Orphan's research focuses on Regional Public Universities, Rural-Serving Postsecondary Institutions, higher education organization administration, and public policy. Prior to her doctoral program, she directed the American Democracy Project (ADP), a national initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The 240 Regional Public Universities involved in ADP focus on higher education's role in educating informed, engaged participants for U.S. democracy. Orphan's research agenda is informed by her experiences as a working class, first-generation college student who received maximum Pell grants to attend college.
In the News
Presents a qualitative case study of four regional comprehensive universities grappling with their public purposes within a state policy and funding context shaped by neoliberal ideology. Carries long-term implications for the future of community-engaged research, the civic education of students, and the public purposes of higher education.
Draws on how the unique histories of these various sectors of higher education position them for civic engagement work as well as the institutional efforts to engage local communities.
Uncovers how the socialization of senior student affairs officers influences approaches to student civic/political development.