Abena Subira Mackall, Ed.D.

Abena Subira Mackall, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor

Abena Subira Mackall is an assistant professor at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Mackall’s interdisciplinary research draws on scholarship in human development, education, and sociology to explore the mechanisms underlying correlated forms of social disadvantage. Motivated by her experiences as a former middle school special education teacher and instructor in prisons, Mackall’s research aims to provide insights into practices and policies that will enable public institutions to more effectively support individuals in contact with the juvenile and criminal justice systems. Her most recent study used in-depth interviewing to examine how adolescent arrest shapes the educational trajectories and social networks of crime-involved young men. In prior work, Mackall normatively and empirically explored the importance of in-prison education for civic and social connectedness. Mackall’s research has been supported by the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation and the American Educational Research Association. She holds an EdD and EdM from Harvard University, an MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies from the London School of Economics, an MSEd in Special Education from Hunter College, and an AB in Politics from Princeton University.

Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Professional Interests

Social contexts of education and human development, juvenile/criminal justice, child welfare, poverty, qualitative methodologies, applied statistical methods


  • Ed.D., Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • M.Sc., London School of Economics and Political Science
  • M.S.Ed., Hunter College of the City University of New York


Social Work Building (SSW)


Mailing Address

The University of Texas at Austin
Steve Hicks School of Social Work
1925 San Jacinto Blvd 3.130C
STOP D3500
Austin, TX 78712-0358