Meet Our Faculty

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Tamara Bertrand Jones  

Associate Professor
Chair, Higher Education program
HESA Advisor

@tbertrandjones |

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. 

Dr. Bertrand Jones received her Ph.D. in research and evaluation methods from Florida State University. Read Dr. Bertrand Jones's full bio here


Mary Coburn
Director, Hardee Center for Leadership and Ethics in Education

@fsumc |

Dr. Mary B. Coburn was appointed FSU's vice president for student affairs in 2003 and retired in 2017. In this position she lead more than 1,000 student affairs employees who serve more than 40,000 students. Dr. Coburn, an FSU alumna, previously served as vice president for student affairs at Tallahassee Community College from 1995 until 2003. Prior to that role, she served as a counselor at Bainbridge Junior College, then returned to her alma mater as the director of student development programs and, later, the assistant dean of students and director of the orientation center. 

A three time alumna, Dr. Coburn earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology, her master’s in counseling and human systems, and her doctorate in higher education, all from FSU. Read Dr. Coburn's full bio here. 

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Brad Cox

Associate Professor
@BradCoxHigherEd |

Dr. Bradley E. Cox is an associate professor of higher education in Florida State University’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Broadly invested in research that aims to understand student success and improve student outcomes, Cox undertakes projects that illuminate or extend “actionable intersections" that affect college students’ development, persistence, and graduation. Of primary interest are projects exploring how institutional policies shape student experiences and outcomes during the first year of college. Related topics of interest include: 1) the interplay between students’ college experiences and their home lives; 2) interactions between faculty members and students outside of the classroom; and 3) equity of outcomes for traditionally underserved students.

Dr. Cox received his Ph.D. in Higher Education from Penn State. Read Dr. Cox's full bio here


Kathy Guthrie

Associate Professor
Director, Leadership Learning Research Center

@kathylguthrie |

Dr. Kathy Guthrie is an associate professor in the higher education program at Florida State University. She serves as director of the Leadership Learning Research Center and coordinator of the Undergraduate Certificate in Leadership Studies. She currently serves as Chair of the International Leadership Association’s Leadership Scholarship Member Interest Group and associate editor for the New Directions in Student Leadership series. Her research focuses on leadership learning outcomes, environment of leadership and civic education, and use of technology in leadership education.

Dr. Guthrie received her Ph.D. in educational organization and leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Read Dr. Guthrie's full bio here. 


Shouping Hu

Founding Director, Center for Postsecondary Success

Dr. Shouping Hu is professor of higher education and the Louis W. and Elizabeth N. Bender Endowed Professor. Dr. Hu’s research interests examine issues related to college access and success, student engagement and learning, and higher education policy. Dr. Hu has published more than 60 journal articles and book chapters and is the author of five books. He has received funding support from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the Gates Foundation, NPEC/AIR, and other sources. 

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


Lara Perez-Felkner

Assistant Professor
Senior Research Associate, Center for Postsecondary Success

Dr. Lara Perez-Felkner is an assistant professor of higher education and sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies 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, and a Research Affiliate of the Joint Centers for Education Research and Population Research Center at NORC at the University of Chicago.

Her research examines how young people’s social contexts influence their college and career outcomes. She focuses on the mechanisms that shape entry into and persistence in 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’s recent work includes numerous solo- and lead-authored articles and chapters in edited volumes. Read Dr. Perez-Felkner's full bio here.


Bob Schwartz

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 southern Georgia where he taught courses in educational research and at the University of South Carolina where he was a faculty member in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. His research interests include issues of women and minorities in higher education, the history of higher education, and research on student concerns.

Bob 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. Read Dr. Schwartz's full bio here. 


T.K. Wetherell

President Emeritus

Dr. Thomas Kent "T.K." Wetherell was president of Florida State University 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 postsecondary higher education opportunities and programs in Florida's private colleges.

He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in social studies education, followed by a doctoral degree in education administration, all from FSU. 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.