Faculty & Staff Directory

Ashley E. Cureton, PhD

Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow

Keywords: Educational and mental health disparities; migrants and refugees; qualitative research; school-based interventions; social-emotional supports

Ashley Cureton is a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow within the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools in the School of Education and a Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. She serves as President of the Homewood Postdoctoral Association. Ashley explores the educational and mental health needs and outcomes of migrant and refugee children and youth and their families. She is currently conducting a qualitative study to understand how English language learner students and their families are adapting and adjusting to remote learning during COVID-19.

Prior to attending graduate school, Ashley worked as a Research Associate at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research where she implemented and evaluated Check & Connect in Chicago Public Schools. Ashley received a PhD and master’s degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. She received graduate certificates in migration and refugee studies from the University of Oxford and Northwestern University.


2019 – University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

2010 – University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration
Master of Social Work (MSW)

2008 – DePaul University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Double Major in Anthropology and Sociology



Publications-Peer Reviewed Journals

Cureton, A.E. (2020). Strangers in the school: Facilitators and barriers regarding refugee parental involvement. The Urban Review. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11256-020-00580-0

Heath, R., Anderson, C., Cureton Turner, A., & Payne, C.M. (2018). Extracurricular activities and disadvantaged youth: A complicated – but promising – story. Urban Education, 1-35. https://doi.org/10.1177/0042085918805797

Anderson, C., Cureton Turner, A., Heath, R., & Payne, C.M. (2016). On the meaning of grit…and hope…and fate control…and alienation…and locus of control…and…self-efficacy…and…effort optimism…and…The Urban Review, 48, 198-219.

Nagaoka, J., Farrington, C., Elhrich, S., Johnson, D.W., Heath, R., Dickson, S., Cureton Turner, A.,Hayes, K., and Mayo, Ashley. (2015); A Framework for Developing Young Adult Success in the 21st Century.

Publications-In Press

Guryan, J., Christenson, S., Claessens, A., Engel, M., Lai, I., Ludwig, J., Cureton, A., & Clair Turner, M. The effect of mentoring of school attendance and academic outcomes: A randomized evaluation of the check & connect program. Accepted by Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

Publications-Under Review

Cureton, A. Almost like home: Exploring Muslim refugee students’ engagement in schools. Submitted to the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies.

Cureton, A. Beyond the school day: Exploring refugee youths’ perceptions and participation in out-of-school time (ost) activities. Submitted to Urban Education.

Other Publications and Research Reports

Cureton Turner, A. (2017). Discussion Series: Disrupted Education in the Lives of Refugee Children and
Youth. ESPMI (Emerging Scholars & Practitioners on Migration Issues)

Cureton Turner, A. (2017). Finding their way again: Reflections on the educational paths of refugee youth.
In migration stories anthology.

Cureton Turner, A. (2015, March 6). Outcasts in a new land: The history of social workers in the US refugee
resettlement program. Retrieved from http://uchicagoparrblog.mystrikingly.com/blog/outcasts-in-anew-lan the-history-of-social-workers-in-the-us

  • Beyond the School Day: Exploring Refugee Youths’ Perceptions and Participation in Out-of-School Activities (March 2020). Oral virtual presentation to be given at the Comparative & International Education Society (CIES) 2020 Virtual Conference, Miami, FL
  • I Want to Feel Safe at My School. I Want to Feel like I Belong: Muslim Refugee Students: Muslim Refugee Students’ Levels of Engagement in Schools (January 2020). Oral presentation to be given at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Meeting, Washington, DC
  • Beyond the School Day: Exploring Refugee Youths’ Perceptions and Participation in Out-of-School Activities (January 2020). Oral presentation to be given at the IAFOR International Conference on Education, Honolulu, HI
  • How can I get involved – does it even matter?: Facilitators and Barriers around Refugee Parent Involvement in Schools (July 2019). Oral presentation at the International Consortium for Social Development’s 21st Biennial International Conference, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Patterns of Student Engagement among Muslim Refugee Youth and their Families: The Role of Schools in a Trump Era (January 2019). Oral presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • Extracurricular Programs and At-Risk Youth: Different Benefits for Different Groups (April 2017) Panel presentation at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX
  • Understanding Elementary School Truancy (January 2016). Poster presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA
  • Rebuilding the Brick City: Government Reform in Newark, New Jersey (August 2007) Oral presentation at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium (LANS), Hartford, CT

Johns Hopkins University
Global Politics and Human Rights
The Human Rights of Child Migrants
Writing Seminar Course

Northwestern University
Democracy & Civic Engagement (online course)
Immigration & Global Affairs
Immigration & Public Health
Urban Education Policy

University of Chicago
The Human Rights of Child Migrants and Refugee Youth
Poverty, Marginalization, and Challenges to Community (Summer Study Abroad — India)
Human Behavior and the Social Environment
Alien and Citizen (teaching assistant)
Human Rights: Contemporary Issues (teaching assistant)
Doctoral Workshop on Theory in Social Work Research
Urban Education & Educational Policy (teaching assistant)



  • Research Associate. Principal Investigators: Jonathan Links, PhD, and Martha Abele Mac Iver. The Johns Hopkins University, School of Education August 2019 – Present
  • Qualitative Research Manager. Principal Investigators: Monica Bhatt, PhD, Jonathan Guryan, PhD, Harold Pollack, PhD. University of Chicago, Urban Labs September 2017 – June 2019
  • Research Fellow. RefugeeOne, Chicago, IL June 2015 – June 2016
  • Research Assistant. Principal Investigators: Amy Claessens, PhD, Mimi Engel, PhD. University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration Jan. 2015 – June 2015
  • Research Assistant. Principal Investigator: Jenny Nagaoka. University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research July 2014 – April 2015
  • Doctoral Research Assistant. Principle Investigator: Charles Payne, PhD. University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration October 2013 – June 2017
  • Project Coordinator. Principal Investigator: Sydney Hans, PhD. University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute May 2011 – December 2017
  • Research Associate and Check & Connect Monitor. Principal Investigators: Jonathan Guryan, PhD, Jens Ludwig, PhD. Northwestern University, Institute for Policy Research September 2010 – September 2013
  • Graduate Research Assistant. Project Director: Amber Stitziel Pareja, PhD. University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research August 2009 – July 2010


  • Fellow, University of Chicago, Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U); Erbil, Iraq May 2018 – June 2019
  • Geneva International Advocacy Intern, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva, Switzerland June 2017
  • Northwestern University, Center for Forced Migration Resident Head/Manager, University of Chicago, University Housing System September 2015 – June 2019
  • Served as a mentor and administrator to a 100+ college students living in Crown House. Human Rights Intern, University of Chicago, Pozen Family Center for Human Rights; January 2014 – January 2015
  • GirlForward, Chicago, IL Community Schools Graduate Intern, Metropolitan Family Services, Bowen High School, Chicago, IL September 2009 – June 2010
  • Outreach Specialist Graduate Intern, Teen Living Programs, Chicago, IL September 2008 – June 2009
    Student Planning Committee Director, Idealist Campus Conference (formerly Idealist.org/Action without Borders) Idealist.org August 2006 – June 2007

American Educational Research Association; Comparative and International Education Society; Diversity Scholars Network, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan; Society for Research on Adolescence; Society for Social Work and Research


Voting Member. Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Council on Inclusive Excellence July 2020 – Present