Fellows and Scholars

Estela Bensimon

AAC&U Distinguished Fellow

Estela Mara Bensimon is a professor of higher education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and director of the Center for Urban Education, which she founded in 1999. Dr. Bensimon’s work has focused singularly on increasing racial equity in their education outcomes from student of the color. Her critical action research agenda has been supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Teagle Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and The James Irvine Foundation.

Dr. Bensimon has published extensively about equity, organizational learning, practitioner inquiry and change. Her most recent books include Critical Approaches to the Study of Higher Education (co-edited with Ana Martinez-Aleman and Brian Pusser) which was selected as the 2016 Outstanding Publication by the American Educational Research Association, Division of Postsecondary Education; Engaging the Race Question: Accountability and Equity in US Higher Education (with Alicia C. Dowd), Confronting Equity Issues on Campus: Implementing the Equity Scorecard in Theory and Practice (coedited with Lindsey Malcom).

In 2017, she was elected to the National Academy of Education and honored with the Social Justice in Education Award by the American Educational Research Association. Her excellence in research, teaching, mentorship, and service to higher education has been recognized with numerous other awards and leadership appointments. She is a Distinguished Fellow in AAC&U’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Student Success.

Dr. Bensimon was associate dean of the USC Rossier School of Education from 1996 to 2000 and a Fulbright Scholar to Mexico in 2002. She earned her doctorate in higher education from Teachers College, Columbia University.