Leah Hakkola

Leah HakkolaAssistant Professor of Higher Education

331 Merrill Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-574

Bio: Leah Hakkola graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development in 2015. Her current research examines how local, national, and global discourses about diversity are developed and conveyed to students in the higher education recruitment process. Leah’s academic and career goals are guided by a passion to work as both a scholar and practitioner, focusing on how discourses about difference shape and are informed by educational policies and practices, and how these discourses affect student success. Leah enjoys bringing together a diversity of opinions, ideologies, and identities within a democratic framework of equity and social justice in her work. She has a broad range of experience in student affairs and higher education administration working for the Access to Success Program and for the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion in her career at the University of Minnesota. Leah also has extensive evaluation experience working on the University of Minnesota’s Graduate Review and Improvement Process and in the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute.

Ph.D., 2015, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
M.A., 2010, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
B.A., 2005, St. Olaf College

Courses taught at UMaine

  • HED 561: Developmental Theory in Higher Education
  • HED 562: Assessing Impact of College on Students
  • HED 598: Leadership and Change in Higher Education
  • HED 598: Intercultural Theory, Development, and Application in Student Affairs
  • HED 598: Global Perspectives in Higher Education
  • HED 610: Capstone Seminar in Student Affairs
  • HED 650: Social Contexts in Higher Education
  • HED 690: Internship in Higher Education Seminar

Sample publications

  • Hakkola, L. (2021). “The secret knock”: a critical discourse analysis of how recruiters exercise power and privilege in admissions. Race Ethnicity and Education. DOI: 10.1080/13613324.2021.1924140
  • Hakkola, L. (2019). Obstacles and pathways: A critical discourse analysis of diversity in admissions. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. doi: 10.1037/dhe000111
  • Hakkola, L. (2019). Critical perspectives of diversity as discourse. The Encyclopedia of Higher Education. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hakkola, L. (2019). Examining diversity in student affairs: An analysis of diversity definitions and supports. Journal of Student Affairs.
  • Hakkola, L., & Ropers-Huilman, R. (2018). A critical examination of diversity discourses in higher education. In M. Paulsen (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook on research & theory (Vol. 33, pp. 417-468). New York: Springer International Publishing.
  • Allan, E., Hakkola, L., Kershner, D. (2018). Enhancing positive school climate with hazing prevention: A pilot study. Maine Schools in Focus.
  • Hakkola, L., Moon, D., Gensiger, M., & Chapman-Haynes, M. (2017). A how-to manual for the Graduate Review and Improvement Process (GRIP). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing.
  • Hakkola, L. (2017). [Review of the book The Diversity Bargain and Other Dilemmas of Race, Admissions, and Meritocracy at Elite Universities, by N.K. Warikoo].  Chicago: IL. The University of Chicago Press.
  • Ropers-Huilman, R., Winters, K., & Hakkola, L. (2016). Embodied minds: College women’s experience in and around the panopticon of higher education. NASPA Journal about Women in Higher Education, 9(2), 115-132.
  • Hakkola, L., & King, J. (2016). A developmental approach to program evaluation in graduate education: A new take on an old process. Innovative Higher Education, 41(2), 137-152. doi: 10.1007/s10755-015-9338-3.
  • Winters, K.T, Ropers-Huilman, R., Shahjahan, R., Osei-Kofi, N., Clegorne, N.A., & Hakkola, L. (2012). Reimagining and enacting possibilities for social justice in the academy. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 1(1), 99-116.

Conference Presentations:

  • Hakkola, L., & Dyer, S. (2019). How faculty search chairs recruit for diversity and equity: A campus climate perspective. Research paper presented at AERA Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.
  • Dyer, S., & Hakkola, L. (2019). Cracking the code: How faculty search chairs challenge or reproduce institutional racism. Research paper presented at AERA Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.
  • Hakkola, L. (2018). Interlocking inequity: A critical look at diversity in faculty searches. Research paper presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: New Orleans, LA.
  • Hakkola, L. (2018). “The secret knock”: How college recruiters exercise power in admissions. Research paper presented at the NASPA: Philadelphia, PA.
  • Hakkola, L., Allan, E., & Kershner, D. (2017). A utilization-focused approach to enhancing positive school climate. Research paper presented at the American Evaluation Association, Washington D.C.
  • Hakkola, L. (2017). A critique of diversity discourses in American higher education. Research paper presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education Annual Conference, Fort Worth, TX.
  • Hakkola, L. (2017). Discourses of difference in college admissions. Research paper presented at the College Student Educators International (ACPA) Annual Conference: Columbus, OH.
  • Hakkola, L. (2016). Shifting the lens: A critical examination of diversity discourses in college Recruiting. Research paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Conference: Washington, D.C.
  • Hakkola, L. (2015). Applying social justice thinking for culturally sensitive evaluation. Workshop presented at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference: Chicago, CO.
  • Hakkola, L. (2015). A critical examination of diversity discourses in college admissions. Poster presented at the Society for Text & Discourse National Annual Conference: Minneapolis, MN.
  • Hakkola, L. (2014). Exploring discourses of diversity in U.S. higher education: A critical race theoretical investigation. Research paper presented at the Annual International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Nations and Communities: Vienna, Austria.

Follow Leah on Twitter: @LHakkola