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2024 Policy Priorities in Rural Education

Thursday, March 7 2024 | 11 AM ET

Join us for an insightful webinar exploring the pivotal intersection of early childcare, K-12 education, and higher education in shaping the future landscape of learning in 2024. This webinar will offer valuable insights into the trends and developments expected in these sectors this year and provide tangible calls to action. Whether you're an advocate, researcher, or simply interested in this space, discover how you can support rural education in 2024 through advocacy for policies aimed at improving access to and quality of education.

Our panelists

Our Speakers

Rachel Rush-Marlowe is a passionate education policy professional with expertise in higher education topics such as federal student aid, student loan default, rural community college issues, college leadership, and postsecondary data collections. She has worked at a variety of education organizations such as the Association of Community College Trustees, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, New America, and at Quality Information Partners on contracts for the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2020, Rachel founded ResearchEd, and began providing research, advocacy, and data services to postsecondary institutions and affiliated organizations across the country. Rachel's passion for education policy and research comes from a deep commitment to students, something that she learned from her parents, who are both educators.

Mary Nugent is a member of Save the Children’s Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns division, where she leads the early childhood education portfolio for the domestic policy team. Prior to Save the Children, Mary worked as a Policy Advisor for Congresswoman Deb Haaland in the US House of Representatives. Mary has a PhD in political science from Rutgers University, where she researched the impact of women in politics. She is originally from the UK, and has a degree from Cambridge University.

Taylor McCabe-Juhnke serves as the Executive Director of Rural Schools Collaborative, a national nonprofit committed to building sustainable rural school communities via local, regional, and national partnerships and programming. Rural Schools Collaborative's network spans 30+ states, and focuses on recruiting, preparing, and retaining rural educators, asset-based narratives as a means of social change, and the power of place-based education, and rural philanthropy. With more than a decade of experience, McCabe-Juhnke's day-to-day centers on national rural education network-building and resources, advocacy through storytelling, and managing large-scale collaborative initiatives with diverse stakeholders. Personally, McCabe-Juhnke hails from a long line of rural public school educators, and is a product of small town, public education in North Newton, Kansas.

Vanessa A. Sansone is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Her areas of research interest focus on understanding college affordability, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and power structures & governance on the trajectories, experiences, and opportunities of historically underserved students. Dr. Sansone’s empirical work has been presented at several national conferences and published in such outlets as the Review of Higher Education, Review of Educational Research and New Directions for Student Development Services. Additionally, she has contributed policy briefs, book chapters, book reviews and web-based writings. In 2020, she was named as one of the 35 most outstanding women in higher education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. She has been recognized by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) as a top Latina graduate scholar. She has also been nationally selected as a Faculty Fellow with the Rutgers Graduate School of Education’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM). Most recently, she was nationally selected as the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) Dr. José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow where she studied higher education finance among Hispanic-Serving Institutions in Texas. She currently serves as the Director of Policy for the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges (ARRC), and as the elected Member at-Large on the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Public Policy in Higher Education (CPPHE). She holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education from UTSA, a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration from UTSA, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio.

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