Meet Our Faculty
Chair, Higher Education program
Dr. Tamara Bertrand Jones currently serves as an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. Her research examines the sociocultural influences on socialization during graduate education and the professional experiences of underrepresented populations, particularly Black women, in academia. Her previous work as an administrator and program evaluator also influence her other research interests in culturally responsive assessment and evaluation.
She is a founder and past president of Sisters of the Academy Institute, an international organization that promotes collaborative scholarship and networking among Black women in the academy. She collaborated with fellow scholars to write Pathways to Higher Education for African American Women (Stylus Publishing) and Cultivating Leader Identity and Capacity in Students from Diverse Backgrounds (Jossey-Bass). She has also authored, solely and collaboratively referred journal articles.
She was awarded a McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship for the 2014-2015 academic year. In 2013, she received a Transformation Through Teaching award from Florida State University’s Spiritual Life Project in recognition of playing a transformational role in a student’s academic life. She has taught courses on Diversity in Higher Education, Student Services in Higher Education, Outcomes of Higher Education, Institutional Research, and Literature Review and Professional Writing.
Dr. Bertrand Jones remains active in the campus and community by serving on numerous college and university committees and volunteering regularly. In 2012, she was inducted into the FSU chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. She was also named the 2009 recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award from Florida State University for exemplifying outstanding service in keeping with the principles of Dr. King.
Dr. Bertrand Jones received her Doctor of Philosophy in Research and Evaluation Methods from Florida State University in 2006. Read Dr. Bertrand Jones's full bio here.
@BradCoxHigherEd | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Bradley E. Cox is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in Florida State University’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, where he is also a Senior Research Associate with the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS). Dr. Cox is also the Founder and Executive Director of the College Autism Network (CAN), a national non-profit organization dedicated to using evidence-based advocacy to improve experiences and outcomes for college students with autism.
Research: Dr. Cox’s research on college student success has earned over $550,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NASPA Foundation, the TG Public Benefit Program, and the Spencer Foundation. His work has been published in many of the field’s top-tier journals, including the Journal of Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, and the Journal of College Student Development.
The College Autism Network (CAN) family of projects examine the systemic, institutional, and personal conditions that shape college access, experiences, and outcomes for students on the autism spectrum. The Linking Institutional Policies to Student Success (LIPSS) project sought to identify specific institution-wide policies that can be leveraged to increase college student engagement – a key predictor of student grades and persistence that is especially beneficial to underrepresented and academically under-prepared students.
Dr. Cox received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Penn State. Read Dr. Cox's full bio here.
Director, Leadership Learning Research Center
Dr. Kathy Guthrie is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Florida State University. In addition to teaching in the Higher Education program, Dr. Guthrie also serves as the director of the Leadership Learning Research Center and coordinates the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies, which is a partnership between the College of Education and the Center for Leadership and Social Change. Her research focuses on the learning outcomes and environment of leadership and civic education, online teaching and learning, and professional development for Student Affairs Professionals.
Dr. Guthrie has authored several refereed journal articles, including “Creating a Meaningful Learning Environment: Reflection in Leadership Education” and “Liberal Studies: Leadership Education in the 21st Century.” Additionally, in 2016 she co-edited a New Directions in Higher Education issue titled “Reclaiming Higher Education’s Purpose in Leadership Development.” In 2013, she co-authored “Cultivating Leader Identity and Capacity in Students from Diverse Backgrounds.”
In her current role with Florida State University, she has taught courses in higher education including Introduction to Student Services, Leading Change in Higher Education, Practicum in Student Services, and Capstone in Higher Education. She has also taught courses in the undergraduate Leadership certificate including Leadership Theory and Practice, Leadership in Groups and Communities, Leadership and Change, and Leadership Experience. Over the course of her career, she has been honored with many awards, including the Transformation through Teaching Award (2015), Florida State University College of Education Teaching Award (2014), Association of College Personnel Administrators’ Emerging Scholar (2012), Seminole Faculty Award (2011), and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ Contributions to Student Affairs through Teaching (2010).
