Paris D. Wicker, Ph.D.

Higher Education Researcher | Comtemplative | Vocalist


Paris earned her Ph.D. in the department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis with a doctoral minor in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Buffalo (State University of New York). She is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and a proud product of Chicago Public Schools (Harvard Elementary School and Lindblom College Preparatory High School).

Paris's love for music led her to Lawrence University to pursue and earn a Bachelor's of Arts degree (double major) in Vocal Music and French and Francophone studies and her classical music and language training  allowed her to travel, perform, and teach in the U.S. as well as internationally in Senegal, West Africa, France, and Haiti.
Prior to the doctoral journey, Paris worked for 10 years as a higher education practitioner within college admissions and student affairs, facilitating student success, and building relationships and supportive campus climates. She earned a master's degree in professional counseling along the way at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh.
Paris's research agenda builds upon 10+ years as a higher education practitioner in student affairs and college admissions to apply sociological and equity-based perspectives on the access, success, development, and well-being of Black and Indigenous students and faculty in higher education, from pre-college to post-tenured. Employing quantitative and qualitative methods, and guided by critical race and indigenous theoretical frameworks, she explores three areas: (1) the connection between education and well-being, especially for Black and Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, (2) The role of racism and anti-racism within higher education policy and practice, and (3) relational and network frameworks for organizational change.  

Another area of interest for Paris is incorporating contemplative and mindfulness research, policy, and practice within higher education. She began a formal meditation in 2018 and meditates daily through a Vipassana or insight tradition. Paris is currently working toward Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training certification and facilitates a number of mindfulness classes and workshops every year.

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