Margaret Cahalan

Senior Research Fellow

Department: Pell Institute Staff

Margaret Cahalan is a Senior Research Fellow for the Pell Institute at the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). Dr. Cahalan joined COE in 2011, after serving as the division leader for the Secondary-Postsecondary Cross-Cutting (SPCC) Team within the Policy and Program Studies Services (PPSS) at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). She also served as a Co-PI for an i-3 grant awarded to COE entitled, Using Data to Inform College Access Programming. Before working at ED, Maggie worked as a statistical research contractor for over 20 years at Westat, Mathematica, and RTI. In this capacity, she served as the project director for large statistical sample surveys including the National Study of Postsecondary Faculty (NSOFAS) and the National Study of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG). She also directed several TRIO national evaluations including the National Evaluation of Student Support Services and the National Evaluation of Talent Search, as well as several TRIO Performance Reporting Technical Assistance and Analyses contracts. These contracts were responsible for the re-design of the annual performance reports (APRs) of the Upward Bound, Student Support Services, and McNair programs to include individual student records and the building of longitudinal databases to track program outcomes.She currently serves as the Principal Investigator of the NSF funded iStronG project to develop a science curriculum designed to empower Upward Bound Students using systems dynamics modeling tools with a focus on green STEM careers and climate change solutions. She is the lead author on the Pell Institute and PennAHEAD publication series: Indicators of Higher Education Equity in the United States Historical Trend Reports. This project, now in its 6th edition, was begun in 2015, and has a major goal to serve as a tool for tracking progress from an equity perspective in the U.S .higher education system. The project also sponsors Shared Solutions Dialogues at the national, state, and local levels among multiple stakeholders to consider specific action plans to address the issues of systemic inequality in higher education. Maggie cares passionately about helping to find ways to reduce educational inequity and working toward an inclusive asset based talent development approach to education at all levels. She is also very much interested in place based education and action research working to mitigate and adapt to climate change and helping to promote the transition to a more just, co-operative and environmentally friendly world economy. Maggie received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Contact Margaret

You reach Margaret by email.