Christa Porter, Ph.D.,
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Professor Receives National Research Award

Christa Porter, Ph.D., assistant professor of higher education administration in the College of Education, Health and Human Services, was awarded the Review of Research Award by the American Education Research Association (AERA) for her research article, “Understanding Influences of Development on Black Women’s Success in U.S. Colleges: A Synthesis of Literature." 

The article, which was a joint effort by Porter and Janice Byrd, Ph.D., assistant professor of counselor education at Pennsylvania State University, was published in June 2021 in the Review of Educational Research (RER) journal, a high-impact educational journal that publishes critical research review articles. Porter and Byrd’s research article was handpicked by an editorial board to receive this AERA award, which is given in recognition of outstanding research articles.  

The purpose of their study was to illuminate Black women’s developmental processes and how these processes have influenced their success within U.S. college environments. Porter and Byrd conducted a literature synthesis to see how various publications were talking about Black women in the scope of identity development and student success in college. 

“We pulled the information all together, and came up with a rich understanding of what we need to do better as faculty, staff and administrators on campuses,” Porter said. “What we need to do better as researchers when we're talking about their experiences, and what we can do at a research, practice and policy level; as well as what we can do better to really advance the discourse of student success and identity specifically from the perspective of Black women in college.”

Porter and Byrd’s research article went further in depth on concepts such as intersectionality and the nuance of identity development, which set them apart from previous studies. The editorial board that chose their article appreciated how the article could be used in a variety of settings across different domains in education. 

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