Dr. Erin McNamara Horvat is the Interim Dean and professor for the School of Education and Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement for Drexel University. An ethnographer and sociologist of education, Dr. Horvat’s research agenda has explored how race and class shape access throughout the educational pipeline, focusing especially on the role of social and cultural capital in shaping families’ interactions with schools, students’ college experiences, college access, and high school dropout and reentry. She has been deeply committed to work with out-of-school youth through her support of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School as a longtime board member and 4-year board chair. Since joining Drexel in 2015 her research has focused on the groundbreaking and visionary civic engagement efforts being undertaken by Drexel University in the West Philadelphia neighborhood in which it resides. She has Co-Chaired the Education Committee for the Federally designated Promise Zone and served as the education lead on the 30 million dollar Promise Neighborhood grant submission. Her publications include Beyond Acting White: Reframing the Debate on Black Student Achievement (coedited with Carla O’Connor), and Doing Qualitative Research, published by Teachers College Press as well as peer reviewed articles in Sociology of Education, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Youth and Society and American Educational Research Journal. Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and The Ford Foundation.
A native Californian, proud Philadelphian and mother to Katherine and Margaret, Dr. Horvat currently serves at Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Drexel University. She is an avid oarswoman continuing to row competitively as a Masters rower in local and regional regattas and enjoys all aspects of food, especially cooking and eating.