OCCRL Staff and Affiliates

Heather McCambly

Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh

Heather McCambly is a mixed-methods, interdisciplinary scholar of higher education. She also studies the role of organizations in (re)producing systemic, racial inequalities. She draws on a range of analytic and interpretive methods to study the influence of aspiring change agents on institutionalized racial inequities in higher education practice and policy. She does this work with a commitment to producing knowledge that can help us, collectively, build alternative pathways toward just futures for Black, brown, indigenous, and low-income students and institutions over time. Constructs central to her work include racialized organizations, institutional persistence and change, racial frames, political development and racial backlash, and organizational sensemaking.


  • Ph.D., Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University
  • M.A., Educational Leadership & Policy, Portland State University
  • B.A., Communication Studies, Portland State University
  • B.A., Art History, Portland State University
  • General Studies (transferred), Portland Community College

Research Areas

  • College access for non-traditional, low-income and racial and ethnic minority students