April 23, 2013

Ernie Pascarella
Sitting in Ernie Pascarella’s fourth-floor office at the Lindquist Center, you may not realize you’re in the company of someone who is truly a rock star in the field of education. Dressed in shorts and tennis shoes, Pascarella gives off an unassuming air. But take a closer look and you’ll see signs not only of a great sense of humor (the vintage John Belushi poster on his door), but also real genius. Professor Pascarella holds the Mary Louise Petersen Chair in Higher Education, one of the College’s most prestigious endowed chairs. He is also the most cited researcher in his field, which focuses on the impact of college on students and student persistence in higher education.

A Princeton, Penn, and Syracuse graduate, Pascarella has been breaking new ground in education for decades. He’s authored more than 130 journal articles and coauthored the 1991 book, How College Affects Students, which received the Research Achievement Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Gleidson Gouveia, a Ph.D. student in Schools, Culture, and Society from Joinville, Brazil, considered attending Columbia University but ultimately selected the UI College of Education because of professors like Pascarella. “My favorite class is Research Process and Design with Dr. Pascarella. He’s very knowledgeable and his class is stimulating and fun. It’s a privilege to be in class with a professor who is so well-recognized for his research.”