Dr. Guthrie is an editorial board member of the Journal of Leadership Education and Journal of College and Character. Currently, Dr. Guthrie is the associate editor of the New Directions in Student Leadership series and editor of the Contemporary Perspectives in Leadership Learning book series. She also currently serves as the Chair for the Leadership Scholarship Member Interest Group in the International Leadership Association.
Dr. Guthrie received her Ph.D. in Educational Organization and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2008. Read Dr. Guthrie's full bio here.
Founding Director, Center for Postsecondary Success
Dr. Shouping Hu is the Louis W. and Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor of Higher Education and the founding director of the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS) at Florida State University.
Dr. Hu’s research interests examine issues related to postsecondary readiness, outcomes, and success. Dr. Hu has published more than 60 journal articles and book chapters and is the author of five books. He has secured, in total, about seven million dollars in funding support from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Regional Educational Laboratory-Southeast (REL-SE), NPEC/AIR, and other sources.
Dr. Hu teaches graduate-level courses in Higher Education Finance, International Perspectives in Higher Education, Research on College Students, and Student Success in College (online). He also taught courses such as Public Policy in Higher Education, Prospectus Development, State Education Policy, and American College Students, among others.
Dr. Hu has served as an editorial/advisory board member of Journal of Higher Education, Educational Researcher, Research in Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and ASHE Higher Education Report Series. He has served as a standing member for the Systems and Broad Reform panel and the National Research and Development (R&D) Center panel for IES, as well as panel member for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
He received a B.S. degree in Geography in 1992 from Peking University. He earned his M.S. in Economics (1998) and his Ph.D. in Higher Education (2000) from Indiana University Bloomington. Read Dr. Hu's full bio here.
Dr. Christine G. Mokher is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in Florida State University’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, where she is also a Senior Research Associate with the Center for Postsecondary Success (CPS). Her research examines state and local policies focused on college- and career-readiness and success, with a particular emphasis on student transitions from secondary to postsecondary education. The majority of her research studies use mixed methods, and she is a What Works Clearinghouse-Certified Reviewer in Group Design.
Dr. Mokher is currently serving as the Principal Investigator for a five-year, $4.6 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to evaluate Florida’s College and Career Readiness Initiative. The purpose of this study is to rigorously evaluate Florida’s statewide intervention that consisted of testing grade 11 students to determine their college readiness and offering math and English college readiness and success courses in grade 12 for students who did not test college-ready the year before. She is also a Co-PI on a multi-year project investigating developmental education reform in Florida, with funding from an IES research grant and from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Dr. Mokher holds a Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University. Her research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including American Journal of Education, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Journal of Education Finance, Research in Higher Education, and The Journal of Higher Education. The findings from her research have also been covered in more widely accessible media outlets such as Forbes, Education Week, Education Daily, and Insider Higher Ed. At FSU, she teaches graduate courses in Public Policy in Higher Education, and Organization & Governance. Read Dr. Mokher's full bio here.
HESA Faculty Advisor
Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education and Sociology in the Higher Education Program within the College of Education at Florida State University. She is also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Sociology and the Center for Higher Education Research, Teaching, and Innovation (CHERTI) at FSU, an Alumni Fellow with Pathways to Adulthood, and a Research Affiliate of the Joint Centers for Education Research and Population Research Center at NORC at the University of Chicago. Most recently, she became a Senior Research Associate of FSU’s Center for Postsecondary Success.
Her research uses developmental and sociological perspectives to examine how young people’s social contexts influence their college and career outcomes. She focuses on the mechanisms that shape entry into and persistence in institutions and fields in which they have traditionally been underrepresented. In particular, she investigates racial-ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic disparities in post-secondary educational attainment and entry to scientific career fields. Dr. Perez-Felkner is leading an ASHE Higher Education Report on Women in STEM and has been published in Contemporary Sociology, Developmental Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, Journal of Latinos and Education, and Teachers’ College Record, as well in several edited volumes. Her research has been covered in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in news outlets including ABC News and National Public Radio affiliates, Bustle, Hindustan Times, Motherboard (Vice News), Science News for Students, U.S. News and World Report, and USA Today. Her research will be featured in a cable news special in spring 2018.
