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Expert on socioeconomic and racial inequality facing higher education to speak to Boise State community

Sara smiles and stands in front of a brick wall
Sara Goldrick-Rab

Sara Goldrick-Rab, an author and expert on food and housing insecurity and the inequalities that exist throughout the higher education system, will provide a free, virtual presentation for the Boise State community at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 7. The stream will not be recorded or archived.

Goldrick-Rab’s innovative research on higher education has led to four groundbreaking, highly-regarded national studies. She is a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University and the founding director of the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice in Philadelphia. She also is the chief strategy officer for emergency aid at Edquity, a student financial success and emergency aid company. Additionally, she founded a nonprofit called Believe in Students that distributes emergency aid.

Food pantry with shelves of food
The Boise State University Campus Food Pantry, located in the Office of the Dean of Students

College students across the U.S. are facing growing food and housing insecurity problems. Boise State has responded to this crisis in a variety of ways – by hosting and stocking an on-campus food pantry, for example, which provides nourishing and cost-effective meal and snack options for those in need of food assistance.

The College of Health Sciences is working on several sustainability models for the pantry, with university partners like Albertsons and other vendors who have generously provided financial and in-kind contributions. However, Goldrick-Rab’s research shows that such solutions are merely bandaids; systemic changes need to be made to the federal financial aid system. Aside from leading a presentation on these subjects, Goldrick-Rab will individually meet with Boise State vice presidents, deans, departments, and faculty as well as other community members.

In 2016, Politico named Goldrick-Rab one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. She is ranked sixth in the nation among education scholars according to Education Week. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award, and was featured on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” The Chronicle of Higher Education calls her “a defender of impoverished students and a scholar of their struggles,” an accurate description of her life’s work.

Goldrick-Rab is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award, the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award and the Carnegie Fellowship.

For questions, please contact Donna Llewellyn at For faculty who are interested in continuing the conversation about the lecture, the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will be hosting a debrief session on Friday, Oct. 9, from 12-1:30 p.m. Please visit the CTL events page for more information and how to register.

Arrangements for the appearance of Goldrick-Rab were made through RedBrick Agency, New York, NY.