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Professor of Education Theory and Policy, Penn State

Dana L. Mitra is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Education Policy Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She currently is a Students at the Center "Distinguished Fellow" with Jobs For the Future/ Nellie Mae Foundation.

She is the founding editor of the International Journal of Student voice and the co-editor of the American Journal of Education. Dana also works with professionals as a leadership and personal coach.

Dana has published over 30 papers and two books on the topics of student voice and civic engagement. She has recently published a book entitled, Civic Education in the Elementary Grades: Promoting Engagement in an Era of Accountability from Teacher’s College Press.

She has also published extensively on opting out of standardized testing and educational issues in the Rust Belt, including brain drain and career preparation.

Dana holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University in Educational Administration and Policy Analysis. She has served as a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in 2012 to study child participation and educational reform in Bangalore, India. Her prior work experience also include teaching elementary school in the Washington, DC area and serving as the coordinator for two White House Conferences on Character Education.


  • –present
    Professor of Education Theory and Policy, Pennsylvania State University


  • 2001 
    Stanford University, PhD Administration and Policy Analysis and MA in Sociology


Students at the Center "Distinguished Fellow" with Jobs for the Future