Zoë B. Corwin is a research professor at the University of Southern California. Dr. Corwin serves as Principal Investigator for the Promoting At-promise Student Success Project and the USC Skate Studies for the Pullias Center of Higher Education. She is also collaborating with faculty from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work on the Proud and Empowered project. Her research program examines college access and success for at-promise students, college pathways for students with experiences in foster care, the role of social media and games in postsecondary access and completion, and the impact of skateboarding on communities. While directing the Digital Equity in Education project Dr. Corwin co-edited Diversifying Digital Learning: Online Literacy and Educational Opportunity and Postsecondary Play: The Role of Games and Social Media in Higher Education. Dr. Corwin maintains a firm commitment to conducting research in partnership with practitioners and communities and has designed numerous monographs, briefs, videos, games and learning activities in addition to academic publications.
USC Joint Educational Partnership, Community Engaged Teaching and Research Award, 2023
USC Rossier School of Education Mentoring Award, 2017
USC Rossier School of Education PASA Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2015
Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2006–2007
John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 2006–2007
University of Southern California Dissertation Fellowship, 2006–2007
James Irvine Foundation Senior Fellow, University of Southern California, 2003–2004
Sociology Department Fellow, University of Southern California, 2000–2001 & 2007–2008
Zoë Corwin is a research professor affiliated with Rossier’s Pullias Center for Higher Education. Corwin’s research program examines college access and success for at-promise students, college pathways for students with experiences in foster care, the role of social media and games in postsecondary access and completion, and the impact of skateboarding on communities. She is particularly interested in systemic approaches to improving educational and societal institutions and is strongly committed to working with practitioners and community members, especially youth.
Corwin is co-editor of Diversifying Digital Learning: Online Literacy and Educational Opportunity and Postsecondary Play: The Role of Games and Social Media in Higher Education (Johns Hopkins Press) and Preparing for College: Nine Elements of Effective Outreach (SUNY Press). In addition to academic articles, she has published numerous monographs, briefs, videos, games and learning activities for practitioners and community members.
Corwin held Haynes and Spencer Foundation dissertation fellowships while working on a qualitative study examining college access and persistence for students with experiences in foster care. Previous to earning her Ph.D. in sociology from USC, Corwin taught middle and high school Spanish and global studies. Corwin holds an MA in Spanish from Saint Louis University in Madrid, a single subject secondary education credential & BCLAD certificate from the California State University, Northridge and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a founding Board member of the New Los Angeles Charter Middle School.
Current funding. Principal investigator for a $5.6M grant from the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation that seeks to understand how at-promise students experience campus life and how programs and institutions create cultures of ecological validation to support at-promise student success. Principal investigator for a $119K New Strategic Directions for Research Award from the USC Office of the Provost to study the mental health patterns of marginalized skateboarding youth in Los Angeles. Principal investigator for a $22k grant from USC’s Office of the Provost to determine how to embed mental health services in non-traditional spaces. Key personnel on a $3.2M NIH grant to determine how to improve campus climate for LGTBQ+ high school students through peer influencers.
Prior funding. Researcher on an internal USC grant exploring how student athletes experience campus climate and how programs and institutional agents broker resources to support student athletes’ holistic growth. Co-principal investigator for $3.2 million study funded by the U.S. Department of Education First in the World program on implementing college access games. Co-principal investigator on a Bringing Theory to Practice grant exploring the concept of campus as sanctuary. Principal Investigator on a $264K study about skateboarding, schools, and society funded by the Tony Hawk Foundation. Co-principal investigator for $1.5 million study funded by U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences on access and technology. Co-principal investigator for $1 million study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on games, social media and access to college. Senior researcher on $120,000 study funded by the TG Foundation on game-based approaches to promoting college access. Senior researcher on $900,000 study funded by the USC Office of the Provost. Lead qualitative researcher on $1 million U.S. Department of Education grant assessing the effective parameters of college preparation programs. Senior researcher on $900K Lumina Foundation-sponsored grant examining financial aid practices for students from low-income backgrounds.
Single Subject Teaching Credential (Spanish), California State University, Northridge