Voices: New Faculty Focus — Q&A with Hailey Love


The School of Education welcomed 16 new faculty members to campus during the past academic year, which is one of the largest cohorts to sign on with the School since its founding in 1930.

We share Q&As completed by our newest faculty members in an effort to introduce them to our campus and School of Education communities. Here, we introduce Hailey Love, who joined the School as an assistant professor with the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education. Following is an edited transcript:

Hailey LoveHometown: Houston, Texas.

Educational background: BS in human development, Cornell University; MA in child development: children with disabilities, Tufts University; PhD in special education, University of Kansas.

Previous position: Assistant professor of early childhood education/special education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

How did you get into your field of research? While working for an early childhood education nonprofit in Boston, I was continuously shocked by the significant disparities in the educational opportunities young children from marginalized backgrounds had access to, particularly children of color with disabilities whose families were experiencing poverty. … I really wanted to further explore and address the idea that “all inclusion is not ‘good’ inclusion.” That is, it is not enough to simply place a child with a disability in a general education classroom. Instead, we have to be continuously responsive to all aspects of a child’s identity, support needs, and background, including addressing ways our social and educational systems have marginalized children and families of color, those experiencing poverty, and those who are multilingual (among other marginalizations).

What attracted you to UW–Madison? UW–Madison, particularly the School of Education, has a great history of producing research that truly advances our society in general, and in the field of education, specifically. Coming here was an amazing opportunity to join trailblazers who share my values around equity and inclusive education, and to learn from the legacy of those who have been here previously.

Is there a way your field of study can help the world endure and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic? Unfortunately, COVID-19 has highlighted and amplified so many inequities in our society. However, it has also revealed and made possible new ideas about how we can be in community with each other and contribute to each other’s well-being. I hope COVID-19 is a lesson in the fact that our systems can be malleable. If we listen to, and care about, those who are most vulnerable to harm, we can create new possibilities for equity.

Do you believe your work relates in any way to the Wisconsin Idea? One of the things that stands out to me about the Wisconsin Idea is that the work we do as scholars should have a positive impact on our community. In my work, I hope to better prepare the educators who teach our youngest children with various support needs.

My research is also not possible without partnering with schools and early child- hood programs. My goal for every study I do is to be able to provide information and support to my community partners, as well as advance knowledge in my academic communities. One great thing about education research is that you can impact children, families, teachers, and policy at multiple levels.