Team Member

Kristen Hengtgen, Ph.D.

Message Kristen Hengtgen, Ph.D.

Kristen Hengtgen, Ph.D.

Senior Analyst, P-12 Policy

Kristen Hengtgen is a senior analyst on the P-12 policy team. She focuses on policies and practices that advocate for educational equity and increased access to and success in rigorous, culturally sustaining coursework that prepares students of color and students from low-income backgrounds for college, career, and beyond.

Prior to joining Ed Trust, Kristen worked as senior researcher at the Florida College Access Network, where she collaborated with state partners to promote college access and attainment for all Floridians, and especially first-generation college students, adult learners, and students from low-income backgrounds. She has also worked as an academic advisor at Indiana University.

A native of Detroit, Kristen holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Indiana University-Bloomington, a master’s of Education in History and Philosophy of Education from Indiana University-Bloomington, and bachelor’s degrees in History and Secondary Education from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.


Favorite Sports Team
University of Michigan basketball

What drew you to education?
I love history and the teachers who helped me see that history was not about memorizing names and dates but being a detective and puzzle solver. I wanted to be like them. Yet in my student teaching experience, I was shocked by the disparities in resources across schools in metro Detroit. These deep injustices, and reckoning with my own ignorance of them, sparked an interest in understanding more about the history of education policy, to understand how we got to this place, and think through what we can do to generate lasting change.

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