Name: Anindya Kundu
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Expected Date of Graduation: 2017-18
Why did you choose to pursue a Doctoral degree in Sociology of Education?
After college I was a researcher for The University of Chicago and Northwestern at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. My interaction with kids there shaped my sentiments towards disenfranchised youth. I started to understand how sweeping inequities in mobility can manifest through race and class. After a period working as an Associate at the NYC Department of Education, I felt a strong desire to address the achievement and opportunity gap from an outside-in perspective, through research. Joining the Steinhardt Sociology of Education program has been a blessing-- I love the life of academics and research.
Please describe the focus of your research:
I'm studying human agency and learning how students overcome personal and structural obstacles to succeed. Often sociology takes the strong structural view that social origin is the primary determinant for future outcomes, but my work shows how this can be oversimplified. My qualitative research studies students who defy expectations by succeeding academically and professionally, despite grave initial disadvantages. I am greatly interested in the concept of "grit," because both social and individual characteristics are necessary to hypothesize about increasing the agency of students. I believe we should be more socially gritty and realize that education is our primary collective responsibility.
Professor or scholar who has influenced you the most:
As I enter my fifth year, I am beyond grateful for the mentorship of my chair, Pedro Noguera and advisor, Lisa Stulberg. They have helped me develop my methodological and analytic skill sets as a sociologist while also fostering my passion to remain a lifelong learner and teacher. I am also grateful for UPenn professor, Angela Duckworth, who is also on my committee and has strengthened my work through constructive feedback and kindness.
Interviewed by JSTOR Daily, "Students Don't Just Need Grit, They Need Agency." June 8, 2016: http://daily.jstor.org/students-dont-just-need-grit-they-need-agency/
Kundu, Anindya. "Achieving Agency: Regaining Collective Responsibilities for All Students to Succeed.” Rowman and Littlefield. (Forthcoming Book, 2017).
Kundu, Anindya. "Review of Closing the Education Achievement Gaps for African American Males." Teachers College Record, Date Published: August 09, 2016. http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 21591.
"Regaining the Collective Responsibility Needed for Our Students to Succeed" New York State ASCD, October, 2014: http://www.newyorkstateascd.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&ModuleInstanceID=169&ViewID=7b97f7ed-8e5e-4120-848f-a8b4987d588f&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=341&PageID=146
Kundu, Anindya. "BACKTALK Grit, overemphasized; Agency, overlooked." Phi Delta Kappan 96, no. 1 (Sept. 2014): 80-80. http://pdk.sagepub.com/content/96/1/80.short
"Why America's Infatuation with "Grit" Can't Solve Our Educational Dilemmas," Virginia Policy Review, Summer 2014. Co-authored with Pedro Noguera. http://issuu.com/virginiapolicyreview/docs/final_draft_3.0
“Digital After School Programming as Prevention: Positive Outlets for Youth Expression in an Increasingly Hi-Tech World,” Published by Center of Applied Research Solutions, Prevention Tactics, February, 2014: http://www.cars-rp.org/publications/Prevention%20Tactics/PT09.11.14.pdf
"The Case For Closing Rikers Island." Post on Huffington Post, June 30, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-case-for-closing-rikers-island_us_5775621be4b00a3ae4cd68aa
"What to Make of Steph Curry, the NBA's Unanimous and Gritty MVP." Post on Huffington Post, May 11, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anindya-kundu/what-to-make-of-stephen-c_b_9889726.html
"Why We’re Not “Beyond Race.” And Why Black Lives Matter." Post on Huffington Post, March 11, 2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anindya-kundu/why-were-not-beyond-race-_b_9405346.html"Inspiration in Insomnia: Resolving to Turn Dreams Into Realities." Post on Huffington Post, December 31, 2015: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anindya-kundu/inspiration-in-insomnia-r_b_8896526.html
