Faculty News

Ed policy expert honored for commitment to public discourse

Morgan Polikoff receives accolade for connecting education research to the public

By Ross Brenneman Published on

The American Educational Research Association has named Morgan Polikoff, an associate professor of education at USC Rossier, as the recipient of its Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award for 2020.

The award, announced today, recognizes scholars “who have excelled in conveying important findings and research to wide audiences and who have demonstrated the capacity to deepen understanding and appreciation of the value of education research in the public sphere.”

“A critique you often hear of the academy is that it is too focused on things like journal articles and books at academic presses and not enough on communicating research to the public and ensuring it actually has impact,” Polikoff said. “I’ve been lucky to spend the last decade at a school like USC Rossier that recognizes, values and supports public engagement from its faculty.”

In addition to being prolific on Twitter, Polikoff is one of the founders and co-directors of USC Rossier’s Center on Education Policy, Equity and Governance (CEPEG); CEPEG’s mission includes intentionally connecting research to policy. In 2019, under the CEPEG banner, Polikoff created The Answer Lab, a rapid-response initiative that takes questions directly from policymakers and finds the right experts to answer them—quickly—using the best available evidence.

This is the second major award Polikoff has received from AERA. In 2017, Polikoff received the AERA Early Career Award, one of four USC Rossier scholars to do so since 2013.

“I’m incredibly honored to have received this award and want to thank my nominators; my colleagues and students here at USC Rossier; and all the journalists, think-tankers and researchers I interact with online every day who help make my research better and more impactful,” Polikoff said.

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