Research Spotlight: Travis “Dr. Tee” Smith

Q & A with Travis Smith, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education

What basic questions does your research seek to answer?  

What are the lived experiences of Black students at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)? What are the lived experiences of Black graduate students? How do HBCUs support, nurture, and develop Black students?

What makes your work interesting? 

My work is interesting because I write about Black people for Black people. I attempt to center the Black community in my work by doing research “for the culture.” I refrain from centering my work in a deficit lens. My aim is for my work to be accessible to the masses and for my hometown to be proud of the changes I am igniting.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a critical participatory action research project with a group of amazing Black graduate students and staff in the UF Division of Student Affairs. We are studying the experiences of Black graduate students at UF through radical healing (French et al., 2020); photovoice (Wang, 1999); and photo elicitation (Boucher, 2018). We use these approaches as psychological and methodological frameworks to explore and attempt to dismantle systems of oppression.

I am also revisiting and completing two conceptual papers on HBCU Black women Student Government Association presidents and a commentary response to a HBCU case study scenario.