Her students and their talents inspired her to study higher education and examine educational inequalities.  Her research interests include classroom, departmental, and institutional climate; disciplinary and departmental cultures; access and retention of underrepresented students; and institutional responsibility.  Her work at USC has included co-editing the newly released Envisioning Public Scholarship: Models to Expand the Scope of Higher Education Research; supporting the new USC Equity Institutes; conducting employee racial climate case studies; evaluating the impacts of the Association of American Universities' (AAU) Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative on scaling and institutionalizing reforms in educational culture and pedagogical practices; exploring how mathematics PhD students at USC are socialized into teaching through their roles as teaching assistants; writing practitioner-focused scholarly work; and serving as the president of the Rossier Student Organization.  Yianna is a research associate at the USC Race and Equity Center under the advisement of Dr. Shaun Harper. Her dissertation work examines the racial climate among staff, faculty, and administration at a community college.

Yianna earned a M.S.Ed. in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Theatre and Creative Writing at Florida State University.


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