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Kai A. Schafft is an Associate Professor of Education in the College of Education at the Pennsylvania State University and is the director of Penn State's Center on Rural Education and Communities.  He also serves as the editor of the Journal of Research in Rural Education. Dr. Schafft received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in Developmental Sociology where his work examined participatory community development and rural poverty as well as work in Eastern Europe including research on political mobilization within Hungarian Gypsy (Roma) communities and population redistribution in post-socialist Hungary.  His more recent work has examined the various relationships between the wellbeing of rural schools and rural communities.  This more recent work has taken on multiple forms including research on student transiency, contexts for rural youth development, farm-to-school program implementation, rural brain drain and rural youth aspirations, and the impacts of Marcellus Shale natural gas development in Pennsylvania.


Recent Scholarship (selected):

Schafft, K.A., & Kulcsar, L.J. (forthcoming 2013). The demography of race and ethnicity in Hungary.  In Rogelio Saeñz (Ed.)     The international Handbook of the Demography of Race and Ethnicity.  New York: Springer.

Schafft, K.A., Borlu, Y., & Glenna, L.L. (forthcoming 2013).  The relationship between Marcellus Shale gas development in Pennsylvania and local perceptions of risk and opportunity.  Rural Sociology.

Kelsey, T., Hartman, W., Schafft, K.A., Borlu, Y., & Costanzo, C. (2012). Marcellus Shale gas development: and Pennsylvania school districts: What are the implications for school expenditures and tax revenues? Penn State cooperative Extension Marcells Education Fact Sheet.

Schafft, K.A., & Glenna, L.L., Borlu, Y., & Greene, B. (2012, January).  Marcellus Shale gas development: What does it mean for Pennsylvania schools? Penn State Cooperative Extension Marcellus Education Fact Sheet.

Shucksmith, M., & Schafft, K.A. (2012). Understanding social exclusion in European and U.S. rural contexts. Pp 10-116 in M. Shucksmith, D.L. Brown, S. Shortall, J. Vergunst, & M. Warner (Eds.) Rural Transformations and Rural Policies in the UK and US.

Peine, E., & Schafft, K.A.(2012). Moonshine, mountaineers, and modernity: Understanding the historical production of the Appalachian region. Journal of Appalachian Studies.

Brown, D.L., & Schafft, K.A. (2011). Rural People and Communities in the Twenty-first Century: Resilience and Transformation. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Schafft, K.A., & Jackson A. (Eds.), (2010). Rural education for the twenty-first century: Identity, place and community in a globalizing world. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press (Rural Studies Series).

Schafft, K.A., Hinrichs, C., & Blook, D. (2010). Pennsylvania farm-to-school programs and the articulation of local context.  Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, 5(1), 23-40.

Foulkes, M., & Schafft, K.A. (2010). Migration and the effects of poverty concentration within counties and minor civil divisions. Rural Sociology, 75(1), 90-110.

Schafft, K.A., Jensen, E.B. & Hinrichs, C.C. (2009) Food deserts and overweight schoolchildren: Evidence from Pennsylvania. Rural Sociology, 74(2), 153-177.

Prins, E.S., & Schafft, K.S. (2009). Individual and Structural Attributions for Poverty and Persistence in Family Literacy Programs: The Resurgence of the Culture of Poverty.  Teachers College Record, 111(9), 2280-2310.

Schafft, K.A., & Prins, E. S. (2009). Poverty, residential mobility and persistence across urban and rural family literacy programs in Pennsylvania. Adult Basic Education and Literacy Journal, 3 3-12.

Prins, E., Toso, B.W., & Schafft, K. (2009). "It feels like a little family to me": Social interaction and support for women in adult education and family literacy.  Adult Education Quarterly.  59(4): 335-352.

Harmon, H., & Schafft, K.A. (2009). Rural school leadership for collaborative community development. The Rural Educator,30(3), 4-9.

Bagdonis, J., Hinrichs, C.C., & Schafft, K.A. (2009). The emergence and framing of farm-to-school initiatives: Civic engagement, health and sustainable agriculture.  Agriculture and Human Values, 26, 107-119. (Equal contributions by authors.)



Dr. Schafft can be reached at:

Penn State University
310B Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802
Fax: 814-865-1480