Daniela DiGiacomo

Daniela DiGiacomo

Senior Research Partner

Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky.


Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky. With a background in teaching and social work, DiGiacomo’s program of research currently focuses on how to design formal and informal learning settings in ways that support and extend young people’s lived experiences, interests, and expertise. As a learning scientist trained in the sociocultural tradition, her scholarship is guided by a commitment to pursuing research that is both just-conferring and humanizing-- research that proceeds with the assumption that diversity is a resource to be leveraged, rather than a problem to be solved. Since becoming an adult research ally for KSVT in 2019 when she moved to Kentucky, Daniela has supported KSVTers in their investigation of how Kentucky students experienced learning during COVID. That study, entitled "Coping with COVID-19: Youth Experiences and Perspectives" was recently published in the journal Children, Youth, and Environments. As a senior research partner, Daniela will lead on research project support and the development of organization-wide capacity building research training to build and maintain skills around ethical and effective youth-led education research across school years.

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Notable Contributions

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Time to Talk: A Qualitative Study of Students' Perspectives on Diversity and Representation in their Classrooms


This report presents findings from a Kentucky Student Voice Team 2024 study into students’ experiences with and perspectives on cultural diversity and racial representation in their classrooms and schools.

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Coping With Covid in Kentucky Part II: A Call to Action for Post-Online Learning


The second in our Coping With Covid series, this report includes quotes that underscore that while school districts were forced to quickly pivot to online learning for student safety, many could have better addressed both student and educator needs.

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Youth Perspectives on Designing Equitable Out-of-School-Time Programs


A brief report alongside the Wallace Foundation on how young people from marginalized communities may experience out-of-school-time programming, including that they are sometimes treated differently because of race, gender identity or other factors.

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Race To Learn


This study distills the results from the 10,725 Kentucky middle and high school students from 114 counties who took our Race, Ethnicity, and School Climate Student Survey.

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Coping with COVID-19


When Kentucky schools shut down due to coronavirus in the spring of 2020, we pivoted our school-level school climate work to design a relevant state-wide research study and recieved nearly 13,000 student responses from all of Kentucky's counties.

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Kentucky Student Voice Team Releases Report on Racial Diversity & Inclusion in School


Youth-led research expands upon 2022 ‘Race to Learn’ study that gathered over 10,000 Kentucky student survey responses.

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