Vijay Kanagala

Professional Details

Title Associate Professor
Department Secondary and Higher Education
Office Sullivan Building 200A
Phone 978.542.2882
Photo of Vijay Kanagala

Recent and Upcoming Courses

EDC 115 Exploring Education
EDC 399 Special Topics in Educational Studies
EDS 710 Lbgt Issues in Higher Education
EDS 988 Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
EDU 719 Student Affairs:theory, Research and Practice
EDU 803 Helping Skills for the Student Affairs Professionals
EDU 861 Assessment and Evaluation in Student Affairs
EDU 875A Directed Study
EDU 985A Practicum in Student Affairs I
EDU 985B Practicum in Student Affairs II

Professional Biography

Vijay Kanagala (Ph.D., Iowa State University) is an Associate Professor of Secondary and Higher Education and teaches in the Higher Education in Student Affairs ProgramMcKeown School of Education at Salem State University.  A former student affairs practitioner with extensive experience in multicultural student affairs, social justice education, and diversity programming and training, Kanagala’s primary research engages with three critical areas of higher education.  These include issues related to 1) college access and success of first-generation, limited-income students, 2) collegiate experiences of students of color, and 3) employing spirituality and contemplative education/pedagogy in student affairs preparation programs.  

A thought leader in contemplative pedagogy and education, Kanagala endeavors to connect the heart and the mind of each learner in a classroom community to ensure holistic student development. His teaching and learning pedagogy is not only about working with students to cultivate skills and knowledge to be competent student affairs professionals, but is also about creating a transformative classroom experience that invites an ethic of care, compassion and empathy while addressing social-racial-economic-environmental-justice issues.  

Collaborating with researchers nationally, Kanagala has successfully secured funding worth over $4 million for several major educational research projects. He has served as Co-Principal Investigator for QuEST, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Traineeship (NRT) program at UVM, which developed an innovative and evidence-based model for transforming STEM graduate education training. In addition, as a founding member of the Racial Equity Research team, Kanagala is currently collaborating with researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to develop a holistic, humanistic, and evolving ecosystem for climate and marine science education - BRinging together Allies in Diversifying Climate and Marine Careers (BRAID-CMC), a NSF funded project. 

Kanagala serves as an advisory committee member of Partners Aligned To Heighten broad participation in STEM (PATHS), a National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP), which awarded $1.2 million to University of Massachusetts, Boston to examine pathways into engineering for students with marginalized identities.

Through these projects, Kanagala has strongly advocated for the use of asset-based frameworks in educational research (rather than deficit-based frameworks) to ensure that institutions of higher education employ student success frameworks that consider the diverse array of cultural wealth students bring to college. He is co-author and co-editor of the book, The Latino Student's Guide to STEM Careers, which focuses on the importance of STEM education for Latinx students and provides a comprehensive array of the most current information students and families need to make informed decisions about entering and succeeding in a STEM career. In addition to several book chapters, Kanagala's scholarship has been published in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education and Equity & Excellence in Education.

Prior to his arrival at Salem State University, Kanagala worked at University of Vermont (Assistant Professor, Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration Program, 2014-2019), University of Texas at San Antonio (Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Research and Policy in Education and Lecturer, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 2011-2014). 

Selected Publications

Gogue, D. T-L., Poon, O. A., Maramba, D. C., & Kanagala, V. (2021). Inclusions and exclusions: Racial categorizations and panethnicities in higher education. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. DOI: 10.1080/09518398.2021.1982045

Kanagala, V. & Oliver, S. T. (2020). Our younger selves: QPOC student affairs Professionals supporting QPOC students. Equity & Excellence in Education. 52(4), 409-423, DOI: 10.1080/10665684.2019.1705204

Rendón, L.I., Nora, A., Bledsoe, R., & Kanagala, V. (2020). Científicos Latinx: The untold story of underserved student success in STEM fields of study. In S.J. Paik, S.M. Kula, J.J. Gonzalez, V.V. Gonzalez (Eds.), High-achieving Latino students: Successful pathways toward college and beyond. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Rendón, L.I., Kanagala, V., & Bledsoe, R.? (2018). Shattering the deficit grand narrative: Toward a culturally-validating Latino student success framework. In A.G. de los Santos, L.I. Rendón, G.F. Keller, A. Acereda, E.M. Bensimon, & R.J. Tannenbaum (Eds.), New directions: Assessment and preparation of Hispanic college students. (pp. 223-242). Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press.

Rendón, L.I. & Kanagala, V. (2017). The Latino student’s guide to STEM careers. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

Kanagala, V., Rendón, L.I., & Nora, A. (2016). A framework for understanding Latino/a cultural wealth. Diversity & Democracy. 19(1). Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. 

Rendón, L.I., Nora, A., & Kanagala, V. (2015). Ventajas/Assets y Conocimientos/Knowledge: Leveraging Latin@ strengths to foster student success.  In J. Mendez, F.A. Bonner, II., J. Mendez-Negrete, & R.T. Palmer (Eds.), Hispanic serving institutions in American higher education: Their origin, and present and future challenges. (pp. 92-118). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Rendón, L.I., Nora, A., & Kanagala, V. (2014). Ventajas/Assets y Conocimientos/Knowledge: Leveraging Latin@ strengths to foster student success. San Antonio, Texas: Center for Research and Policy in Education, The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Rendón, L.I. & Kanagala, V. (2014). Embracing contemplative pedagogy in a culturally diverse classroom. In B.F. Tobolowsky (Ed.), Paths to learning: Teaching for engagement in college. (pp. 61-76). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Selected Presentations

Vega, C. & Kanagala, V. (2021, April). Latino college student athletes as Nepantleras: An identity development model. Paper presented virtually at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. [Virtual Conference due to COVID-19 Pandemic]

Kanagala, V. (2020, November). Being Latinx, becoming cientificos: Testimonios of STEM success. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education [Virtual Conference due to COVID-19 Pandemic]

Kanagala, V. (2020, November). Being and becoming: A model of consciousness development among Desi-Asian Indian American Generation 1.5 students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education [Virtual Conference due to COVID-19 Pandemic]

Kanagala, V., & Oliver. S. T. (2019, November). The spaces in between: QTPOC student affairs professionals navigating campus environments and supporting QTPOC students. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education in Portland, OR.

Kanagala, V., & Vega, C. (2019, November). Latino college student athletes as Nepantleras: Fostering academic success and athletic identity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education in Portland, OR.