“No Student should have to be ‘White Enough’ to Succeed in School.” Post on Huffington Post, September 23, 2015: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/anindya-kundu/needing-to-look-white-eno_b_8171224.html
"Feeding Kids and Expanding Opportunity." Post on Phi Delta Kappan, June 19, 2015: http://pdkintl.org/blogs/learning-on-the-edge/feeding-kids-expanding-opportunity/
"Putting focus on individuals hurts society." The Philadelphia Inquirer. Friday, May 8, 2015: http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20150508_Putting_focus_on_individuals_hurts_society.html
"Breaking through concrete," Post on Phi Delta Kappan, May 6, 2015: http://pdkintl.org/blogs/learning-on-the-edge/breaking-concrete/
"American schools: Still separate, still unequal." Post on Phi Delta Kappan, May 15, 2014: http://pdkintl.org/blogs/learning-on-the-edge/american-schools-still-separate-still-unequal/
"Gritty Educations." The Third Rail, April 15, 2014. http://thethirdrail.virginiapolicyreview.com/2014/04/15/kundu-grit-overemphasized-agency-overlooked/
"Why Students Need More than 'grit'" Chronicle.umbmentoring.org. The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. Co-authored with Pedro Noguera: http://chronicle.umbmentoring.org/pedro-noguera-why-students-need-more-than-grit/
"Why Students Need More than 'grit'" Msnbc.com. NBC News Digital, 02 Mar. 2014. Web. Co-authored with Pedro Noguera: http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/my-brothers-keeper-education
"Executing Schools and Killing Opportunity," Post on Phi Delta Kappan, November 7, 2013: http://pdkintl.org/blogs/learning-on-the-edge/executing-schools-and-killing-opportunity/
American Dilemmas: Race, Inequality, and the Unfulfilled Promise of Public Education, Fall 2016
Social and Cultural Reproduction: Research on Urban and Minority Youth, Spring 2016
American Dilemmas: Race, Inequality, and the Unfulfilled Promise of Public Education, Fall 2015
Adjunct Instructor for Professor Pedro Noguera, Graduate Level Course
Social and Cultural Reproduction: Research on Urban and Minority Youth, Spring 2014
American Dilemmas: Race, Inequality, and the Unfulfilled Promise of Public Education, Fall 2014
Adjunct Instructor for Professor Pedro Noguera
American Dilemmas: Race, Inequality, and the Unfulfilled Promise of Public Education, Fall 2013
American Libraries Association (ALA), Mid-Winter Conference. Sunday, January 25, 2014. “A Digital Frontier: America’s Learning Labs and YouMedia Sites.” Presented to national audience and ALA with Richard Arum. Presented initial findings from first 18 months of on-site research and interviews. Philadelphia, PA.
National Learning Labs Convening. Thursday, July 25, 2013. “Lessons Learned from Cohort 1: Challenges and Advice.” Presentation given to national audience of Cohort 2 Learning Lab Grantees. Pittsburgh, PA.
University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth Lab. April 16, 2015. "Examining the Agency of Disadvantaged Students: How Young Adults Navigate Obstacles." Presentation to lab on preliminary research framework, methodology, and current context in education.
MacArthur Foundation Funded, New York University Project
I worked with Principal Investigator Dr. Richard Arum on a multi-method, multi-level study called Connecting Youth: The Digital Learning Research Project. I served as the lead coordinator for documenting the design and implementation phase of Learning Labs throughout America. Through a flagship initiative, these Labs have been funded in libraries and museums to engage youth through mentor-led, interest-based, collaborative experiences that use digital and traditional media. In addition to project-planning duties, I conducted qualitative interviews and ethnographic observations for our team.
Steinhardt Doctoral Fellowship
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education & Human Development
The Steinhardt Fellowship in Education provides full tuition support, an academic stipend for four years, and dedicated mentoring to promising Ph.D students at New York University.
What are your career goals?
To be in a position that requires learning as well as teaching something new, every day.
What do you like the most about the Sociology of Education program at NYU Steinhardt?:
I enjoy being surrounded by my diverse group of faculty and peers that have a vested interest towards bettering the current educational landscape. Their enthusiasm, commitment, and creativity are contagious.