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Smith, Travis C.

Clinical Assistant Professor,
School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
Program Coordinator, On-Campus Student Personnel in Higher Education (SPHE) Program

College of Education
University of Florida
Norman Hall
PO Box 117042
Gainesville, FL 32611
Phone: 352-392-0726

Research Biography

Travis C. Smith aka “Dr. Tee” is a 2012 graduate of Alabama State University. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Higher Education at Clemson University. As a critical scholar, he chooses to focus on inquiry, practice, and pedagogy to address ways higher education institutions and social organizations disrupt traditional systems. His research agenda is centered in Black student involvement, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Black education. His dissertation examined the experiences of Black SGA presidents at HBCUs. Dr. Smith’s work can be found in the Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, The Bulletin, and Journal of Student Affairs. Dr. Smith’s previous experiences include serving as a secondary science teacher and creating Unite Inc. which is a nonprofit that addresses college access and equity for rural students in Alabama. Unite has conducted 6 annual week-long HBCU college tours and has assisted its graduating seniors in securing over $30 million in scholarships. Dr. Smith is dedicated to uplifting HBCUs and believes HBCUs are the educational pillar of the Black community. Currently, Dr. Smith is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator at the University of Florida in Student Personnel in Higher Education. His ultimate goal is to become a university president of an HBCU. Dr. Smith is a proud recipient of two City of Lafayette Proclamations, a University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) Jackson Scholar Award, a Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar Fellowship, named a member of 2018 50 under 50 at Alabama State University, the 2018 Clemson College of Education Award of Excellence in Service Outreach, and the 2018 Alabama State University Achievement Award.


Ph.D., Educational Leadership in Higher Education, Clemson University

M.S., Sport Health Science in Sport Injury Management, Life University

B.S., Biology, Alabama State University

Key Professional Appointments

Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Program Coordinator, On-Campus Student Personnel in Higher Education (SPHE) Program, School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Activities and Honors

Southern Association for College Student Affairs
National Association for Student Personnel Administrators
American Educational Research Association
Association for the Study of Higher Education
American College Personnel Association
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Selected Publications

Hardaway, A., Lee-Johnson, J., Smith. T.C., (In Progress). Black Women Student Leaders at HBCUs: Advice to Administrators from Former Student Government Association Presidents.

Smith. T. C., McDonald, A., Ford, J., & Isreal, A. (In Progress). I too dream: Using appreciative advising to combat student retention challenges at HBCUs.

Smith, T. C. (2020). A doctoral odyssey: Navigating family, culture, and community in a foreign land. In J. Van Galen, J. and J. Sablan (Eds.) Amplified Voices, Intersecting Identities: First-Generation PhDs Navigating Institutional Power. Brill/Sense Publishers.

Bowers, L., Harrington, K., Phelps-Ward, R., Smith, T. C., Allen, C., & Dosouza, N. (2020). #Mytruthmatters: Narratives of graduate students of color at a predominately white institution. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research 14, 233-248

Smith, T. C., & Virtue, E. (2019). It’s time to unite: A collaborative approach to addressing the needs of graduate students of colour. Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, 7(1), 51‑64. https://sahe.colostate.edu/journal/journal-board-archives/

Boettcher, M. L., Hahn, J., Smith, T. C., & Lang, N., (2019). Shifting responsibilities: A reflection on the transition of student government association presidents to advisers. The Bulletin (ACUI publication). https://www.acui.org/resources/bulletin/bulletin-detail/2019/01/24/shifting-responsibilities-a-reflection-on-the-transition-of-student-government-association-presidents-to-advisors

Smith, T. C. (2018). Black student involvement: Student government associations and developmental outcomes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of Student Affairs, 27, 43-49.

Selected Grants

“We Are UF Too: Exploring The Experiences of Black Graduate Students”
Advancing Racial Justice Through Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access at the University of Florida

The scope of this grant is a two-fold approach to address the challenges of dealing with racism as Black graduate students at the University of Florida. We will establish an action research collective centered on racial healing, scholar identity development, and critical research. We will employ critical participatory action research (CPAR), radical healing, photovoice, and photo elicitation as psychological and methodological frameworks to explore and attempt to dismantle systems of oppression faced by Black graduate students at UF.
Co-Investigator – Lane Washington, Ph.D.
Co-Investigator – Jerri Berry Danso, M.Ed.

Selected Links

Personal Website: https://www.traviscsmith.com/