Based in the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, the Rural and Community-Based Education Initiative has three interconnected strands.

Strand One: Building a Rural Collective across the University of Pittsburgh

This strand focuses on building and sustaining a collective of faculty, staff, students, and administrators across the University of Pittsburgh campuses who are interested in research and practice related to rurality.

Strand Two: Expanding Knowledge and Addressing Spatial and Place-Based Inequities and Injustices Locally, Nationally, and Globally Using Intersectional Approaches

This strand focuses on advancing knowledge and practice related to spatial and place-based equity and justice at the intersection of racial, class, and gender equity and justice across local, regional, and national, and global contexts. The purpose of this strand is to also recognize the diversity within and across rural geographical contexts and to make greater connections to the similarities across rural, suburban, and urban contexts.

Strand Three: Developing Networks to Address Problems of Practice in Rural Education

This strand would focus on developing networks of rural schools, districts, and communities to identify problems of practice and to work together and address problems of practice using community-based assets.

Meet the Team

Darris Means photoDarris R. Means, Ph.D.
Executive Director for Rural and Community-Based Education
Associate Professor



Rachael StoweRachael Stowe
Graduate Student Assistant for Rural and Community-Based Education
MA in Education Policy Student

Advisory Board

Daryl Burleigh, University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, Enrollment Services Manager for Rural Pennsylvania

Dr. Mariko Yoshisato Cavey, University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, Assistant Professor

Dr. Stephanie Fiely, Executive Director of the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Education and Training Hub

Dr. Jill Henning, Professor of Biology at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown

Dr. Lisa Ortiz, University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, Assistant Professor

Upcoming Event

Rural Collective Convening

Friday, December 1, 2023
Hybrid: 5601 Posvar or Zoom
1:30 – 5 p.m. (Reception to follow from 5-6:30 p.m)

Register Here

We aim to bring faculty, staff, administrators, and students together across the University of Pittsburgh campuses who are engaged in work involving rurality to build a network that can be leveraged to support rural initiatives at the University and to collaborate with rural communities and organizations across the state, region, nation, and world.

Please contact Darris Means at to learn more about the event. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 3.

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