Area of Expertise:
Educational research, policy, and practice;
Connie is the Director of Education at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She oversees a $50 million program on Digital Media and Learning, one of the first philanthropic efforts in the US to systematically explore the effects of digital media on young people and its implications for the future of learning and education. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Yowell conducted extensive research on the connections among educational research, policy and practice. She was an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois, where she published scholarly work on the complex interplay among young people’s emerging identity, their social context and achievement. Her research integrated the fields of adolescent psychological development and organization change to address the problem of high school dropout among immigrant students in the United States. Equally committed to developing educational and social policies for young people, Dr. Yowell has worked worked closely with teachers and administrators in the Chicago Public Schools to develop and implement literacy curricula for Latino youth. She also served as evaluator and program coordinator for youth development programs in New York City. Most recently, Dr. Yowell received the Distinguished Fellows Award from the William T. Grant Foundation, an award to support scholars seeking to bridge research and practice, under which she is working with the National Writing Project to develop approaches that integrate web 2.0 technologies into the social practices of teachers.