Lisa Unangst

Lisa Unangst has been a postdoctoral researcher at CHEGG since October 2020. Lisa's research interests include higher education access and experience among displaced learners, as well as comparative and cross-national constructions of "diversity" in higher education. In her current work, she probes two primary questions: 1) how do existing governance frameworks perpetuate exclusionary hierarchies to the detriment of migrant and refugee students?; and 2) how do universities present their claims regarding “internationalization” and “diversity” in key institutional documents?

Lisa holds a B.A. from Smith College (American and German Studies), an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (International Education Policy), and a Ph.D. from Boston College (Higher Education). She worked previously at Caltech, Cal State East Bay, and Harvard University in student advising and alumni affairs roles. She has also consulted for the American Council on Education's Internationalization Lab.

Since 2018, Lisa has served as an editorial board member of the Journal of International Students, and she is also an associate editor of Higher Education Research and Development. From 2016-2018, she was co-publications editor of the quarterly International Higher Education. Her publications have appeared in Comparative Education Review, the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, and Higher Education Policy, among other outlets. Her dissertation, which examined how university equal opportunity plans construct "diversity" and facilitate the support of migrant and refugee students in the German case, was supported by the Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund. In 2020, she served as lead editor of the Brill-Sense book Refugees and higher education: Trans-national perspectives on access, equity, and internationalization..

Research interests

  • Higher education education access and experience among displaced learners
  • Internationalization of higher education
  • International alumni affairs
  • Qualitative methods
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Critical policy analysis