Emily R. Persons
Ph.D. Candidate

About Me

I am a Sociology Ph.D. Candidate at Duke University. I study issues related to educational inequality, urban communities, and organizations. I am originally from Washington, DC and previously attended Princeton University (BA Sociology ’11) and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (MA Education Policy and Management ’13). My research interests include education and education policy, organizational theory, racial stratification, urban sociology and quantitative methods. My professional experience includes work as an after-school classroom teacher as well as a data analyst and researcher for a state education agency. 


Publications Under Review

  • Persons, Emily. "School Closings: Ecological & Spillover Effects of  Organizational Disbanding." 

Publications In Progress

  • Persons, Emily, Kamilah Legette & Angel Harris. “The Role of High School Students’ Perceptions of the Math and Science Classroom Learning Environment on Later STEM Orientation”
  • Persons, Emily. "Teaching Teachers: How Teacher Preparation Programs Cope with Institutional Complexity."
  • Persons, Emily. "Closing and Restructuring Public Schools: The Spillover Effects of Organizational Disbanding and Transformation."

Conference Presentations & Invited Talks

  • "School Closings: Ecological & Spillover Effects of Organizational Disbanding" American Educational Research Association 2018 Annual Meeting
  • "School Closings: Ecological & Spillover Effects of an Organizational Disbanding" Sociology of Education Association 2018 Annual Meeting
  • "Playing Fair: How Student Perception of Teacher Bias Impacts Later Academic Outcomes" American Sociological Association 2017 Annual Meeting, Montreal
  • "The Student Shuffle: Organizational Implications of School Closings." Southern Sociological Society 2016 Annual Meeting, Atlanta
  • "Better Late Than Never? Timing and Development of College Expectations" Southern Sociological Society 2015 Annual Meeting, New Orleans

Teaching Experience

  • The Sociology of Entrepreneurship, Teaching Assistant (Fall 2016)
  • Nations, Regions and the Global Economy, Teaching Assistant (Spring 2017)

Professional Service & Affiliations

  • Prospective Student Visit Coordinator, Duke Graduate Student Forum (2014-2016)
  • Community Service Chair, Duke Graduate Student Forum (2017-2018
  • Student Member, American Sociological Association (2014-present)
  • Student Member, Southerns Sociological Society (2014-present)
  • Student Member, American Educational Research Association (2016-present)

Professional Experience

Research on the Development & Education of Youth

Graduate Research Assistant

Durham, NC 


The Office of the State Superintendent of Education

Management Analyst

Office of Data Management

Washington, DC 

2013- 2014

Hawaii Department of Education

Race to the Top Fellow

Honolulu, HI 

Summer 2013

National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

Intern & Staff Assistant

Washington, DC


Higher Achievement Program

Achievement Coach

Washington, DC


Contact Me

Emily R. Persons

417 Chapel Drive, Durham, North Carolina 27705, United States

Email me