Pempho is a Ph.D. candidate in Education Policy and Leadership (International Education concentration) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. More broadly, her research examines the intersection between gender, education, and development. Her primary research focuses on the school (re)integration for student mothers and in-school pregnancy-related policies and practices in Southern Africa, including Malawi and Zambia. 

Pempho also has research interests in education in emergencies, representations of African women, and gender and power dynamics in higher education both on the African continent and in the diaspora. In framing this work, her scholarship draws from post/de-colonial theories and African feminist thought to interrogate gender and power dynamics, including colonial and imperialist legacies in educational and development spaces. Pempho also serves as the Youth Delegate to the United Nations for Pan-Pacific and South-East Asian Women’s Association, USA