Rachel Diann McMillian

Assistant Professor, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Personal profile

Research Interests

Rachel McMillian, Ph.D, is a curriculum theorist and educational researcher whose work broadly explores two intersecting avenues: Black Education and Critical Prison Studies. More specifically–through counterstorytelling–she focuses on 1) the schooling and educational experiences of Black people who were (wrongfully) incarcerated as children/youth and, 2) Black liberatory education and curriculum that occurs within spaces of confinement and enclosure.

McMillian's interdisciplinary scholarship and service are inspired by her years of experience as a social studies teacher in Cincinnati Public Schools, her relationships and work with both formerly and currently incarcerated people, and her lived experiences as someone directly impacted by mass incarceration. 

Honors & Awards

2022, Outstanding Dissertation Award, American Educational Research Association, Division B

2019-2021, Barbara L. Jackson Scholar, University Council for Educational Administration 


  • L Education

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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