Dr. Erin McNamara Horvat, Drexel University

“People need to be able to bring their whole selves to their place of work.”

Dr. Erin McNamara Horvat, the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement for Drexel University, will share the story behind her title with us on September 13, 2023.

An ethnographer and sociologist of education, Dr. Horvat’s research agenda has explored how race and class shape access throughout the educational pipeline, focusing especially on the role of social and cultural capital in shaping families’ interactions with schools, students’ college experiences, college access, and high school dropout and reentry.  She has been deeply committed to work with out-of-school youth through her support of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School as a longtime board member and 4-year board chair.  

Since joining Drexel in 2015 her research has focused on the groundbreaking and visionary civic engagement efforts being undertaken by Drexel University in the West Philadelphia neighborhood in which it resides.  She has Co-Chaired the Education Committee for the Federally designated Promise Zone and served as the education lead on the 30 million dollar Promise Neighborhood grant submission.  

Her publications include Beyond Acting White: Reframing the Debate on Black Student Achievement (coedited with Carla O’Connor), and Doing Qualitative Research, published by Teachers College Press as well as peer-reviewed articles in Sociology of Education, Anthropology and Education Quarterly, Youth and Society and American Educational Research Journal.  Her work has been funded by the Spencer Foundation and The Ford Foundation.

A native Californian, proud Philadelphian, and mother to Katherine and Margaret, Dr. Horvat currently serves as Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs at Drexel University.  She is an avid oarswoman continuing to row competitively as a master rower in local and regional regattas and enjoys all aspects of food, especially cooking and eating.


Drexel University’s Senior Vice Provost of Faculty Advancement joins us for an intimate conversation on her life growing up with a mother who suffered from Bipolar, receiving her MA and PhD in Education and why she hopes her daughters will uncover who they are and live their lives writing their own stories.

Listen to our interview with Erin below on your favorite podcasting app, or watch on 6abc.com and Youtube!

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