Dr. Schafft is an Associate Professor of Education at The Pennsylvania State University based within the Educational Leadership Program. Dr. Schafft directs the College's Center for Rural Education and Communities and serves as associate editor for the Journal of Research in Rural Education. He comes to Penn State from Cornell University where he received his Ph.D. in Development Sociology in 2003. His research interests broadly concern the relationship between social inequality, spatial inequality and rural development. His recent work examines the school and community impacts of unconventional gas development within Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale play. Dr. Schafft has also conducted research on rural poverty, student transiency, the determinants of rural childhood obesity, youth aspirations and rural brain drain, and the role of schools in rural community development. During the spring of 2015 Dr. Schafft was a visiting fellow at Central European University's Institute for Advanced Studies in Budapest, Hungary where he conducted research on the social and political implications of Hungary's nationality self-government system for Hungary’s Roma minority.