Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

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Domina, Thurston

Associate Professor of Educational Policy and Sociology

T: 919.962.9197
F: 919.962.1693
121B Peabody Hall
CB 3500

"Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it.”

- Hannah Arendt


As a sociologist by training, Thurston Domina works in partnership with educational practitioners to better understand the relationship between education and social inequality in the contemporary U.S. His work focuses in two areas: First, Domina seeks to understand how schools sort students into different learning environments, how this sorting process shapes students’ life chances, and how educational policies and educator practices can expand opportunities for all. Second, he studies the interaction between families and schools in an attempt to understand processes through which out-of-school factors influence the distribution of educational opportunity.

Affiliated Websites

Irvine Network on Interventions in Development

Google Scholars Page

Doctoral Program Affiliation(s)

Ph.D. in Education - Policy, Leadership and School Improvement

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 2006 -- Graduate School and University Center, City University of New York, Sociology
  • B.A. 1997 -- Wesleyan University, College of Social Studies

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Education
  • Educational Policy
  • Social Inequality
  • Organizational Change

Teaching Areas

  • Quantitative Methods
  • Schools as Organizations
  • Education and Inequality

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, AERA Journal Publications Committee and the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis
  • Editorial Board member, Sociology of Education, AERA-Open
  • Dean’s Honoree Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, University of California, Irvine.

Funded Research

  • 2014-2017 Co-Principal Investigator, “Is Algebra Algebra? Student Opportunity to Learn in Middle School Mathematics,” W.T. Grant Foundation. ($503,612)
  • 2014-2017 Principal Investigator, “Evaluating the Quality of Universal Algebra Learning (EQUAL),” Spencer Foundation. ($393,532)
  • 2011-2016 Co-Principal Investigator, “Human Capital Interventions Across Childhood and Adolescence,” National Institutes of Health P-01. ($4,667,050)

Selected Publications

Thurston Domina, Priyanka Agarwal, Paul Hanselman, and Ryan Lewis. (Forthcoming.) Professional sense-makers: Instructional specialists in contemporary schooling. Educational Researcher.

Andrew Penner, Thurston Domina, Emily Penner, and AnneMarie Conley. (2015.) “The Distributional Effects of Curricular Intensification.” Social Science Research.

Thurston Domina, Andrew McEachin, Andrew Penner, and Emily Penner. (2014). “Aiming High and Falling Short: California’s Algebra-for-all Effort.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Marianne Bitler, Thurston Domina, Emily Penner, and Hilary Hoynes. (2014). “Distributional Analysis in Educational Evaluation: A Case Study from the New York City Voucher program.” Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness.

Thurston Domina. (2014). “The Link Between Middle School Math Course Placement and Achievement.” Child Development. 85(5): 1945-1968.

Thurston Domina and Joshua Saldana. (2012.) “Did Raising the Bar Level the Playing Field? Mathematics Curricular Intensification and Inequality in American High Schools, 1982-2004.” American Education Research Journal – Social and Institutional Analysis. 49(4): 685-708.

Thurston Domina, AnneMarie Conley, and George Farkas. (2011.) “The Link Between Educational Expectations and Effort in the College for All Era.” Sociology of Education 84 (2): 93-112.

Thurston Domina. (2009.) “What Works in College Outreach: Assessing Targeted and Schoolwide Interventions for Disadvantaged Students.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis 31(2): 127-152.

Thurston Domina. (2007.) “Higher Education Policy as Secondary School Reform: Texas High Schools After Hopwood.” Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.29(3), pp. 200-217.

Thurston Domina. (2005.) “Leveling the Home Advantage: Assessing the Effectiveness of Parental Involvement.” Sociology of Education 78(3).

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