Principal Investigator

Eboni Zamani-Gallaher

Professor Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher is an associate dean of the Graduate College; associate head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership; and director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership. Dr. Zamani-Gallaher holds a doctorate in higher education administration with a specialization in community college leadership and educational evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching, research, and consulting activities largely revolve around psychosocial adjustment and the transition of marginalized collegians as well as on issues of transfer, access policies, student development, and services at community colleges.

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher served as president of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges, an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges, and is the director for research and scholarship of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). She is the recipient of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges Senior Scholar Award, an ACPA Diamond Honoree, and an awardee of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation Mildred B. Garcia Senior Exemplary Scholarship.

Her research has been published in various journals and scholarly texts including Equity and Excellence in Education, Higher Education Policy, and New Directions for Student Affairs. She has authored and edited seven books; her most recent titles include Working with Students in Community Colleges: Contemporary Strategies for Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice (ACPA/Stylus Publishing), ASHE Reader Series on Community Colleges, (Pearson Publications), and The Obama Administration and Educational Reform (Emerald Group Publishing).

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher serves as principal investigator (PI) for the Illinois Community College Board CTE Technical Assistance Grant. She is the PI for the National Science Foundation LSAMP funded Transfer and the Undergraduate STEM Pipeline at Two-year Hispanic Serving Institutions research; PI of NSF IUSE Collaborative Research: Transitioning Learners to Calculus in Community Colleges (TLC3): Advancing Strategies for Success in STEM as well as PI for a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant embedding equity within the guided pathways catalog of services. She earned her PhD in Higher Education Administration with specialization in Community College Leadership and Educational Evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an MS in General Experimental Psychology, and BS in Psychology from Western Illinois University.

Co-Principal Investigator

J. Luke Wood

J. Luke Wood, PhD is associate vice president for faculty diversity and inclusion. He is also the Dean’s Distinguished Professor of Education in the College of Education at San Diego State University. Wood previously served as the director of the Joint PhD program in Education between San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University and director of the EdD Program in Community College Leadership. Wood also serves as the co-director of the Community College Equity Assessment Lab (CCEAL), a national research and practice center that partners with community colleges to support their capacity in advancing outcomes for underserved students of color. CCEAL houses the National Consortium on College Men of Color (NCCMC), which hosts trainings, information sharing sessions, and provides resources to colleges with initiatives and programs supporting college men of color.

In October 2017, he launched a national free online public course titled BLACK MINDS MATTER: A Focus on Black Boys and Men in Education addressing the experiences and realities of Black males in education, drawing parallels between the Black Lives Matter movement and the ways that Black minds are engaged in the classroom. The course offered discussion of issues facing Black male students as well as offer research-based strategies for improving their success to over 10,000 individual registrants and 250 live and replay sites at elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools. Wood earned his PhD from Arizona State University (ASU) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in Higher Education. He also holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education from ASU as well as a M.A. in Student Affairs and B.A. in Black History and Politics from California State University, Sacramento.

Dr. Wood has also coauthored the following books: Supporting Men of Color in the Community College: A Guidebook (Montezuma Publishing); Advancing Black Male Student Success From Preschool Through Ph.D(Stylus Publishing); Leadership Theory and the Community College: Applying Theory to Practice (Stylus Publishing); and Community Colleges and STEM: Examining Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Minorities.