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Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania
Ph.D. Educational Leadership

Dissertation Title: “Communities discovering what they care about: Youth and adults leading school reform together

Lesley University, Boston, Massachusetts
M.Ed. Out of School Time Education and Leadership

Brown University, Providence Rhode Island
B.A. South Asian Studies, B.A. History


Peer-Reviewed Articles:

Biddle, C. & Brown, L.M. (2020). Banishing “Siberia” and student seclusion: Supporting trauma-informed systems change in a rural school. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. [Online First: https://doi.org/10.1177/1555458920910771%5D

Biddle, C.,Sutherland, D.H. & McHenry-Sorber, E. (2019). On resisting “awayness” and being a good insider: Early career scholars revisit Coladarci’s Swan Song a decade later. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 35(7), 1-16.

Biddle, C. & Hufnagel, E. (2019). Navigating the “danger zone”: Tone policing and the boundaries of civility in student voice. American Journal of Education, 125(4), 487-520.

Biddle, C. & Mette, I. (2019). Using affinity networks to scaffold community collaboration: Methodological techniques to support the use of qualitative data in community-based research. The Qualitative Report, 24(2), 1186-1197.

Azano, A.& Biddle, C. (2019). Disrupting dichotomous traps and problem formation in rural education. The Rural Educator, 40(2), 1-13

Mette, I. M., Biddle, C., *Congdon, M, & *Mercado, A. (2019). Parochialism or pragmatic resistance? The role of community-engaged leadership, activist scholarship, and vulnerable rural ecologies within school reform. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education.

Biddle, C. (2019). Pragmatism in student voice practice: What does it take to sustain a counter-normative practice in the long-term? Journal of Educational Change, 20(1), 1-29.

Biddle, C., Mette, I., & Mercado, A. (2018). Partnering with schools for community development: Power imbalances in rural community collaboratives addressing childhood adversity. Community Development49(2), 191-210.

Biddle, C. (2017). Trust formation when youth and adults partner for school reform: A case study of supportive structures and challenges. Journal of Organizational and Educational Leadership, 2(2), 1-15.

Biddle, C. & Azano, A. (2016). Constructing and reconstructing the “rural school problem”: Rurality and rural education research over the past century. Review of Research in Education, 40(1), 298-325.

Mette, I., Biddle, C., Mackenzie, S.V. & Harris-Smedberg, K. (2016). Poverty, privilege and political dynamics of rural school reform: Unraveling leadership in invisible America. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership, 19(3), 62-84

Biddle, C. & Mitra, D. (2015). Implementing middle school youth-adult partnerships: A study of two programs focused on social change. Middle Grades Review, 1(2), 1-18.

Biddle, C. & Schafft, K.A. (2015). Axiology and anomaly in the practice of mixed methods research: Pragmatism, valuation and the “transformative paradigm”. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 9(4), 320-334.

Schafft, K.A. & Biddle, C. (2015). Opportunity, ambivalence and the purpose of schooling in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region. Human Organization, 74(1), 74-85.

Schafft, K.A. & Biddle, C. (2014). School and community impacts of hydraulic fracturing within Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region and dilemmas of educational leadership in gasfield boomtowns  Peabody Journal of Education, 89(5), 670-682.

Schafft, K.A. & Biddle, C. (2013). Place and purpose in public education: District mission statements and educational (dis)embeddedness. American Journal of Education, 120(1), 55-76

Book chapters:

Biddle, C., Mette, I., Brown, L. Tappan, M., Ray, B. & Strickland, S. (2018). “Addressing rural, wicked problems through collaboration: Critical reflections on a school-university-community design process.” In R.M. Reardon & J. Leonard (Eds), Making a positive impact in rural places: Change agency in school-university-community collaboration in education. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Biddle, C., & Mette, I. (2017). “Education and Information.” In J. Sherman, A. Tickamyer, & J. Warlick (Eds), Rural poverty in the United States. New York: Columbia University Press.

Biddle, C. & Schafft. K.A. (2016). “Educational and ethical dilemmas for STEM education in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale Gasfield Communities“. In R. Duschl & A. Bismack (Eds), Reconceptualizing STEM education: The central role of practices. Routledge.

Braser, K., Davis, L., Glenna, L., Kelsey, T., McLaughlin, D., Schafft, K.A., Babbie, K., Biddle, C., Delessio-Parson, A., Rhubart, D., Suchyta, M. (2015). “Communites experiencing shale gas development”. In W. Hefly & Y. Wang (Eds), Economics of unconventional shale gas development: Cases and impacts. Springer Publishing, pp. 149-178.

Schafft, K.A. & Biddle, C. (2014). “Education and schooling in rural America“. In C. Bailey, L. Jensen & E. Ransom (Eds), Rural America in a Globalizing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s. Morgantown: West Virginia University Press.

Non-refereed, public scholarship:

Biddle, C. (2017). Four ways we can all support students in poverty. Bangor Daily News.

Biddle, C. & Hall, D. (2017). How education is failing rural America. Education Week, 36(18), 22-23.

