Rekha S. Rajan, Ed.D. is visiting associate professor of research and program leader for the master’s in grant writing, management, and evaluation in the division of research and doctoral programs at Concordia University Chicago. She is an arts education specialist and holds a master's in early childhood professions from Roosevelt University Chicago, a master's in music education, and a doctorate in music and music education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has published her research on children’s participation in musical theater, and teachers’ use of the arts in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has presented her work at national and international conferences. She is the author of the books Integrating the Performing Arts in Grades K-5 (Corwin, 2012), Grant Writing: Practical Strategies for Scholars and Professionals (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), and the forthcoming Children’s Experiences in Musical Theater (Rowman & Littlefield Education).
Dr. Rajan is the recipient of a two-year research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to examine the relationship between live performing arts attendance and the cognitive function of older adults which was highlighted in an interview with NEA Chairman Chu on WBEZ Chicago. Her research has also been featured in Education Week and with the National Head Start Association. She is president of the Greater Chicago Area chapter, and sits on the board of directors, for the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. She is also Co-Program Chair for the Teaching of Evaluation Topical Interest Group for the American Evaluation Association and is on the advisory committee for the Music Educators Journal. Dr. Rajan sits on various appointed councils for the arts and education, including the Core Arts Standards Committee with Arts Alliance Illinois and the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) Advisory Committee for the Department of Education in the State of Illinois.
Dr. Rajan has co-authored over 30 program evaluation reports with projects including the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, the D.C. Arts & Humanities Collaborative, Diller-Quaile School of Music, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Education Leadership Institute with the National Endowment for the Arts, and ArtsConnection. Prior to her work in higher education, Dr. Rajan was a professional musical theater and operatic performer, with favorite roles including Papagena in THE MAGIC FLUTE, Mabel in the PIRATES OF PENZANCE and Lili in CARNIVAL!, for which she was nominated for a Chicago Stage Talk Equity Theatre Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical.