Lori Ann Delale O'Connor
Associate Professor

Assistant Professor
Center for Urban Education and Department of Education Foundations, Organizations, and Policy

Lori Delale-O'Connor, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Urban Education and in the Department of Education Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. She currently teaches courses in qualitative methods, urban education, and the social contexts of education. Dr. Delale-O’Connor’s research focuses on examining the connections between families, communities, and education across spaces with a particular focus on fostering equity and justice for children and youth in urbanized educational systems.

Dr. Delale-O'Connor earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University where she was also a certificate fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Education Sciences -- a pre-doctoral training program funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. She also holds an M.Ed. in secondary education from Boston College, where she was a Donovan Urban Scholar and taught secondary social studies in the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Delale-O'Connor's research has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, and Urban Education, among other outlets. She is also co-author of the 2019 book, "These Kids Are Out of Control": Why We Must Reimagine "Classroom Management" for Equity (Sage Publications).

Dr. Delale-O'Connor's work has received support from the National Science Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Prior to joining the School of Education, Dr. Delale-O'Connor was a research scientist at Child Trends, a non-profit research center focused on improving the well-being of children across the lifespan.

Instructional Interests

  • Qualitative Methods, EDUC 3041
  • Urban Education Reform, EDUC 2088
  • Social Contexts of Education, EDUC 3004

Selected Grants

  • 2019-2024 National Science Foundation INCLUDES Alliance. STEM Pathways for Underrepresented Students to Higher Ed (PUSH) Network ($10,000,000), Senior Research Personnel, Equity Team Lead

  • 2019-2021 Gates Foundation. Shifting Power Initiative ($1,000,000), Senior Research Personnel, Research Lead

  • 2019-2021 University of Pittsburgh Seed Project. Development of the Broadening Equity in STEM Center (BE STEM Center) ($50,000), Co-Principal Investigator

  • 2017-2019 National Science Foundation INCLUDES Grant. Diversifying Access to Urban Universities for Students in STEM Fields ($299,903), Co-Principal Investigator

  • 2017-2018 Year of Diversity Research Grant. University of Pittsburgh Berg Center for Ethics ($3,900), Principal Investigator

Featured Publications

  • Delale-O’Connor, L., Huguley, J., Parr, A., & Wang, M-T. (2020). Racialized compensatory cultivation: Centering race in parental educational engagement and enrichment. American Educational Research Journal. 57(5):1912-1953. doi:10.3102/0002831219890575

  • Akiva, T., Delale-O’Connor, L. & Pittman, K. (2020). Building systems for equitable, connected learning: The potentials and barriers for moving beyond school-centric urban education. Urban Education. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085920926230

  • Delale-O’Connor, L. & Graham, D. L. (2019) Teachers’ talk about race and caregiver support: “You can NEVER be too sure about parents.” Urban Education. 54(4), 499-534. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085918806941

  • Milner, H.R., Cunningham, H.B., Delale-O’Connor, L., & Kestenberg (2019). These Kids Are Out of Control: Why We Must Reimagine Classroom Management for Equity. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

  • Delale-O’Connor, L. (2018) Choosing, defaulting or falling short: Defaulters in the education context. Teachers College Record 120(4), 1-36. https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 22034

Awards and Honors

  • 2020 - Extra Mile Award, Council of Graduate Students in Education, University of Pittsburgh

  • 2019 - Provost’s Diversity in the Curriculum Award, Provost’s Office, University of Pittsburgh

  • 2018 - Outstanding Service Award, Center for Urban Education, University of Pittsburgh

Engagement, Partnerships, and Professional Service

  • 2020-2021 Program Chair, American Educational Research Association Family, Community, and School Partnerships Special Interest Group (SIG)

  • 2020-2021 Inclusive Excellence in Education Working Group, Middle States Accreditation

  • 2014-present Editorial Board, Urban Education
Lori Ann Delale O'Connor


University of Pittsburgh
4309 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

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