July 1, 2016

City Steward: Kelly E. Slay

Research Cluster | Learning in the Citydcs.headshots.kelly2

Department | Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education

Subfield | Higher Education and Public Policy

Honors & Affiliations | Rackham Merit Fellow; King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellow; Margaret Dow Towsley Scholar with the Center for the Education of Women; “Five Under Ten” recipient, awarded to University of Michigan Black alumni who have made considerable accomplishments within 10 years of graduation; Grant recipient from the Center for Public Policy in Diverse Societies to support a study of education reform in Detroit with colleague, Leanne Kang; A newly inducted member of the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society chartered at Yale University and named in honor of Edward Bouchet, the first African American to earn a PhD in the U.S.; UM Black Alumni Association; Achievement in Context Lab directed by Professor Tabbye Chavous; American Educational Research Association; Association for the Study of Higher Education; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Origin City | Detroit

Research Key Words | access, equity, race, education policy


Research Statement |

The central theme underlying my research project is how educational policies encourage or hinder access and success for students of color, particularly Black students, in various contexts spanning the educational pipeline—from urban school districts and community colleges to graduate programs in highly selective colleges and universities.  During the DCS, I will be working on my dissertation, which examines how the affirmative action ban in Michigan (Proposal 2) affects recruitment and college enrollment among Black undergraduate students admitted to the University of Michigan, including those from Metro Detroit high schools. I will complete a second project, a collaborative effort with education historian, Leanne Kang, which focuses on education reform and school closings in Detroit over the past 20 years. In this work, we highlight the costs and consequences associated with key reforms for Detroit children, parents, educators, and public schooling as a whole.

Steward Statement |

As a native Detroiter, I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to join the inaugural Detroit City Study! Not only will I have the chance to “co-work” with amazing graduate students across different fields and interests, but I’ll also be able to work with the City’s “resident experts”– community members and organizations who live the realities we often study as academics. Being a part of this project also moves me closer to a goal that I’ve held near and dear for some time: to use my PhD to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to improve educational opportunities for Detroit and Michigan youth.  I look forward to engaging with the inaugural cohort of graduate students, organizations, and the broader community as a DCS Steward. The challenges that face Detroit and its residents are great and require innovative approaches, that I believe can be developed when we strengthen the linkages between the public and university communities and work together across fields, experiences, and backgrounds in pursuit of a common goal: a stronger, safer, more educated, and prosperous Detroit.