Kai Schafft

  • Associate Professor of Education
  • Director, Penn State Center on Rural Education and Communities
Kai Schafft
Department of Education Policy Studies
Educational Leadership Program
310B Rackley Building

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-863-2031
Fax: 814-865-0070


  1. Ph.D. 2003 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (Development Sociology)
  2. M.S. 1999 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (Development Sociology)
  3. M.A. 1991 University of Maine, Orono, ME (English)
  4. B.A. 1986 The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA (Humanities)

Dr. Schafft is an Associate Professor of Education in the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University and the director of Penn State's Center on Rural Education and Communities. He received a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Development Sociology. Trained as a rural sociologist, his work focuses broadly on the intersection between social inequality and spatial inequality. His major areas of research include the interrelationship between rural poverty and student transiency, contexts for rural youth development, farm-to-school program implementation, and rural health outcomes. His other work has examined participatory community development, political mobilization and social exclusion within Hungarian Gypsy (Roma) communities, and population redistribution in post-socialist Hungary.