Dr. Perez-Felkner has professional experience in Student Affairs as well. At the University of Chicago, she served as a Resident Head in the College from 2006-2012 and on an NSF AGEP-supported Social Sciences Division Taskforce on Diversity for the Professoriate. While earning her B.A. at Wesleyan University, she also worked in residence life, admissions, and student leadership.
Dr. Perez-Felkner teaches graduate courses in Sociology of Education, Sociology of Higher Education, Outcomes of Higher Education, and Applied Regression. Impressed by the enthusiasm and caliber of FSU students, she is currently collaborating with and supporting multiple graduate and undergraduate students involved in research on higher education policies and pathways to degrees. She received FSU’s Transformation through Teaching Award in 2014 and was a finalist for the FSU College of Education’s Robert M. Gagne Research Award (2015). Read Dr. Perez-Felkner's full bio here.
Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Dr. Robert "Bob" Schwartz teaches courses in Higher Education and Student Affairs. He joined the Florida State faculty in 1998. He was previously at Valdosta State University in South Georgia, where he taught courses in educational research, and the University of South Carolina where he was a faculty member in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program.
Dr. Schwartz completed his doctoral work at Indiana University in 1990, earning a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration with minors in American Studies and Women’s Studies. He completed his bachelor’s degree in English at Hanover College in Indiana and earned a master’s degree in student affairs at Ball State University in 1974. From 1974-1986, he was a student affairs practitioner at the University of North Dakota where he served as Assistant Dean of Students, Greek Adviser, Acting Director of Career Planning and Placement and worked with student activities, student discipline, student retention, new student orientation, crisis response, student advocacy, special student populations including Black, Native American, Women’s Programs, Disabled Student Programs, and a wide range of other duties as assigned. His research interests include issues of women and minorities in higher education, the history of higher education, and research on student concerns.
Dr. Schwartz is a recipient of the 2008 Faculty Seminole Award. This award is presented to a faculty member who is responsible for major contributions to the university through service to students and who has an exemplary attitude towards students, is enthusiastic about working with students, and extends themselves to help students. Read Dr. Schwartz's full bio here.
Professor/ President Emeritus
Dr. Thomas Kent "T.K." Wetherell was President of Florida State University from 2003-2010. Dr. Wetherell has a long and distinguished career in higher education. Prior to coming to FSU, Wetherell, served as President of Tallahassee Community College from 1995 until 2001. Under his leadership, the college doubled its enrollment and the gross square footage of the main campus. He pioneered innovative academic programs, led the college into the top 25 community colleges in the nation awarding associate’s degrees and solicited the college’s first $1 million scholarship donor. After stepping down as TCC President, he served as a lobbyist with the Southern Strategy Group.
Before assuming the presidency at TCC, he was President of Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida and was responsible for coordinating and promoting post secondary higher educational opportunities and programs in Florida’s private colleges.
He previously served in a number of capacities at Daytona Beach Community College, including Provost and Dean of instruction, Vice President, and President of Academic and University Transfer Programs, Vice President of District Planning and Development and Executive Assistant to the President. Before that, he served as Associate Professor of Education at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. He began his career as an academic counselor for student-athletes at FSU before going to Florida Technological University in Orlando where he was Assistant to the Dean of Housing and then Director of Housing and Administrative Assistant to the Vice President.
He served in the Florida House of Representatives from 1980 to 1992, the last two years as House Speaker. During his tenure in the House, he served as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the Higher Education Committee. The Miami Herald named him one of the Top Ten Legislative Leaders in the House each year from 1987 through 1992.
He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Social Studies Education from FSU in 1967 and 1968 respectively. He earned a doctoral degree in Education Administration from FSU in 1974. He has been inducted into Florida State University’s Hall of Fame and was a recipient of the prestigious Moore-Stone Award, as well as the university’s Distinguished Service Award. Dr. Wetherell serves the students and faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies by teaching courses in higher education both face to face and online. Read Dr. Wetherell's full bio here.