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Professor Mazzei began her career at Ohio Dominican University where she spent 10 years teaching and advising pre-service teacher candidates. After receiving tenure, she spent three years as a Research Fellow in the Education and Social Research Institute (ESRI) at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), Manchester, England. During her tenure at MMU she was the director of the Master of Research Program, worked on funded research projects, and supervised graduate students. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Oregon, she taught qualitative methodology and feminist theory at Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA) in the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies. 

Professor Mazzei joined the faculty at the University of Oregon in 2012. She teaches Curriculum Theory at both the Undergraduate and Doctoral levels. She is also Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Philosophy.

Professor Mazzei is known for her work in the field of qualitative methodology where she has published three books (one award winning) and numerous articles and book chapters. She is a methodological innovator in posthuman inquiry and her work is widely read and cited across disciplines such as education, psychology, sociology, political science, anthropology, business, and medicine.