Aprille Phillips

Associate Professor

Office: COE B150   |    Phone: (308) 865-8361   |    Email: phillipsa@unk.edu

Aprille Phillips


PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Dr. Phillips is a Nebraska native, growing up in Hastings and joining the faculty of the University of Nebraska at Kearney after years teaching and working in education leadership and policy in the Dominican Republic, Nebraska, and Oregon.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Education from Hastings College and completed her master’s degree and PhD at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She has worked in higher education since 2012, teaching courses at Metropolitan Community College and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before becoming a full-time faculty member at Southern Oregon University in 2017. There, she coordinated the principal and professional administrative licensure programs, served as the President of the Oregon Professors of Educational Administration, and began an early career principal support network.  

Dr. Phillips’s teaching centers on the cultivation of a learning community that applies research to real-world problems of practice. Her experiences teaching in the Dominican Republic, working with multilingual students, and collaborating with education leaders and teachers on Tribal lands inform her work and pedagogical commitments to democratic education and culturally responsive leadership.

Dr. Phillips’s research has come to have two overarching and interconnected themes: (a) how school reform is/is not responsive to minoritized learners and (b) policy as a sociocultural practice in its development and implementation across tiers (e.g., state departments of education working with schools). Her master’s thesis won the prestigious, Folsom Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2012 and in 2019 she was named a Council on Anthropology and Education Concha Delgado Gaitán Presidential Fellow. Her publications include works that explore the role of education consultants in neoliberal education reform, space and place in educational anthropology, and state-directed reform efforts in Indian Country.  

Outside of work, Dr. Phillips enjoys planning and taking cross-country road-trips, collecting stamps in her passport, sharing a good meal with good friends, tackling an ever-expanding list of projects on the house, and walking her dog Willa.