Vijay Kanagala

Professional Details

Title Associate Professor and Program Coordinator
Department Secondary and Higher Education
Office Sullivan Building 113D
Phone 978.542.2882
Photo of Vijay Kanagala

Recent and Upcoming Courses

EDU 704 Multicultural Issues in Student Affairs
EDU 719 Student Affairs:theory, Research and Practice
EDU 723 The History of Higher Education
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 Coordinator of the Higher Education in Student Affairs Program in the 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 colleagues across different institutions, Kanagala has successfully secured funding worth $3,858,419 for four major educational research projects.  One of these grants, QuEST, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Traineeship (NRT) program at UVM, is an innovative and evidence-based model for transforming STEM graduate education training.  Through these projects, he 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.

Prior to his arrival at Salem State University, Kanagala has 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).