University at Buffalo

Sarah A. Robert

Sarah A. Robert

Director, Social Studies Education Programs

Associate Professor


Specialty/Research Focus

International Education; Gender Studies; Gender, Culture, and Equity; Global Issues; Educational Policy; Ethnography; Qualitative Research Methods; Politics of Education; Sociology of Education

Contact Information
514 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: (716) 645-4046

Professional Summary:

Dr. Sarah A. Robert is an education policy researcher and international expert who studies how policy is enacted in schools. Dr. Robert is specifically concerned with the relationship between policy and gender and its intersectional qualities, engaging in long-term ethnographic studies to understand how and why policies work from the perspectives of the persons carrying them out each day in schools. Dr. Robert applies an interdisciplinary feminist critical framework to three areas of study: teachers’ work (secondary teachers); curriculum (social studies textbooks); and school food and gardens. Dr. Robert conducts comparative research across diverse national and international contexts, with a focus on the United States and Latin America’s Southern Cone.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Educational Policy Studies (2008)
  • MA, University of California, San Diego, Latin American Studies (2000)
  • BA, University of Rochester, History and Political Science (1992)
Awards and Honors:
  • Invited Speaker; Red de Investigadores en Educación Chilena (Chilean Network of Education Researchers); 2020-05-19;
  • Individual Development Award; NYSUT-NYS; 2019-12-20;
  • GSE Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award; GSE; 2019-05-03;
  • Nominee: Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award 2018-2019; University at Buffalo, Graduate School; 2018-12-04;
  • Faculty in Residency; Graduate School of Education; 2017-11-17;
Recent Publications:
  • Robert, S. A. (2015). Neoliberal education reform: Gendered notions in global and local contexts. New York, NY: Routledge.
Edited Book:
  • Robert, S.A., Pitzer, H.K., & Muñoz García, A.L., eds. (2018). Neoliberalism, Gender, and Education Work. London: Routledge Special Issues as Books Series.
  • Robert, S. A., & M. B. Weaver-Hightower (Eds.). (2011). School food politics: The complex ecology of hunger and feeding in schools around the world. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Journal Article:
  • Robert, S.A., & Yu, M. (2018). Intersectionality in transnational education policy research. Review of Research in Education 42, pp. 93-121.
  • Robert, S.A. (2014). Extending theorisations of the global teacher: Care work, gender, and street-level policies. British Journal of Sociology of Education. (27 pages)
Recent Presentations:
Invited Lectures:
  • Robert, S.A. (2020, 19 May) Investigadores en educación en tiempos de crisis: Posiciones éticas. [Education researchers during crises: Ethical positions.] Webinario International por Facebook Live y Zoom, Red de Investigadores en Educación Chilena.;
  • Robert, S.A. 2015. Neoliberalism, Schools, and Teacher Education in Argentina and the United States. Invited Lecturer, Georg-August-Universitaet Gottingen, Institute for Educational Science, Germany;
  • Robert, S.A. (2020). Conflict, Policies-in-Process, and Policy Bundles: An anthropology of policy for challenging times. Paper accepted and to be presented at the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, October 7-11, 2020, Šibenic, Croatia. [postponed to online March 9-14, 2021];
  • Robert, S.A. (2020, November 18-22). “Chernobyl is on Fire”: A metaphor for women’s work before and during the global pandemic [paper presentation]. American Anthropological Association, St. Louis, MO, United States. [postponed];
  • Yu, M., Edwards, E.B., Gonzales, S.M., Robert, S.A., & DeNicolo, C.P. (2020.) (Re)membering the motherscholar self: (Re)storing and (Re)storying ancestral ways amidst pandemic. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association, April 9-12, Orlando, FL [online].;
Recent Grants:
  • Why and how did Uruguay's law(s) change eating at school?; Foundation and Research Organization; UB Community for Global Health Equity; Awarded; (03/26/2020-05/22/2020)
  • School food policies=What equity? A global critique.; Foundation and Research Organization; Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy; Awarded; (05/28/2018-05/24/2019)
Sponsored Research:
  • Globally integrated food systems, land use change and the double burden of malnutrition among small-holder farmers in the Dominican Republic; Foundation and Research Organization; Food Equity Ideas Lab, Community for Global Health Equity, University at Buffalo; Awarded; (05/29/2017-12/21/2018)
Recent Activities:
Professional Service:
  • Immediate Past Chair. (2018-2019). American Educational Research Association, Special Interest Group - Teachers' Work / Teachers Unions. (Elected Chair 2015-2018.)
  • Advisory Committee Member. (2015-present). Urban Education and Teacher Unionism Policy Project, Towson State University.
  • Director. (2011-present). Social Studies Education Programs.

Contact Information

514 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: (716) 645-4046