Dr. Adriana Villavicencio is Deputy Director at the Research Alliance for New York City Schools and an adjunct professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. In this role, Dr. Villavicencio helps to shape the Research Alliance’s research agenda, and works to enhance relationships with external partners and key stakeholders. She also leads the Research Alliance’s evaluation of the Expanded Success Initiative, which aims to improve college readiness among NYC’s Black and Latino young men. Dr. Villavicencio has conducted several studies documenting practices in successful schools, including “turnaround” middle schools and the City’s small high schools of choice.
Dr. Villavicencio, who has been a member of the Research Alliance team since 2010, has extensive experience with qualitative research methods, in particular case study design. She has conducted research at MDRC, the RAND Corporation, and Westat. She is a recipient of the Founders Fellowship from New York University and a Graduate Student Fellowship from MDRC. Dr. Villavicencio’s dissertation research focused on charter schools and the impact of choice policies on students, families, and schools. Using cross-case analyses of New York City charter schools, she investigated how charter school enrollment—in terms of race, socioeconomic status, English language proficiency, and special education designation—is affected by state policy, school-level practices, and parent choice.
Dr. Villavicencio has served as a managing editor for the Journal of Equity in Education, based at NYU's Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. She is the author of numerous publications on race and equity in schools and regularly presents her research at national conferences, including those held by the American Educational Research Association and the University Council for Educational Administration.
Previously, Dr. Villavicencio served as a department chair and interim principal at a charter high school in Oakland, California. She taught high school English in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, middle school in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and worked on the development of a new school in Bangalore, India.
Dr. Villavicencio earned her Ph.D. in education leadership and policy from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She also holds an M.A. in English Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in English from Columbia University. Dr. Villavicencio is president of the board of directors for the Latino Alumni Association of Columbia University.