Staff Spotlight: Akashi Kaul, PhD, Research Associate

HEI invites you to get to know our fantastic staff members. Each month, we will highlight a different colleague. This month, learn about Dr. Akashi Kaul’s expertise and what drives her professionally.

Akashi Kaul, PhD, serves as a Research Associate at Higher Ed Insight. Her work focuses on education; public policy; international development; and evaluation and research design, implementation, and methodologies. She approaches her work through a social justice and equity lens and is passionate about culturally responsive approaches to research and evaluation. Akashi has a BA in Literature and Sociology, an MA in Mass Communication, an MS in International Educational Development, and a PhD in Education Policy.

What first drew you to work in higher education?

I wasn’t attracted to higher education directly per se. I am a research methodologist who works across disciplines and I thoroughly enjoy that about my role. My work in higher education, however, has been driven by my interest in increasing equity and inclusion in the space. My interests lie broadly in program and policy research and evaluation—including within the higher education sector.

How would you describe your current work/the work you’re most passionate about?

My current work is at the intersection of STEM education, higher education, and diversity, equity and inclusion. The work I’m most passionate about is the work that directly affects diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, programs, and efforts. 

What gives you hope in the work you do?

The overall landscape within higher education is changing. There is an increased interest in and effort to be more inclusive and equitable. This gives me hope. The increased interest in racial equity work in the field is also something that gives me hope—both generally and in our work at HEI.”

What is your favorite part of working at HEI and with HEI’s clients?

I like HEI’s focus on relationship building with clients and future clients. The work culture at HEI is driven by a genuine passion for what we do and a desire to truly help our clients. This is translated to our relationship with the clients in everything we do and is my favorite part of working here. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Just that I’m looking forward to a great 2021! It has been just two months but the year is already off to a busy start and I’m looking forward to what’s coming up ahead!