The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Kal Alston ’80

Kal Alston is professor in Cultural Foundations of Education and in Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University. She is currently associate dean for academic programs in the School of Education and previously served as senior associate provost and senior vice president. Alston’s scholarly interests center on intersections of popular culture/media with American experiences of race, class, and gender and the epistemological challenges of higher education leadership. She teaches courses on educational policy and inequity in education. She also has a consultant practice for institutions that need mediation services or individual anti-bias or anti-harassment training/interventions.

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Kal graduated from Dartmouth College with honors in Drama. As an undergraduate, she was president of the Dartmouth Players and a residence advisor in Topliff and participated in numerous other activities. After graduation she served for two years in the Admissions Office, covering the mid-Atlantic, including her home turf of suburban Philadelphia. Kal taught in the MALS program, served on Alumni Council, where she chaired the Academic Affairs Committee, and participated in alumni interviews in Brooklyn and in east central Illinois. For the last two class reunions, she has been part of the selection committee for the Parker Small Award for the Class of 1980.

Kal received her doctorate in philosophy of education at University of Chicago. She spent two years as a litigation legal assistant at Skadden, Arps in NYC and one year in Chicago. She was a faculty member at University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana for sixteen years, where she chaired Gender and Women’s Studies. In 2003, she was named an American Council on Education Fellow and spent the following academic year at Smith College, before moving to Syracuse. She is currently chair of the Imagining America National Advisory Board, the immediate-past president of the Philosophy of Education Society, and a member of the Friends of the Central Library Board. She is a Chevalier in the Central New York sous-commanderie of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (an international Burgundy wine club) and holds an intermediate sommelier certification from the US Sommelier Association.


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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences