Paris D. Wicker, Ph.D.

Higher Education Researcher | Comtemplative | Vocalist


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 educational 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. 
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. My 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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