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Abby Parcell

Program Director
Area(s) of Expertise: 
Community college innovation

Abby Parcell is MDC’s program director for research and policy, managing internal and external learning.  She has directed numerous projects and contributes research and writing across MDC’s projects, including MDC’s 2014 State of the South report on youth mobility. Abby plays a lead role in advancing MDC’s agenda for advancing equitable access to educational and economic opportunity in the South via social media platforms, including the State of the South blog, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

In her time at MDC, Abby has been an Achieving the Dream team member and led the Developmental Education Initiative, both efforts focused on improving outcomes for community college students. She developed More to Most, a guidebook and accompanying workshop to help community colleges and community partnerships scale up effective practices, and has led workshops on how to use the guidebook with multiple audiences.  She also authored a practitioner brief in the Right from the Start series to spotlight successful reform efforts in developmental education, with a particular focus on the modularized math courses at El Paso Community College. 

In other work at MDC, Abby has played a central role fostering peer learning on numerous MDC projects (Career Pathways for a Green South, NC VetsCorps, and the Virginia Financial Success Network) as well as those led by external partners, like Achieving the Dream’s Working Students Success Network.

Abby received her bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining MDC in 2008, she worked as a program evaluator and research analyst within local and state government and in the nonprofit sector, including the North Carolina General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division; the N.C. Department of State Treasurer; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Government.