Lori Patton Davis, Ph.D.

Professor of Urban Education


Résumé/CV on Box

ES 3122


  • Ph.D., Higher Education, Indiana University
  • M.A., College Student Personnel, Bowling Green State University
  • B.S., Speech Communication, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville


Lori Patton Davis, Ph.D. is a higher education scholar whose research agenda focuses on African Americans in postsecondary contexts, Critical Race Theory applied to higher education, college student development theory and the influence of campus environments on student experiences.

Patton Davis is perhaps the most well-known researcher and scholar in the area of culture centers. She wrote the first dissertation focusing on culture centers, "From Protest to Progress: An Examination of the Relevance, Relationships and Roles of Black Culture Centers (BCCs)." Moreover, she is the editor of the recently released book, Campus Culture Centers in Higher Education, which highlights various types of racial/ethnic specific culture centers in higher education, their continued relevance, and implications for their existence in relation to student retention and success. Patton Davis regularly serves as a consultant and national speaker on culture centers given her knowledge and expertise in this particular area. Her most recent research examines issues of intersectionality in the experiences of African American lesbian, gay, and bisexual students attending historically black colleges and universities and those who belong to black Greek-letter organizations. Patton Davis is also engaged in critical scholarship on the experiences of black undergraduate women in higher education. She is the editor of the forthcoming book, Debunking the "New Model Minority" Myth: Critical Perspectives on Black Women in College.

Professor Patton Davis' larger body of work has been published in The Journal of Higher Education, Journal of Negro Education, Journal of College Student Development, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Negro Educational Review, and several other well-respected journals, edited books and monographs, and professional magazines. In addition to the edited volume on culture centers, she is also an author of the 2nd edition of Student Development in College: Theory, Research, and Practice and the forthcoming 3rd edition of the ASHE Reader on College Student Affairs Administration.

Patton Davis is affiliated with and highly involved in numerous professional associations in higher education and student affairs including the Association for the Study of Higher Education, American Educational Research Association, and the American College Personnel Association. She has presented over 80 research papers, workshops, symposia and keynote addresses inter/nationally. Patton Davis has been recognized by the American College Personnel Association (2005 Emerging Scholar Award, 2005 Annuit Coeptis Award) and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (2010 Early Career Award, 2008 Mildred E. Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship).

Courses Taught

  • EDUC-U 546 Diverse Students on the College Campus
  • EDUC-U 548 Student Development Theory
  • EDUC-U 549 Campus Environments and Assessment

Honors & Awards

  • ASHE Promising Scholar/Early Career Award, 2010
  • Fellow, ASHE Institutes on Equity and Critical Policy Analysis, 2009, 2010
  • Early Achievement in Research Award, Iowa State University College of Human Sciences, 2009
  • ASHE Mildred E. Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship, 2008
  • ACPA Emerging Scholar, 2005
  • ACPA Annuit Coeptis Emerging Professional Award, 2005

Grants & Funding

  • University of Denver-Faculty Research Fund
    Resistance, Resilience, and Reciprocity: Centering the Voices of Black Doctoral Women with Faculty Aspirations (2012)
    Lead PI: Nicole Russell; Co-PI: Lori D. Patton
  • University of Denver-Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning
    Public Good Engaged Scholarship Grant
    College Aspirations Readiness and Empowerment (CARE) for Black Adolescent Girls (2012)
    Lead PI: Lori D. Patton; Co-PI: Nicole Russell
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Foundation Grant:
    The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual African American Undergraduates in Historically Black Greek Letter Organizations (2008)
  • American Psychological Foundation William F. Placek Grant:
    From Margin to Center: An Exploratory Study of the Developmental Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2006)
  • American College Personnel Association Foundation Grant
    Intersecting in the Center: Black Culture Centers and Intersectional Approaches to Supporting Black Students' Multiple Identities (2012)
    Lead PI: Lori D. Patton; Co-PI: Jessica Harris

Expert In

  • Blacks in Higher Education
  • Campus Culture Centers
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Social Justice
  • Student Development Theory

Professional Associations

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
  • American Educational Studies Association (AESA)