A. Brooks Bowden receives prestigious Early Career Award for research on education costs

October 18, 2022
Brooks Bowden sitting at desk

The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) recently recognized A. Brooks Bowden for her impressive contributions to education research.

The SREE Early Career Awards highlight researchers whose work is both rigorous and relevant to educational practice. Bowden, an assistant professor of education policy at Penn GSE, was one of three winners who received the award at the 2022 SREE Conference on September 23.

In her research Bowden focuses on strategies to overcome obstacles like hunger, housing insecurity, and mental health problems that prevent children from getting the most out of school. She studies the economic benefits of those strategies and how to integrate evaluations of their costs and payoffs into randomized control trials. Her work has led to policy changes with significant impacts on the lives of children.

A nomination for Bowden summarized her achievements by describing her as “an accomplished academic whose contributions to developing and applying methods of cost analysis in education research and causal program evaluation are hard to overstate.” The nomination also noted her reputation as a thoughtful scholar and mentor whose “focus on student development has already ensured her impact on the next generation of scholars.”

“This SREE early career award is a testament to the fact that Brooks has impressively made an impact on scholarship through her analysis of educational costs,” said Michael Gottfried, a professor of education policy and chair of Penn GSE’s Policy, Organizations, Leadership, and Systems Division, which Bowden teaches in. “But more than this, her work impacts policy and practice, and I’m so proud that a member of the Education Policy faculty here at GSE has been showcased in this way.”

In 2021, Bowden became the director of the Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education (CBCSE), the nation’s leading policy and research center focused on the costs and benefits of education interventions. She recently co-authored the first national guidelines for Integrated Student Support and is an editor of the policy journal of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA).

Bowden’s most recent paper came out in September in Early Childhood Research Quarterly. She co-authored the article with Atsuko Muroga, Maya Escueta, and Viviana Rodriguez, who were CBCSE doctoral students at the time.