• Teaching & Learning
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  • Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences
Accolades & Honors

PhD candidate Lorraine Blatt won a fellowship from the National Academy of Education

Trees blossom around the Cathedral of Learning

Lorraine Blatt, who is studying developmental psychology in Pitt's Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC), was named a 2023 NAEd/Spencer Dissertation fellow. The graduate student is among 35 fellows — selected from a pool of 355 applicants — who will receive $27,500 for a period of up to two years to complete their dissertations and attend professional development retreats.

At LRDC, Blatt’s research examines how structural influences on social policy and education shape children’s developmental trajectories and ultimately uphold structural inequities. She is particularly interested in how de facto school segregation relates to academic and social development in early and middle childhood. Since 2020, Blatt (A&S '19G) has published peer-reviewed articles in AERA Open, American Educational Research Journal, International Journal of STEM Education and Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Her winning dissertation, “Contexts of School Segregation and Children’s Academic Skills and Social Development in Elementary School,” uses multilevel growth curve and mixed effects modeling to examine links between school segregation and children’s academic skills and social development. This study will examine whether these links differ across children’s racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. It will explore social outcomes rarely considered in segregation research, including children’s prosocial behavior, school belonging and stress about school.  

Prior to graduate school, Blatt was a researcher at the Urban Institute, where her work focused on child care, education and anti-poverty policies. In graduate school, she has continued her commitment to research-informed policy through work with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration and teaching an undergraduate course on child development and social policy.