Educational Leadership and Higher Education

Rachel E. Friedensen


Program Areas

Doctoral and Masters courses in Higher Education Administration


Rachel E. Friedensen (she/her/hers), Ph.D., obtained her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, with a specialization in Higher Education, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Friedensen’s research uses discourse analysis and other qualitative methods to explore vectors of inequality and inequity in higher education. She is currently exploring the experiences of doctoral students in STEM who switched advisors during their doctoral studies. Recent research has focused on issues related to equity in STEM, including engineering identity development, experiences in STEM fields for students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students’ experiences in STEM fields. Her dissertation explored discursive constructions of diversity and diverse bodies in institutional policy. Prior to her doctoral work, Friedensen was a historian; she holds a master's in history from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and a bachelor's in history from Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. You can find her work published in The Review of Higher Education, Engineering Studies, and the International Journal of Education in Science, Mathematics, and Technology. When she’s not writing, reading, or teaching, Dr. Friedensen can be found exploring Minnesota, baking, walking in the woods, or tweeting a lot about academic writing.

Courses Taught

  • HIED 664 Diversity and Social Justice
  • HIED 674 Research Design
  • HIED 809 Qualitative Research Methods
  • HIED 812 Curriculum and the Academic Program in Higher Education
  • HIED 880 Dissertation Research
  • HIED 899 Dissertation

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