Biddle, C. & Schafft, K.A. (2014). The sameness of mission statements. The School Administrator, 9(71), 14-15


Biddle, C., Sutherland, D.H., & McHenry-Sorber, E. (2019). “On resisting “awayness” and being a good insider.” National Rural Education Association Annual Meeting. Louisville, KY.

Biddle, C., Brown, L., & Tappan, M. (2019). “Meeting the basic and mental health needs of remote rural schools.” National Rural Education Association Annual Meeting. Louisville, KY.

Brown, L., Tappan, M., & Biddle, C. (2019). “Student-empowered social emotional learning for trauma-informed rural practice. National Rural Education Association Annual Meeting. Louisville, KY.

Biddle, C., Brown, L.M., Tappan, M., Cirone, A., Ray, B., Strickland, S., & Thomas, L. (2019). “Supporting healing-centered engagement in rural schools.” American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. Toronto, Ontario.

Brown, L.M., Tappan, M., Biddle, C., Cirone, A., Ray, B., Strickland, S., & Thomas, L. (2019). “Supporting student empowered social emotional learning in schools.” American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. Toronto, Ontario.

Biddle, C., Bell, K., Crandall, M., *Thadal, I., *VanderAa, O., & *Gayton, D. (2019). “Planning for uncertainty: The role of educational leadership in rural community vitality.” American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. Toronto, Ontario.

Zuckerman, S., Biddle, C., Seelig, J. & Casto, H. (2018). Rural school-community partnerships: School leadership for rural vitality. University Council on Educational Administration Annual Meeting. Houston, TX.

Azano, A. & Biddle, C. (2018). Deficits, dichotomies and other traps in problem formation in rural education.  International Symposium for Innovation in Rural Education. Bozeman, MT

Biddle, C., Crandall, M., Bell, K., Gayton, D., Thadal, I., & VanderAa, O. (2018). Planning for uncertainty: The role of school and community institutions in preparing the next generation for a new economy.  National Rural Education Association Annual Meeting. Denver, CO.


Biddle, C. (2019). “The heart, the drain, the catapult and the catalyst: Rural schools and leadership for right now”. The Island Institute ILEAD Speaker Series. Rockland, ME. Invited Speaker.

Biddle, C. (2018). “The Maine Teacher Shortage”. Maine Calling, Portland, ME. Invited Panelist.

Biddle, C. (2017). “Education in Trump Country and the rest of Rural America.” Education Writers Association Annual Meeting, Washington DC. Invited Panelist.


2020. “Leading through crisis: School leader decision-making about basic needs provision for students in the context of social and spatial inequality.” PI: Catharine Biddle. Co-PI: Maria Frankland. Spencer Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant, $49,718 (Funded June 2020).

“Meeting students where they are: Addressing diverse experiences of childhood adversity in rural schools and communities.” PI: Catharine Biddle. American Educational Research Association Education Research Service Project Grant, $4,968 (Funded May 2019).

“Planning for uncertainty: The role of school and community institutions in preparing the next generation for a new economy.” PI: Catharine Biddle; Co-PIs: Mindy Crandall, Kathleen Bell. UMaine Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Collaboratives Grant (Internal), $25,540 (Funded January 2018)

“Bangor Savings Bank Faculty Travel Support.” Catharine Biddle, Ian Mette. Bangor Savings Bank Faculty Development Fund. $1,500 (Funded, November 2016).

“College of Education and Human Development Distinguished Lecture Series.” Catharine Biddle, Kathleen Gillon. University of Maine Cultural Affairs and Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, $1,347 (Funded October 2016)

“Empowering a rural community to address poverty and trauma: Innovative school reform and community engagement.” Ian Mette, Catharine Biddle, Richard Ackerman, John Maddaus, Lyn Brown, Mark Tappan, Alan Furth. College of Education and Human Development Research Seed Grant, $39,994. (Funded, April, 2016)

“Facilitating meaningful youth involvement in school decision-making: A critical examination of the role of educational leaders.” Catharine Biddle. The Pennsylvania State University College of Education Dissertation Research Initiation Grant, $600. (Funded January 2014).


Howard A. Dawson Best Paper Award, National Rural Education Association, 2019
Awarded to the best paper submitted to the NREA Annual Meeting

Faculty Mentoring Award, University of Maine, 2018
Awarded to one faculty member in each of the University’s five colleges by the Graduate Student Government for excellence in mentoring

Mark R. Shibles Award, University of Maine, 2017
Awarded to a COEHD pre-tenure faculty member for outstanding research, teaching and service

Invited Author Award, Eastern Evaluation and Research Society, 2015
Recognizes exceptional scholarship by early career authors in the field of program evaluation

Graduate Student Recognition Award, Penn State College of Education, 2014
Awarded to a COE graduate student for outstanding research and teaching

David L. Clark Scholar, University Council for Educational Administration, 2012

Critical Language Scholarship, U.S. State Department, 2011

University Graduate Fellowship, Pennsylvania State University, 2010 – 2012

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