Faculty Member Leigh Patel Receives Equity & Excellence in Education Advocacy Award

University of Pittsburgh School of Education faculty member Leigh Patel was named an inaugural recipient of the Equity & Excellence in Education journal’s Advocacy Award in honor of her long-standing support of the journal as an advisory board member.

The new award recognizes board members who go above and beyond to advocate for the journal and its editorial team at individual and institutional levels. Patel was one of two board members presented with the award during the 2023 AERA Annual Meeting, held April 13-16 in Chicago.

“To receive this award is very humbling and exciting,” says Patel, a professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy at Pitt Education. “It’s deeply meaningful to me.”

Equity & Excellence in Education publishes peer-reviewed research articles and scholarly essays that address issues of equity and social justice in education. The journal aims to provide researchers, practitioners, and students with an opportunity to analyze what equity and justice may look like or do for historically marginalized populations.

Patel is an internationally known scholar of education, educational policy, ethnic studies, critical higher education studies, and literacy. She has served on the journal’s advisory board since 2018, lending her expertise, advice, and support to the junior scholars who comprise the journal’s editorial board.

“They created incredible processes and had a vision to change and shift what is a typical academic journal into something that is more accessible,” says Patel, citing how the journal expands its reach by hosting “kitchen table talk” webinars to supplement their themed issues.

Patel says mentoring the journal editors has been a fulfilling part of her role as advisory board member.

“Mentoring is a lot of work, and I love this work,” she says. “I really value and treasure these journal editors. It’s meaningful to be in relation with them, and I am really appreciative of this award.”

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Patel is a professor of learning sciences and policy in the Pitt School of Education’s Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. The programs are now accepting applications.