Faculty Profile

Sarah A. Robert

Associate Professor
Learning and Instruction


  • PhD, Educational Policy Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
  • MA, Latin American Studies, University of California, San Diego, 2000

Professional experience:

  • Program Assistant, Teacher Professional Development and Policy Researcher, International Studies Teacher Education Program
  • Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant, Post-secondary teacher education and teacher research, School of Education, Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Assistant to the President and Development Coordinator, Women's Reproductive Health Policies, NARAL 

What mentoring means to me:

I value mentoring because it made all the difference in my journey toward and within an academic career. I switched advisors right before defending my dissertation proposal. The timing was not because of a sudden falling out, it was because as a first-gen college, let alone PhD student, I realized I wanted an advisor who would be present on my journey, helping me grow into and as a public intellectual. (I also had positive and productive mentoring experiences with other professors who showed by example what advising/mentoring might look like, feel like.) Bluntly put, advisors and mentors have cultural capital and credentials that I wished to learn about and earn. I wanted an advisor and mentor who understood their privilege and was willing to put a ladder down the ceiling hatch and/or reach a hand down for others to succeed. This values statement guides my mentoring and my advising.

I also value mentoring because it is as much a growth opportunity for me as I hope it will be for the mentee. While a strive to listen, to collectively develop strategies, or to be present as someone works through and toward goals, I learn so much about and from mentees in the process. 

Topics I am willing to discuss with students:

Minority Experiences

  • Being a woman and related discrimination.
  • Class and/or socioeconomic status and related discrimination.

Personal Circumstances

  • Caregiving for children.
  • Caregiving for other loved ones.
  • Financial stress and strain.

Academic Culture

  • Considering a non-academic path after grad school.
  • Dealing with politics and conflict with faculty or peers.
  • Decoding and demystifying academic culture and norms.
  • Taking a non-traditional path to grad school.
  • Uncertainty about staying in grad school.