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Jacob B

- Research Program Mentor

PhD at University of New Hampshire


US education law and/or policy, labor relations, critical race theory, dignity and belonging in the workplace


At fifteen years old I knew I wanted to be faculty in an English Department, and my high school friends started calling me "Professor" long before I earned my first graduate degree or taught my first college course. When I earned my MFA and started teaching literature and writing courses, I began wondering "why" and "how" colleges and universities run the way they do. After six years of full-time teaching I went back to school for a PhD, studying higher education leadership and policy. In 2020 I earned that degree, completing a dissertation that utilized in-depth interviewing as well as document and legal analysis. I have since designed courses in higher education governance, qualitative research methods, and collective bargaining, and continued to conduct research into workplace experiences in a higher education context. One of the best parts about teaching, for me, is facilitating vibrant discussion among peers, but I also relish the opportunity to work one-on-one with students looking to push themselves just a little bit harder. That's why I'm making myself available to mentor students like you! Much of my teaching experience has been with undergraduate and graduate students, but I have also worked with high school students who have enrolled in college courses, and taught two summers for Upward Bound and two previous summers in a bridge program for soon-to-be-first-year undergrads. While I take my teaching, research, and writing very seriously, I also make time to unwind and recharge. Sometimes that means lazing in my hammock out in the backyard, playing with my three small children, hiking with my wife in the woods, going for a nice long bike ride, or baking bread or pizza.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

COVID-19 and Education Policy: Veni, Vidi, Infici?

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted society at all levels and in all corners, especially in the public policy arena. What kinds of changes have been made in eduation policy in your city, state, or country? And are those changes temporary or here to stay? Describe, analyze, or critique those changes.

X Marks the Spot: Mapping Policy Decisions

Choropleth maps convey a lot of meaning through vibrant color-coded visualization. No matter your policy interests -- economics, education, health, immigration, labor, voting -- you can bring those issues into stark relief in static or interactive displays. What similarities or differences do you see? What are the implications for residents in different parts of your map?

What's Past is Prologue; What's Next is Intertext

When Antonio observes, in Shakespeare's "The Tempest," that "what's past is prologue," he implies that the present and future are shaped by previous events. That may be so, but the literary concept of intertextuality allows us to reframe earlier texts and imbue them with new meaning that may not have been intended by their authors. One example of intertextuality is Aimé Césaire's "Une Tempête" ("A Tempest" in English translation), which reinvents Shakespeare's famous final play and addresses it to a new century's issues. Can you discover any other intertextual reinventions? What can we learn about the past, present, or future through a modern interpretation of a classic?

On "Divisive Concepts"

Legislative action in the realm of public school curriculum has been in overdrive since early 2021 when states saw a wave of bills aimed at so-called "divisive concepts." The sponsors of these bills have variously described Critical Race Theory (CRT) as seditious, anti-American, and racist. However, the existence of CRT is virtually non-existent below the college level and is much more prevalent at the graduate level and in law schools. This project describes the tenets of CRT, the origins of the "divisive concepts" wave of legislation, and indications of chilled speech among instructors at all levels of education.

Teaching experience

I have more than a dozen years' experience as an educator in the humanities and social sciences. I started as a writing tutor (2008-2010), worked briefly as an instructor of English in Prague (2009), and began my faculty career teaching university composition and literature courses in 2010 after earning an MFA in Creative Writing. Since earning a PhD program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies in 2020, I have taught courses in higher education policy and governance and educational policy at the PK-12 level.


Work experience

Dartmouth College (2023 - Current)
Hearing Officer


Wesleyan University
BA Bachelor of Arts (2003)
English Literature
University of New Hampshire
PhD Doctor of Philosophy (2020)
Higher Education Labor, Law, and Policy

Completed Projects

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