Paris D. Wicker, Ph.D.

Higher Education Researcher & Comtemplative


Research Philosophy

My 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 study of access and success, through the lens of well-being of students and faculty of color, spanning from pre-college to post-tenured. Through my research, I assert that access and success are not fully able to be enacted without well-being. Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, and guided by critical race and indigenous theoretical frameworks, I explore three areas: (1) the connection between education and well-being, especially for Black and Indigenous students, staff, and faculty, (2) anti-racist and race-conscious higher education policy and practice, and (3) relational and network frameworks for meso-level organizational change.

I use critical social theories such as Critical Race Theory and Indigenous knowledges such as Relationality and Tribal Crit throughout my work, and I employ mixed methods in my research, including interviews and social network analysis specifically. My commitment to research is reflected through my work currently under review at the Journal of African American Women and Girls in Education, The Professional Educator, and National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and forthcoming 2021 submissions to Educational Researcher, Review of Higher Education, and Race, Ethnicity and Education
While some accept a world where education and socio-emotional trauma are normal companions for minoritized students, as a nationally certified counselor and future Black faculty member, I believe education and well-being should not be negatively correlated. Brokenness no longer need be a rite of passage through higher education. Paris's research and practice is part of a larger commitment to research, teaching, and serving others in a way that will contribute to harm reduction in higher education while also building momentum for institutional change.  



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