OCCRL Staff and Affiliates

Nina Owolabi



Children's Research Center
51 Gerty Drive
Champaign, IL 61820

Nina Owolabi

Senior Research Assistant

Nina is a doctoral student in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership with a concentration in higher education. Her research centers on the Black student experience at community colleges. Threads of that work draw upon a critical and social justice lens to explore the lived experiences of parenting students, those with disabilities, and other historically excluded groups, interrogating the community college as a place of access and enclosure. Her professional background includes 15 years of education justice work focused on student, program, and curriculum development. Before joining OCCRL, Nina served as a community college advisor and faculty member.


  • Ph.D. student, Education Policy Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Graduate Certificate, Higher Education Administration, North Park University
  • M.A., Sociology and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • B.A., Print Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park