Joel Corbo

Community Engagement and Researcher

University of Colorado Boulder


Joel Corbo is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Colorado Boulder. His work at CU focuses on implementing and studying mechanisms that align with the institutional change literature for improving undergraduate education in STEM departments. In particular, he co-created the Departmental Action Team (DAT) model to support departments in creating sustainable change around broad-scale educational issues and to help DAT participants become better change agents.

He served as one of the first DAT facilitators and researchers and is currently PI on a project that has expanded the DAT model to two universities. Corbo (along with Turpen) was also part of the team that created Faculty Online Learning Communities (FOLCs), virtual communities of faculty who meet regularly during the academic year to support each other in improving their teaching.

He also helped to found and lead the Berkeley Compass Project, a student-run organization dedicated to supporting underrepresented students in physics, and he co-leads the Access Network, a national network of student-centered equity programs inspired by Compass. Before coming to CU, Joel received a bachelor’s degree in physics from MIT and a Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley, where he studied ultracold atomic gases using quantum Monte Carlo simulation techniques.