Valerie Kinloch

Dean Valerie Kinloch Named Top 200 Education Scholar Nationally

Valerie Kinloch, Renée and Richard Goldman Endowed Dean and professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Education, was recognized as one of the nation’s most impactful education scholars in the newly released 2023 RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings.

The ranking recognizes 200 university-based scholars for having the biggest influence on educational practice and policy in the past year. Kinloch, ranked No. 152, is the only person at the University of Pittsburgh to make the list. She was selected from an estimated pool of over 20,000 university-based faculty who are conducting educational research in the U.S.

Kinloch’s research focuses on the literacies, languages, cultures, and community engagements of youth and adults, both inside and outside of schools. She is the author of numerous books on race and literacy; has received large amounts of grant funding from notable public, private, and governmental organizations; and has held numerous leadership appointments, including president of the National Council of Teachers of English, fellow of American Educational Research Association and the American Council on Education, co-chair of Remake Learning, and trustee at Johnson C. Smith University.

“I am honored to be recognized in the 2023 RHSU Edu-Scholar ranking because it speaks to the impact of my work on shaping research, practice, and policy,” said Kinloch. “As an educational scholar-leader, I am committed to improving our educational systems in order for them to be more humanizing, equitable, just, and engaging. I believe transformative changes are needed in order to more effectively work with, listen to, and support children, youth, families, and communities.”

Kinloch continued: “This recognition is also important to me because I am joined on this list by so many brilliant scholars whose own work inspires me. I feel fortunate to call many of them my colleagues and collaborators.”

Celebrating Those Who Lead Public Discussions About Education

Now in its 13th year, the annual RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings are released by Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute and a blogger at Education Week.

To determine the RHSU Edu-Scholar rankings, scholars are scored across nine categories:

  • Google Scholar – The number of widely cited articles, books, or papers a scholar has authored (based on scholar’s “h-index”).
  • Book points – The number of books a scholar has authored, co-authored, or edited (based on Amazon).
  • Syllabus points – The frequency a scholar’s work appeared on the syllabus of college courses in the United States (based on
  • Newspaper mentions – The number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in U.S. newspapers (based on LexisNexus).
  • Education press mentions – The number of times a scholar was quoted or mentioned in Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education, or Insider Higher Education.
  • Web mentions – The number of times a scholar was referenced, quoted, or otherwise mentioned online (based on Google).
  • Congressional record mentions – Based on if a scholar was referenced by a member of Congress and entered into the Congressional Record.
  • Twitter score – The scholar’s social authority score based on the user’s retweet rate and other user-specific variables (based on Followerwonk).
  • Highest Amazon ranking – The score is determined based on the scholar’s highest-ranked book on Amazon.

Making an Impact at Pitt Education and Beyond

Kinloch joined Pitt Education in July 2017 after serving as an associate dean and professor at The Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology.

During her tenure as dean, Pitt Education adopted a new mission-vision and strategic plan to guide the school, reorganized its academic departments and staff roles, reimagined its student engagement and financial operations units, developed a new four-year undergraduate teaching degree, and underwent a significant renovation to modernize its office spaces in Wesley W. Posvar Hall.

Kinloch is the author of multiple articles and books including the critically acclaimed Harlem on Our Minds: Place, Race, and the Literacies of Urban Youth, which received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the American Educational Research Association. Most recently, she co-authored the book Where is the Justice? Engaged Pedagogies in Schools and Communities (Teachers College Press, 2021).

Additionally, Kinloch’s research has received support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Council of Teachers of English, Corporation for National and Community Service, the Fulbright-Hays Program, Spencer Foundation, and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other notable organizations.

Learn More

Learn more about Dean Valerie Kinloch here.

Explore all degree programs now accepting applications at Pitt Education here.