Sarah Cohen

Photo of Sarah Simi Cohen

Educational Leadership & Policy

M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society, University of Pennsylvania, 2019
B.A. in Psychology and Sociology, Suffolk University, 2017

Sarah Simi Cohen is a first-generation, low-income, queer doctoral student in Higher Education Leadership and Policy. Originally from Boston, MA, they graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology from Suffolk University. Sarah continued their studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education, receiving an M.S.Ed in Education, Culture, and Society and a certificate in Women and Gender Studies. While obtaining their master’s, they became an integral founder of multiple emerging student groups, focusing on intersectional experiences, activism, and equity on campus.

Sarah’s research agenda focuses on student experiences of trauma in higher education, neoliberalism within the university, and how the history of higher education impacts students today. With a specific interest in first-generation, low-income, queer (FGLIQ) college students, and the effect of capitalism/neoliberalism, their research aims to promote transformative and liberatory spaces in higher education.

At the University of Texas at Austin, Sarah dedicates much of their time supporting queer and trans students on campus as an active member of the Presidents' Advisory Committee on LGBTQIA+ Initiatives, holding an elected seat on the LGBTQ Studies Council, assisting with Lavender Graduation yearly, and was a founding member of the inaugural Educate Out Loud Symposium held at the College of Education in 2020.

Sarah currently holds a Graduate Research Assistantship at the Gender and Sexuality Center's Education Program where they curate workshops and trainings that are presented across the University of Texas at Austin, and host a weekly support group for trans, non-binary, gender-nonconforming, intersex, and questioning students. They also teach Peers for Pride, a facilitation-based course centered on how to create thriving queer and trans communities, which is open for both undergraduate and graduate students and cross-listed in Women and Gender Studies, Theater and Dance, Social Work, and Educational Leadership and Policy. Additionally, Sarah works with Dr. Michael A. Goodman in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the College of Education. They co-create research projects and courses that center queer and trans identities and support the College of Education in a variety of LGBTQIA+ initiatives.