Ka'rin Thornburg


Educational Leadership & Policy

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy | Program in Higher Education Leadership, The University of Texas at Austin, 2020
M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision | Higher Education, University of Houston, 2011
B.A. in Economics, The University of Texas at Austin, 2003

Email: karin.thornburg@austin.utexas.edu
Office: UTA 7.213

Ka'rin Thornburg is a Ph.D. graduate of the Program in Higher Education Leadership in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Her research and professional interests center on strategic policies and practices that foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive higher education environments with an emphasis on improving operational efficiencies and effectiveness and increasing access, enrollment, and success for minoritized and marginalized students.

Examples of Ka'rin's scholarship-practice include research and assessment on sense of belonging in recruitment and enrollment practices, developing and coordinating pre-enrollment mentoring for students of color, cultivating alumni of color in undergraduate recruitment, scholarship and financial aid strategies for low-income students, and devising efforts that decrease summer melt and increase access and success for students of color. Ka'rin's dissertation research explored Black student voices at predominantly/historically White, R1 flagship institutions during pre- and post-enrollment. The study examined their perceptions and college choice behaviors, juxtaposition of their expectations and lived (enrolled) experiences, recommendations to other students, and practical solutions and interventions admissions, enrollment management, and university leaders can and should do to increase Black student diversity, belonging, and success.

In addition, Ka'rin has been in a leader in higher education for more than 15 years. Her professional roles include serving as an assistant and associate director of admissions/recruitment and program manager and administrator in operations, research, and assessment in UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences and the Office of Admissions within Enrollment Management. She is a national conference presenter (College Board, ACT, NACAC, TACAC) and has served on and/or chaired state and national boards and committees including NACAC's standing committee on Inclusion, Access, and Success.