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Ph.D Candidate in Higher Education, Iowa State University

Stephanie Sowl is a PhD candidate studying Higher Education at Iowa State University. Her research explores the relationship between spatial inequality and postsecondary opportunities, particularly as it relates to rural, first-generation and/or working-class students. She also is interested in adults' residential mobility patterns over time, specifically trends with different educational levels, postsecondary institutional types, and community contexts.


  • 2022–present
    Senior Research Analyst, California State University - Los Angeles
  • 2018–present
    Graduate Research Assistant, Iowa State University
  • 2021–present
    Research Fellow, Campaign for College Opportunity
  • 2016–2018
    Research Associate, Arizona State University
  • 2014–2016
    Academic Advisor/Coordinator, Arizona State University
  • 2012–2014
    Graduate Assistant, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


  • 2022
    Patterns of Undergraduate Student Interpersonal Interaction Network Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic, AERA Open
  • 2021
    Rural college graduates: Who comes home?, Rural Sociology
  • 2021
    A Systematic Review of Research on Rural College Access since 2000, The Rural Educator
  • 2021
    “We don't need a four‐year college person to come here and tell us what to do”: Community college curriculum making after articulation reform, New Directions for Community Colleges
  • 2021
    Competing Alternatives: Science and Math Identity Recognition and Credit Accrual in the Trajectory of STEM Major Plans, Innovative Higher Education

Professional Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association
  • Association for the Study of Higher Education