Katherine M. Bowser


Photo Credit: Allegheny College

I am an Education PhD Candidate at George Mason University with a specialization in Education Policy and a secondary emphasis in Econometrics and Quasi-Experimental Methodology. 

My goal is to provide high-quality and accessible research that helps state and local leaders make data-driven decisions that best serve their students, educators, and communities. I am trained and have experience in numerous methodologies, including quantitative, qualitative, and machine learning techniques. However, I specifically have strong skills and interest in using rigorous quasi-experimental regression techniques to evaluate the impact of policies on student and teacher outcomes.

My dissertation examines the implications of adopting a four-day school week (4DSW), which is a growing trend primarily (but not exclusively) in small, rural districts. I employ event study and difference-in-difference analyses to examine the relationship between the 4DSW and a variety of outcomes including teacher turnover rates, teacher perceptions of working conditions, student attendance, and student graduation rates. I am completing my dissertation under the advisement of Seth B. Hunter, PhD (chair, George Mason University), Matthew A. Kraft, PhD (Brown University), and Samantha Viano, PhD (George Mason University). I thank them immensely for their insights and support.

In addition to my work on 4DSW adoption, I also study the performance and evaluation of teachers and principals, including the implementation of evaluative systems and its relationship to important student outcomes utilizing descriptive analysis, variance decomposition, and regression techniques.

I have over five years of experience working for an education technology company that partners with reputable colleges and universities seeking to expand and scale their online degree programs. In my role,  I successfully hired, trained, and led a team of nine, managed external partner relationships, and drove process development in order to efficiently meet key performance indicators. I also have six years of experience as a student affairs professional who supported and managed civic engagement programs and community-based internships for college students.

My academic CV can be found here and my professional resume can be found here.


Research Interests


Under Review

Works in Progress