Cecilia M. Orphan, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Higher Education Department in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver and Co-Director of the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. She researches Regional Public Universities (RPUs), Rural Serving Postsecondary Institutions, and organization, administration, and public policy for higher education. Prior to her doctoral program, Dr. Orphan directed the American Democracy Project, a national civic and political engagement initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). Dr. Orphan holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Portland State University, an RPU in Portland, Oregon.
My research agenda is informed by my experiences as a first-generation college student who received maximum Pell grants to attend college. I am personally familiar with the transformative nature of regional colleges having attended Portland State University, which changed the trajectory of my life.
• Ph.D. Higher Education, University of Pennsylvania
• B.S. Political Science, Portland State University