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Jenny Seelig

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Scientist
Jenny studies how geography affects educational equity, with a primary focus on teacher labor and workforce sustainability and the role of schools in community development.


Jenny is a senior research scientist at NORC where she evaluates educator pathways and teacher diversification initiatives and provides expertise on educational ecosystems in rural America. With over a decade of research experience, Jenny works regularly with state and local partners to develop qualitative and mixed methods studies that evaluate a variety of educator pipeline programs. Her approach to research is asset-based and informed by her six years as a high school teacher.


Jenny currently serves as the Principal Investigator (PI) for a study of Educators Rising programs in rural Wisconsin, which encourage middle and/or high school students to become educators in rural communities to address teacher shortages. She is Co-PI on a study to develop an equity-centered rural education research agenda based on a comprehensive literature review of the last 20 years of rural education and qualitative interviews with rural community members across the country. She is also PI for an impact evaluation of the Engaging Youth for Positive Change civic engagement program in rural communities. She also serves as Project Director on a study that examines how institutions of higher education, working as part of a collaborative, confront structural barriers that inhibit the graduation of Black and Latinx students through organizational change.


Prior to joining NORC, Jenny served as an associate program officer at the Spencer Foundation and assistant director at the Rural Education Research & Implementation Center at the University of Wisconsin. 




University of Wisconsin-Madison


Ohio University


Ohio University

Appointments & Affiliations

Advisory Board Member

The Rural Educator

Advisory Board Member

Educating Youth for Positive Change


Rural Education SIG Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Committee, AERA

Project Contributions

Engaging Youth for Positive Change Program Evaluation

Evaluating whether a civics education curriculum helps improve rural community health outcomes


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

“Grow Your Own” Educator Strategies in Wisconsin Rural Schools

Analysis of strategies to attract, recruit, and hire teachers in rural Wisconsin schools


Wisconsin Center for Education Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Catalytic Communities Initiative Evaluation

Assessing strategies to transform educational communities to benefit K-12 students


Walton Family Foundation

Retaining Rural Science & Math Teachers

Cultivating a high-quality science and math teacher workforce in rural Illinois


National Science Foundation