College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Dr. Samantha L. Viano
PhD, Vanderbilt University
Assistant Professor
Education Leadership

Contact Information

Send email to Dr. Viano

Phone: (703) 993-2572
Fax: (703) 993-3643
Email: sviano (

Samantha Viano's website

George Mason University
Fairfax Campus
Thompson Hall 1307
4400 University Dr.
MS 4C2
Fairfax, VA 22030


Samantha Viano is an Assistant Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education, College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. Her past and future research agenda reflects a dedication to improving the long-term outcomes of marginalized students and professional lives of the educators who teach them by conducting rigorous evaluations of current policies and programs. Samantha earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics with a minor in education from Haverford College. She earned a Master in Science of Education degree from Northwestern University. Her terminal degree is a PhD in Leadership and Policy Studies with a focus on K-12 Education Policy from Vanderbilt University. Samantha taught high school math in Chicago in both a traditional high school as well as a charter high school. She has extensive experience as an education advocate, researcher, and journalist dating back to her time in college. 

Her work has been supported by the National Institute of Justice Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. She was a 2017 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Research Interests

Dr. Viano's research focuses on the evaluation of programs and policies that predominately affect traditionally marginalized or at-risk student populations.Within this area, she focuses on several specific research strands:

  • School improvement.
  • Online credit recovery courses.
  • School climate and safety.
  • School security.
  • Exclusionary discipline.
  • Teacher retention.
  • School leadership effectiveness and preparation.
Recent Publications

Curran, F. Chris, Samantha Viano, Benjamin W. Fisher (2019). Teacher Victimization, Turnover, and Contextual Factors Promoting Resilience. Journal of School Violence        

Redding, Chris and Samantha Viano (2018). Co-Creating School Innovations: Should Self-Determination be a Component of School Improvement? Teachers College Record.

Fisher, Benjamin W., Samantha Viano, F. Chris Curran, Joseph Gardella, and Francis A. Pearman (2018). Students’ Feelings of Safety, Exposure to Violence and Victimization, and Authoritative School Climate. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 43 (1), 6-25.

Viano, Samantha (2018) At-Risk High School Students Recovering Course Credits Online: What We Know and Need to Know. American Journal of Distance Education, 32 (1), 16-26.                                       

Flores, Stella, Toby Park, Samantha Viano, Vanessa Coca (2017). State Policy and the Educational Outcomes of English Learner and Immigrant Students: Three Administrative Data Stories. American Behavioral Scientist, 61 (14), 1824-1844.

Viano, Samantha and Seth Hunter (2017). Teacher-Principal Race and Teacher Satisfaction over Time, Region. Journal of Educational Administration, 55 (6), 624-639.

Grissom, Jason A., Samantha Viano, and Jennifer Selin (2016). Understanding Employee Turnover in the Public Sector: Insights from Research on Teacher Mobility. Public Administration Review, 76 (2), 241-251.