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NEPC Director Kevin Welner Honored With American Educational Research Association Award

NEPC Director Kevin Welner has been awarded the 2017 American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Public Communication of Education Research Award. The award honors scholars exemplary in their capacity to communicate important education research to the public, including education communities. It recognizes a scholar who has demonstrated the capacity to deepen the public’s understanding and appreciation of the value of education research in civic decision-making.

Welner is a well-known interpreter of education research for general audiences. He appears regularly in the media, presents at public forums, and has authored numerous op-ed essays on education policy topics. His work has been showcased in the Washington Post “Answer Sheet” blog as well as on NPR’s “Here and Now.” In addition he was a keynote speaker at the White House Reach Higher conference “Beating the Odds: Successful Strategies from Schools & Youth Agencies that Build Ladders of Opportunity.”

After learning of his award, Welner commented, “The accomplishments this award recognizes rest on a foundation laid over the past two decades by many others. Alex Molnar’s work at the Center for Education Research Analysis and Innovation (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and the Education Policy Studies Laboratory (Arizona State University); Jeanne Oakes’s work at the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access (UCLA); and Ken Howe’s work at the Education and Public Interest Center (CU Boulder) have all helped make what I’m doing possible.” Welner went on to note that he works with talented colleagues on the NEPC staff and across the country. “The NEPC staff and NEPC’s 125 fellows make enormous contributions to our collective effort. Providing high-quality research and analysis in support of democratic deliberation about ?education policy is the mission of NEPC. This award tells me that we are on course."

NEPC co-founder and Publications Director, Alex Molnar, praised Welner, commenting, “I can think of no one more deserving of this award. It is an honor to work with such a talented and ethical scholar whose enduring commitment to equity, social justice, and democratic decision-making enrich our scholarship, improve education practice, and strengthen our civic life.”

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The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at:

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