Patrick Graff

Patrick Graff
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Department of Sociology
  • Graduate Fellow (2020-2021)
  • Educational inequality, teacher turnover, and the organizational conditions of K-8 schools

Patrick Graff is a fourth-year Sociology Ph.D. student in the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO) and a Burns Fellow in the Program for Interdisciplinary Education Research (PIER) at the University of Notre Dame. His academic research broadly focuses on educational inequality, teacher turnover, the organizational conditions of K-8 schools, and the characteristics of beginning career teachers. In partnership with the Indiana Department of Education, his dissertation utilizes longitudinal administrative data on students and teachers to better understand the effects of teacher turnover across school sector (e.g., traditional public, charter, and private schools), the lasting impacts of new and unlicensed teachers, and the relationship between relational trust in schools and teacher retention.
In addition to his research, Graff also served as a graduate fellow in the South Bend Mayor’s Office from mid-2018 until December 2019. In this capacity, he represented the mayor to the South Bend School Board and the South Bend Community Schools Corporation while advising on local education issues. Following his doctoral work at Notre Dame, Graff hopes to continue to use his research training for roles in education policy that involve the translation of academic research to public policy and practice.
Graff received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2011 with a BA in Philosophy and Chinese. He then taught third grade in Tampa, Florida for two years and earned a Master of Education degree from the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) Teaching Fellows program. Immediately following, he was offered the opportunity to return to Notre Dame to help recruit, mentor, and accompany ACE teachers as they entered the classroom in under-resourced Catholic schools across the country. He spent three years as an Associate Director of the ACE program before beginning doctoral work here in Notre Dame’s Sociology Department.