Catharine Biddle is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Maine and a member of the Research Practice Partnership Team (RPPT) that designed the TREE model and now oversees the project evaluation.
Cat’s research focuses on ways in which rural schools and communities respond to social and economic change in the 21st century. As a member of TREE's research team, she is particularly interested in how schools can partner with community organizations or groups to address issues of social inequality and how non-traditional leaders—such as youth, parents and other community members—may lead or serve as partners in these efforts. Prior to joining the faculty at UMaine, she spent five years as a research affiliate with the Center on Rural Education and Communities at the Pennsylvania State University and two years as the managing editor of the Journal of Research in Rural Education. Cat also served as the executive director of the Nanubhai Education Foundation, an international education nonprofit working in rural India, and as an out of school time educator for the national nonprofit organization Citizen Schools. She is currently program chair for the American Educational Research Association’s rural education special interest group.