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Team Members

Travis C. Smith Ph.D

Travis C. Smith Ph.D

Founder

Dr. Travis C. Smith (Dr. Tee) earned a Ph.D in Educational Leadership in Higher Education at Clemson University. As a critical scholar, he chooses to focus on inquiry, practice, and pedagogy that helps disrupt oppressive systems in order to support racially minoritized students.

Jesse Ford Ph.D

Jesse Ford Ph.D

Research Partner

My research foci center the voices and experiences students and faculty of color on college campuses. More specifically, my program of scholarship is focused on race, oppressive environments, and historical influences on the educational landscape for people of color.

Austin McDonald

Austin McDonald

Research Partner

Austin McDonald is a doctoral candidate and soon to be graduate of Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina. Born and raised in Huntsville, AL, Austin is a proud HBCU graduate of Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL) where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Secondary Education) in 2013.

Marcus E. Vandiver Ed.D

Marcus E. Vandiver Ed.D

Research Partner

Dr. Marcus E. Vandiver is a passionate and dedicated advocate for education and life-long learning. Dr. Vandiver has spent the last 18 years of his career at the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), where he currently serves as an Education Analyst in the department’s Accountability
section.

Caitlynn Myer

Caitlynn Myer

Project Manager

Caitlynn Myer is the Associate Director for Intercultural Education & Engagement at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Focusing on the advancement of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, Myer develops and implements programmatic involvement and organizational leadership development promoting equitable and inclusive cultures for students.

Dr. Reginal Blockett

Dr. Reginal Blockett

Research Partner

Dr. Reginald Blockett, is an Assistant Professor in the Higher Education Administration graduate programs at Auburn University. He teaches courses on college student development, history of higher education, and intersectionality.

Ashley Isreal Ph.D

Ashley Isreal Ph.D

Research Partner

Dr. Ashley L. Isreal is the Interim Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs at Winthrop University. Reporting directly to the Vice President, Dr. Isreal serves as one of the key members of the Division for Student Affairs.

Dion T. Harry

Dion T. Harry

Research Partner

Dion is a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in the Higher Education Opportunity, Equity, and Justice concentration of their Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development program.

Keneisha Harrington Ph.D

Keneisha Harrington Ph.D

Research Partner

Keneisha L. Harrington is an advanced qualitative researcher and Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Clemson University.

Dr. Dashana Lane

Dr. Dashana Lane

Research Partner

Dr. Dashana Lane is a qualitative researcher and adjunct professor at Bethune Cookman University and the University of Florida. She received her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida with an emphasis on Early Childhood Education.

Chiquita Brooks

Chiquita Brooks

Project Manager

Chiquita Brooks is the Health Sciences Advisor/Recruiter specialist at Southern Union State Community College. Primarily focusing on advising and career development services, Brooks prioritizes increasing student enrollment and retention in the area of health science.

Cherese Fine Ph.D

Cherese Fine Ph.D

Research Partner

Dr. Cherese F. Fine is a scholar and educator whose career is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion. She has developed and coordinated several programs centered on college access and readiness, retention, and success among students of color.

Byron M. Lowens Ph.D

Byron M. Lowens Ph.D

Research Partner

Byron Lowens is a research scientist in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. His research uses a mixed-methods approach while utilizing a combination of computer science, design, and psychology to evaluate the cooperative relationship between humans and computational technologies.

Ayana T. Hardaway Ph.D

Ayana T. Hardaway Ph.D

Research Partner

Dr. Ayana T. Hardaway is a higher education scholar-practitioner and an independent critical qualitative researcher.

Dr. Melvin A. Whitehead

Dr. Melvin A. Whitehead

Research Partner

Dr. Melvin A. Whitehead is an educator whose research explores the legacies of racism on U.S. college campuses, with a focus on whiteness and anti-blackness. Dr. Whitehead’s work draws upon critical theories and frameworks and centers ways of knowing within Black communities, trauma, healing, and the spirit to complicate the field’s understanding of whiteness on U.S. college campuses.

Daniel Holder

Daniel Holder

Project Manager

Daniel Holder earned his M.B.A with a focus in project management while serving as a USAF officer at Hanscom AFB in Massachusetts.

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