Mary Ann Maslak, Ph.D.

Professor
Curriculum and Instruction
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
M.S.Ed., Pennsylvania State University
BME & BMT, Shenandoah University

MaryAnn Maslak is a professor of education at St. John's University in New York. She teaches courses in research methods and the studio and the performing arts in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. 

She was the founder and facilitator (1999-2010) of the School of Education's Faculty Forum, which is a group that is dedicated to the dissemination and discussion of School of Education faculty members' scholarly research. It is also a venue for master and doctoral students to share proposals and sections of their research.  The group's monthly meetings have also included discussions of articles related to teaching in higher education and collaborative research across disciplines.

Her research interests focus on gender and educational policy and the sociology of education as it relates to adolescent girls and adult women. She has written on the policies and practices of education related to girls and women in South Asia, East Asia and the Mediterranean. Her research utilizes interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives and approaches.

She served as an elected Board Member for the Comparative and International Education Society, and the organization's Chair of the Gender and Education committee.

She was awarded the Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award for her research on Muslim minority girls' education in China (2005-2006).

The project: International educational documents clearly and convincingly promote education for all children and young adults. In an effort to promote girls’ enrollment in and graduation from public schools, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has supported international campaigns' missions for decades. China has made impressive strides in providing primary education for girls, as indicated by the country’s government documents and international organizations' reports.  However, the same success has not been evident in the case of secondary education. Specifically, girls from ethnic minorities were not enrolling in and graduating from secondary schools at acceptable rates identified by the PRC.

Given that developing education among the minorities is considered crucial to achieving the “unity of the nationalities” (minzu tuanjie), and is therefore accorded research priority by the Chinese government, the mixed methodological study investigated factors, situations, circumstances and conditions that contributed to Muslim girl middle school students' enrollment in and continuation through school, and decision to drop out of school.

Maslak was also the recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program fellowship. This program provides opportunities for educators and administrators to learn about other countries through summer-study courses.  Created under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange (Fulbright-Hays) Act of 1961, topics and host countries of the seminars vary from year to year. Maslak participated in the India Seminar entitled “Women in Contemporary India” from June 28 – August 5, 2005.  The United States Educational Foundation in India (USEFI), www.fulbright-india.org, administered the seminar on behalf of the United States Department of Education.

The purpose of the program was to provide the sixteen U.S. educators with a broader and deeper insight into today’s India.  It explored some of the unique cultural, social, religious, economic, and political contexts that define the position of women in India.  The program also provided the opportunity to investigate topics related to women and poverty, health, education, and the environment.  As a result, the educators learned about the changing status of women in the country, and their emerging problems and numerous successes related to modernization and development.

The program consisted of two phases, namely, academic study and field visits. The academic study segment consisted of lectures by prominent scholars, activists and governmental and non-governmental policymakers on topics related to women in India.    The field visits provided first-hand observations of projects and programs dedicated to the advancement of women in India.  The six-week program included stays in New Delhi, Agra and Varanasi (in Uttar Pradesh), Chandigahr (in Punjab), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Pune (in Maharashtra), Cochin (in Kerala), Hyderabad (in Andhra Pradesh), and Kolkata (in West Bengal).