University at Buffalo

Paris D. Wicker (She/Her/Hers)

Paris D. Wicker

Assistant Professor


Specialty/Research Focus

Access and Equity; Critical Policy Analysis; Diversity; Discourse analysis; Gender, Culture, and Equity; Higher Education; Race, Inequality, and Education; Racism and AntiBlackness; Mental Health; Mindfulness; Social Justice; Qualitative Research Methods; Quantitative Research Methods; Research Design; Wellness

Contact Information
475 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: 716-645-1214

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Personal Website

Professional Summary:

Paris Wicker(she/her/hers) is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University at Buffalo (Territory of the Seneca Nation). Her interdisciplinary research, informed by a decade of higher education experience in student affairs and college admissions, contributes to scholarship that explores the conditions and consequences of success and well-being in higher education, especially for Black and Indigenous students, faculty, and staff. Throughout her career, Paris's combination of counseling training, student affairs experiences, and research has been at the intersections of well-being, campus climate, anti-racist and race-conscious policy and practice, and organizational change towards equity and justice. She offers a combination of mixed and multi-methods research on relational, educational, and health-equity research on higher education to improve educational experiences and outcomes.

Paris especially enjoys using interviews, surveys, and social network analysis, with guidance from Critical and Indigenous frameworks such as Critical Race Theory, Social Network Theory, Relational Sociology of Education, and Relationality. While the problems within education are not new, her research offers innovative methodological and practical implications into the full extent of inequity in higher education. Paris leads with a renewed moral imperative to broaden the purpose, goal, and outcome of higher education to include well-being as not only a means to other notions of success, such as degree attainment, but also a worthy end goal in and of itself.

Her research has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Wisconsin Center for Educational Research (WCER), and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) , and published in the Review of Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, and the Journal of College Access

Another area of interest for Paris is incorporating contemplative and mindfulness-based equity research, policy, and practice within higher education. She began a formal meditation in 2018 and meditates daily through a Vipassana or insight tradition. Paris is progressing towards Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training certification and facilitates a number of mindfulness and equity-based classes and workshops every year.

Education and Training:
  • PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (2023)
  • MSE, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Professional Counseling- Student Affairs and College Counseling (2017)
  • BA, Lawrence University, Music (Vocal), French and Francophone Studies (2008)
Awards and Honors:
  • Alternate Postdoctoral Fellow; Ford Foundation; 2024-05-01;
  • Semifinalist, Dissertation of the Year Award (Division J- Postsecondary Education); American Educational Research Association (Division J); 2024-04-14;
  • Edward Bouchet Graduate Honor Society Induction; University of Wisconsin-Madison; 2023-03-09;
  • Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship; Ford Foundation; 2022-09-01;
  • Marshall B. Hulbert ’26 Young Alumni Outstanding Service Award; Lawrence University; 2022-06-11;
Recent Publications:
Journal Article:
  • Benson, J., Wicker, P., Barnes, I., & Winkle-Wagner, R. (2023) Community and culture: Black women reminiscing on their experiences in college transition programs. Journal of College Student Development, 64(6), pp. 663-678.
  • Wicker, P. (2023). Well-being consciousness and college access borderlands: Staff perspectives on supporting students’ well-being. Journal of College Access.
  • Wicker, P., McCoy, D.L., Winkle-Wagner, R., & Barnes, I. (2023). A Web of Support: A Critical Narrative Analysis of Black Women’s Relationships in STEM Disciplines. Review of Higher Education. Advance online publication on Project MUSE. doi:10.1353/rhe.0.a900428
Book Chapter:
  • Wicker, P. (2024). The consequences of getting it right: Navigating anti-blackness in quantitative statistics courses [essay]. In S. David (Ed.) Being #BlackintheIvory: Truth-telling about Racism in the American University. University of North Carolina Press
  • Wicker, P. (2022) A Critical Policy Review of Well-Being and Equity Policy at Historically Black, Tribal, and Predominately White Colleges and Universities brief]. National Resource Center for the First-year Experience and Students In Transition.
Recent Presentations:
Invited Lectures:
  • Wicker, P. (November 15, 2023). Who gets to be well? The role of equity in student well-being. [Research talk and discussion]. The Breck School, Golden Valley, MN.;
  • Wicker, P. (September 2023). Critical Qualitative Inquiry. Guest Lecture. Arizona State University;
  • Advancing equity in higher education through social network analysis [Organized Session]. (June 2024). Presenters: Smith, R., Brown, M., Henderson, T., & Wicker, P. International Sunbelt Social Network Conference. Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland;
  • Smith, R., Brown, M., Henderson, T., & Wicker, P. (November 2023). Advancing Social Network Analytic Theory and Methods in Research on College Students [Interactive Symposium]. Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Conference. Minneapolis, MN.;
  • Wicker, P., Winkle-Wagner, R., Goosby, B., & Cheadle, J. E. (August 2023). Black Feminist Approaches to Homophily within the Social Support Networks of Tenure-line Black Women Faculty [Paper Session]. Association for Black Sociologists Conference. Philadelphia, PA.;
Recent Activities:
Professional Service:
  • Facilitator, Mindful writing, American Educational Research Association (AERA), (Division J), 2022- Present

Contact Information

475 Baldy Hall
North Campus
Phone: 716-645-1214

View CV

Personal Website