Graduation: Spring 2021

Research Interests: Educational experiences during emerging adulthood among young people experiencing foster care, juvenile justice, and homelessness; positive youth development; mixed methods; survey development and validation; poverty measurement; and community-based educational research

Awards: Graduate Opportunities and Minority Achievement Program Dissertation Fellowship

Respect and action are how Joel Crume defines social justice. “Social justice connotes and characterizes a call to action that strives for a society grounded in economic, social, and cultural respect,” he explains. Specifically, Joel’s call to action is to improve access and equity in education.

From his personal and professional experiences, Joel understands the “vital need to improve services and support for teens and emerging adults in navigating educational systems amid substantial life challenges and systemic injustices.” This was the drive for Joel to pursue a career in social work and current academic research. His dissertation in particular focuses on the educational experiences of “crossover youth” or youth involved in the foster care system and/or the juvenile justice system.

To carry out his community-based research, Joel instinctively knew that he had to connect his research to community practitioners and community organizations. For instance, he worked with Seattle Education Access and the Community Center for Education Results to carry out research and, as a result, published a few articles from this work. Also through UW faculty, he was able to collaborate with Clara B. Ford Academy, a therapeutic residential high school for youth involved in the foster care and juvenile justice systems near Detroit, MI, for his dissertation research.