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Before and After

Amy Stich and Greg Wolniak image

Two new faculty members, Amy Stich and Gregory Wolniak, explore the impact of higher education.

THE INSTITUTE OF HIGHER EDUCATION welcomed two new faculty members in the fall. Amy Stich comes to IHE as assistant professor of higher education from the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology, and Foundations at Northern Illinois University, where she was an assistant professor. Gregory Wolniak comes to IHE as associate professor of higher education after serving as founding director of the Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes and clinical associate professor of higher education at New York University.

“We are all delighted to welcome these two exceptional scholars to the Institute,” said Interim Director Jim Hearn. “Their expertise perfectly addresses our needs and our strategic priorities. Our students, faculty, and staff are already appreciating the energy, commitment, and enthusiasm they bring to Meigs Hall.”

Amy Stich is interested in issues of inequality of educational access, opportunity, and outcomes relative to social class and race. Her current research, supported by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, examines the structure and social consequences of postsecondary tracking.

She has published widely in academic journals and is the author of Access to Inequality: Reconsidering Class, Knowledge, and Capital in Higher Education (Lexington Books) and the co-editor of The Working Classes and Higher Education: Inequality of Access, Opportunity, and Outcome (Routledge).

“As someone who benefited immensely from public higher education, I look forward to contributing to the mission of the Institute of Higher Education at UGA and collaborating with such an impressive group of scholars,” said Stich.

Their expertise perfectly addresses our needs and our strategic priorities. [We] are already appreciating the energy, commitment, and enthusiasm they bring to Meigs Hall.”—IHE Interim Director Jim Hearn

She received her Ph.D. in sociology of education from the University at Buffalo where she was also a postdoctoral research associate on a longitudinal ethnographic study of students’ postsecondary transitions in STEM, supported by the National Science Foundation.

Gregory Wolniak conducts research on the socioeconomic effects of college. He is particularly interested in understanding how college students’ socioeconomic trajectories are affected by their experiences in college, their educational choices, and their institutional environments, as well as how learning and developmental gains made during college translate to post-college outcomes.

“I’ve admired IHE and its faculty for so many years, I’m absolutely thrilled to now be part of this tremendous group,” states Wolniak.

He has published extensively on the career and economic influences of the college experience and recently has been focused on studying the causes and consequences of how institutions communicate their tuition and cost information to the public.

Wolniak is co-author on the 3rd volume of How College Affects Students (Wiley/Jossey-Bass). In addition, his work has been featured in recent articles appearing in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Conversation, Inside Higher Education, and MarketWatch. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals.

Wolniak received his doctorate from the University of Iowa, where he also did post-doctoral work. He has been principal investigator on numerous externally funded projects; in the past two years alone he has earned more than $600,000 in grants from funders such as the Spencer Foundation, the AccessLex Institute/ Association for Institutional Research, the Prisoner Reentry Institute, and a private national scholarship program.

For a list of selected publications and research projects for both Stich and Wolniak, visit their websites at

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Associate Professor of Higher Education

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