Tolani Britton Joins GSE Faculty

May 30, 2018

TOLANI BRITTON, a graduate of the Quantitative Policy Analysis in Education program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, has been appointed assistant professor here at Berkeley. 

Britton, who spent a year as a visiting scholar at Berkeley, will begin her appointment on July 1, 2018. 

“I am thrilled to return to this vibrant intellectual community,” Britton said. 

Britton’s appointment complements the GSE’s education policy and educational inequality research, as she uses quasi-experimental methods to explore the impact of policies on students’ transition from secondary school to higher education, as well as access and retention in higher education. 

Her dissertation, “Educational Opportunity and the Criminal Justice System: The Effects of the Drug Laws of the 1980s and 1990s on Black Male Students’ College Enrollment,” explores whether the disproportionate increase in incarceration of Black males for drug possessions and manufacture increased gaps in college enrollment rates by race and gender over two time periods -- after the passage of the Anti-Drug Act, and after the passage of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act. 

“Given my work around access and equity in higher education, I look forward to engaging with students around the economics of higher education and equity in higher education,” Britton said. 

“As a proud product of public education, I believe deeply in thinking about the ways that we address structural inequities that exist in our public institutions to increase access to and through college for all students.”

Among the awards she has received, Britton is a 2016 National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellow; and a 2017 Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management Equity and Inclusion Fellow. Her work has been published in Social Science Research and Teachers College Record

Prior to entering Harvard’s GSE, Britton worked as a policy analyst for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France and as a high school math teacher and college counselor in New York City public schools. She earned a Master of Arts in Economics from Tufts University; a Master of Arts in French Cultural Studies from Columbia University; and a Bachelor of Arts in both Economics and French Literature from Tufts University.