Patrick Graff


Patrick Graff is a PhD Candidate 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. With funding from an American Education Research Association (AERA) Dissertation Grant for 2021-22, his dissertation utilizes longitudinal administrative data from the Indiana Department of Education as well as survey data to examine how various forms of teacher experience and relational trust matter for student behavior, achievement, 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 in Notre Dame’s Sociology Department.

Burns Fellow

University of Notre Dame - BA 

University of Notre Dame - M.Ed.

Patrick Graff