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About Darris R Means, Ph.D.

Dr. Darris Means is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services at the University of Georgia. He primarily works with graduate students in the College Student Affairs Administration Programs (M.Ed. and Ph.D. programs) and Student Affairs Leadership Program (Ed.D. hybrid program). Dr. Means’ research and scholarship focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in K-12 and higher education contexts. Specifically, his research and scholarship focus on three primary areas:
(a) College access, choice, transitions, and persistence for Students of Color, low-income students, and/or first-generation college students
(b) The collegiate experiences and identity development of Black gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer students
(c) Participatory action research
His research appears in several higher education journals, including The Review of Higher Education; Journal of College Student Development; Journal of Diversity in Higher Education; Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, and Practice, and Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Multicultural/Multiethnic Special Interest Group of AERA's Dr. Carlos J. Vallejos Memorial Award for Emerging Scholarship (2015), Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values' Dissertation of the Year Award (2015), American Association for Blacks in Higher Education First Place Dissertation Award (2014); ACPA’s Standing Committee for LGBT Awareness Research Recognition Award (2014); Elon University’s Young Alumnus of the Year Award (2013); and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs Bobby E. Leach Award (2011).
Dr. Means earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Science from Elon University. He went on to earn his M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a focus in Student Affairs from Clemson University. In 2014, he earned his Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis with a focus in Higher Education. His dissertation was on the spiritual journeys and spaces of Black gay men in higher education.

Positions

Present Interdisciplinary Qualitative Studies (IQS) Certificate Program Faculty, University of Georgia
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Present College Student Affairs Administration Programs, University of Georgia
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Present Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, University of Georgia
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Present Assistant Professor, University of Georgia
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Curriculum Vitae



Research Interests

College access, choice, transitions, and persistence for Students of Color, low-income students, and/or first-generation college students, The collegiate experiences and identity development of Black gay, bisexual, lesbian, and queer students, and Participatory action research

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Honors and Awards

  • 2015 Dissertation of the Year Award, Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values
  • 2015-2017 Lilly Teaching Fellow, UGA's Center for Teaching and Learning
  • 2014 American Association for Blacks in Higher Education Dissertation Award (1st Place)
  • 2014 ACPA Standing Committee for LGBT Awareness’ Research Recognition Award
  • 2014 ACPA Standing Committee for Men and Masculinities’ Outstanding Research Award
  • 2013 Elon University Young Alumnus of the Year
  • 2013 Clemson University Outstanding Alumni for the Master of Education/Student Affairs Program
  • 2011 Southern Association for College Student Affairs’ Bobby E. Leach Award
  • 2011 ACPA Outstanding State and International Division Leader
  • 2009 Elon University Fraternity and Sorority Advisor of the Year

College Access, Choice, and Persistence for Students of Color, Low-Income Students, and First-Generation College Students (4)

Race, Sexuality, and Gender in Higher Education (4)

Critical Theories and Methods and Action Research (1)