Dr. Tryan L. McMickens serves as an Associate Professor of Higher Education and Program Coordinator of the M.S. in Higher Education Administration Program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). NCCU is an exceptional Historically Black College and University (HBCU) with an innovative higher education graduate program. Located in the Research Triangle, NCCU is the first public liberal arts institution for Black Americans in the United States and it is one of 17 campuses that constitute the University of North Carolina System.
For the past decade, he was on the faculty of Suffolk University as Associate Professor of Higher Education, the third Director of the Administration of Higher Education Program, and the Inaugural Director of the Disability Services in Higher Education Certificate Program. He is the former Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives, ad interim, at the University of Richmond's School of Arts and Sciences (A&S), its largest school comprised of 23 departments and 11 interdisciplinary programs. He was responsible for helping to design and execute various aspects of C30, A&S's first strategic plan.
Dr. McMickens was awarded over $200,000 in fellowship awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars Program and his funded research portfolio exceeds $50,000. His research focuses on race, class, and gender in education; teaching and learning in U.S. higher education; and qualitative inquiries in education research. Equity and justice are central to much of his scholarship. His work applies qualitative methods, and he has extensive experience using the various traditions in qualitative research. In 2013, the University of Pennsylvania awarded him the Early Career/Alumni Award of Merit.
Dr. McMickens teaches on student development theory and practice, research in higher education, critical issues in higher education, diversity issues in higher education, and practicum. He is a consultant for a diverse assemblage of organizations, including non-profits, colleges, and universities on good practices in strategic planning and implementation; equity and justice; student success; alumni engagement; and resource development (i.e., fundraising and stewardship).
Prior to joining the faculty at Suffolk, he spent four years as an Assistant Director of the National Black Male College Achievement Study, Assistant Director of the Grad Prep Academy, and Doctoral Research Assistant to Dr. Shaun R. Harper in the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Before Penn, he served in various project management, student affairs, development, and fundraising roles at Harvard Medical School, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Tuskegee University, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Several organizations have praised his research and leadership including NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (2022 Outstanding Historically Black College and University/Minority Serving Institution Professional in Region III, 2012 Network for Educational Equity and Ethnic Diversity Award; 2011 Melvene D. Hardee Runner Up Dissertation of the Year Award), Suffolk University (2020 College of Arts and Sciences Racial Equity Champion Faculty Award; 2016 Dean John Brennan Award for Outstanding Graduate Instruction), Phi Delta Kappa International (2012 Emerging Leader; 2011 Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award), and the American Educational Research Association (2012 Finalist for Dissertation of the Year Award). He has been featured or quoted in Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, U.S. News and World Report, and other media outlets.
Dr. McMickens sailed around the world and developed cross-cultural and global exposure in 14 countries with the Semester at Sea program. He holds an educational doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s degree in administration of higher education from Suffolk University and bachelor’s degrees in sales & marketing and business administration from Tuskegee University.
Dr. McMickens grew up in one of the oldest Black communities in Canton, Georgia: Pearidge. Through mentoring, tenacity, encouragement from his parents (the late Bobby Louis McMickens and Linda Gregory McMickens), guidance from his church family, community uplift, and hard work, he became the first person in his family to attend and graduate from college. Dr. McMickens builds upon that legacy as a proud husband and father.