Kri Burkander is entering her third year of the Educational Policy program after receiving a BA in Psychology from Antioch College and a MSW from the University of Michigan. Before coming to Michigan State, she spent ten years working with youth and youth programming in various capacities. Most recently, she worked with the Michigan Department of Education and a small team of coaches to improve the quality of federally–funded after school programming around the state. Prior to that, she worked for four years as a teacher and administrator at a small private middle and high school for students with learning disabilities. Other work experiences include in–home counseling with juvenile offenders and ecumenical youth work.
Her current research focuses on the transition from high school to college for low–income, minority, and first–generation college students, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. For her graduate assistantship, she works with a stellar research team on the College Ambition Program, an initiative aimed at improving college–going rates in low–income rural and urban communities, under the direction of Dr. Barbara Schneider. Kri serves as a Site Coordinator in one of the urban schools. She was the recipient of a Summer Research Fellowship in 2012 which allowed her to conduct a qualitative exploration of the issue of summer “melt” between high school and college.