• IDRA Newsletter • May 2020 •

Chloe Latham Sikes, Ph.D., is IDRA’s new deputy director of policy. She first worked with IDRA as a policy intern in 2017, and is overjoyed to have officially joined its Policy, Advocacy, and Community Engagement team this January.

She became inspired to pursue educational policy and advocacy in 2009, while working as a volunteer English teacher and nursery assistant at a center for young women and their children in Costa Rica. After graduating from Grinnell College with a degree in anthropology and global development studies, she worked with high school students applying to college as an AmeriCorps college coach, and later as a college admissions counselor. Through working with students transitioning from high school to college, she witnessed the multiple policy barriers that students faced to access higher education, from not having rigorous college preparatory coursework in high school to difficulty securing financial aid.

As one of her favorite authors, James Baldwin, wrote, “The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which [s]he is being educated.”

These experiences pushed Chloe toward a graduate degree in education to become a better advocate for students. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with her doctorate in educational policy and planning in May 2020. Her dissertation examines how school district leaders respond to the effects of immigration policies on their districts, and how race plays a role in their responses. In her doctoral work, she has participated in research teams focusing on the effects of gentrification on schools; community-based equity and school leadership practices; school finance; service-learning and student engagement; and policies for full-service community schools. She is driven in her research and policy work to understand how social and political contexts influence educational policies, politics and racial equity.

Chloe’s main hobby is reading, which explains a lot about her. She wishes she were a Ravenclaw but consistently is sorted as a Hufflepuff. When not nerding out about education policy, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and dog, June. Her happy place is a backyard barbecue with loved ones and dogs running around.

[©2020, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the May 2020 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]