Graduate Education/Community Engagement

Many graduate programs have found ways to do compelling scholarship through community engagement, and have made engaged scholarship a distinctive aspect of their graduate program. Those who have done so have been very intentional and strategic—embedding their projects in compelling research, designed with community partners for high impact. Such projects are most often interdisciplinary, collaborative and involve multiple funding sources. Community engagement can enhance graduate retention, pathways to new careers, and attract diverse students and faculty to graduate programs. Such work is embedded in strong, ongoing partnerships.

In addition to graduate student community engagement, I am interested in graduate advising and mentoring relationships. I am studying ways in which graduate students assume agency and department environments scaffold agency as students pursue their studies and careers.

I am conducting evaluation and social science research with two NSF funded doctoral program grants: AGEP (UMBC and UM System) with Dr. Kimberly Griffin and Gudrun Nyunt, and an NRT grant (UM Language Science Center) with Dawn Culpepper.

Select Articles and Chapters

Jaeger, A. J., Mitchall, A. M., O’Meara, K. A., Grantham, A. E., Zhang, J., Eliason, J. L., & Cowdery, K. (2017). Push and pull: The influence of race/ethnicity on agency in doctoral student career advancement. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 10(3), 232-252. View PDF

O’Meara, K., Jaeger, A., Eliason, J., Grantham, A., Cowdery, K., Mitchall, A, & Zhang, K. (2014). By design: How departments influence graduate student agency in career advancement. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 9,155-179. View PDF

O’Meara, K., Knudsen, K. & Jones, J. (2013). The Role of emotional competencies in faculty-doctoral student relationships. Review of Higher Education. 36(3), 315-348. View PDF

O’Meara, K. (2013) Advancing Graduate Student Agency. Higher Education in Review, 10, 1-10. View PDF


Colbeck, C. L., O’Meara, K., & Austin, A. (Eds). (2008). Educating integrated professionals: Theory and practice on preparation for the professoriate. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 113. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. View PDF

O’Meara, K., & Jaeger, A. (2007). Preparing future faculty for community engagement: History, barriers, facilitators, models and recommendations. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 11(4), 3-26. View PDF

O’Meara, K. (2007). Graduate education and civic engagement. NERCHE Brief, 20, 1-8. Boston, MA: New England Resource Center for Higher Education. View PDF

O’Meara, K. (2008). Graduate education and community engagement. In C. Colbeck, K. O’Meara, & A. Austin (Eds.), Educating integrated professionals: Theory and practice on preparation for the professoriate (pp. 27-43). New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 113. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. View PDF

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