Dr. Mullen holds an undergraduate degree in music education from the Ohio State University and a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. He earned his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At Penn State, Dr. Mullen teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education and research methods.
Dr. Mullen began his career as an educator in the Chicago Public Schools, teaching high school band and general music. He has also taught PK-8th grade band and general music in Champaign, Illinois.
Dr. Mullen’s areas of research include critical race theory, popular music pedagogies, music teacher education, and educational policy. His work has been published in Action, Criticism, and Theory for Music Education, and he has presented at national and international conferences sponsored by the International Society for Music Education, May Day Group, and College Music Society among others. His scholarship explores the intersections of race, music, and schooling toward creating more equitable and inclusive paradigms of music education.