Lauren Pellegrino ‘18 PHD: Being More Than a Student, Researcher and Educator

Being a doctoral student in the NC State College of Education pushed Lauren Pellegrino ‘18 to be more than just a student, researcher and educator. Find out how she plans to be an activist, a leader and a game-changer in her post-graduation dream job.

Name: Lauren Pellegrino
Hometown: Louisville, KY
Field of Study: Educational Research and Policy Analysis
What’s Next: A full-time position as a research associate at the Community College Research Center within Teacher’s College at Columbia University

How did the NC State College of Education impact you?

Lauren Pellegrino
Lauren Pellegrino

My experience at NC State changed my life. During my time here, I engaged in research, teaching and leadership opportunities that I could never have imagined. For example, I worked with faculty on research concerning veterans transitioning into community college and projects in partnership with the North Carolina Community College System Office involving developmental education reform in the state. I also held several leadership positions during my time as a doctoral student, including Program Chapter President of the Graduate Student Assocation, a Community Advisory Board position for the NC State Women’s Center and the Women and Gender Studies Department, and teaching positions both at the College of Education and Wake Technical Community College. Additionally, as a doctoral student I received invaluable support and friendship from colleagues and faculty that gave me the confidence to pursue my dream job: working for the Community College Research Center at Teacher’s College at Columbia University. Here, I work on the Guided Pathways and Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Support (iPASS) project teams as a Research Associate.

What was your favorite class at the College of Education?
My favorite class was ELP 735, Education Policy with Dr. Tamara Young. Dr. Young equipped us with knowledge of a wide swath of issues, challenges and theories in education and challenged us to quickly learn academic reading and writing. I drew on much of that information throughout my doctoral program and I still draw on it today. That class shaped my entire doctoral experience and beyond. Thank you, Dr. Young!

What advice do you have for others considering education?
Don’t be discouraged by the negative rhetoric about the perceived “elitism” in higher education and issues of funding. More than ever, higher education is under attack and we can’t be complacent. Be more than a student, researcher and educator. Be an activist, a leader, and a game-changer! That said, you can’t change the world overnight. It’s a marathon and requires commitment, stamina and resilience. Together, we’ve got this!