Cross, William E. Jr, Ph.D.

Cross, William E. Jr, Ph.D. : Clinical Professor

Clinical Professor

Higher Education and Counseling Psychology
303-871-4592, KRH 355

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Dr. Cross received his PhD from Princeton University.  He holds professor emeritus status from another university but remains active, and he is President-Elect for Div. 45 (APA).  Dr. Cross’ recent publications interrogate the structure of the self-concept; the range of identity profiles found among African American adults; cultural epiphanies; the identity implications of cultural miseducation and false consciousness; and the multiple ways racial identity is enacted in everyday life.  He is a dedicated audiophile and is never far from music.

Gildersleeve, Ryan Evely, Ph.D.

Gildersleeve, Ryan Evely, Ph.D. : Department Chair and Associate Professor

Department Chair and Associate Professor

Higher Education
303-871-4573, KRH 357

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Dr. Gildersleeve received his PhD from the University of California-Los Angeles.  He was a 2012 National Academy of Education / Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Gildersleeve received the 2011 Early Career Award from the American Educational Research Association's Division D – Research Methodology. His practical experience ranges across P-20 education in primarily out-of-classroom learning contexts with non-dominant youth.  Dr. Gildersleeve’s research agenda investigates the social and political contexts of educational opportunity for historically marginalized communities, focusing on college access and success for Latina/o (im)migrant families, critical higher education policy, and critical qualitative inquiry.


Kiyama, Judy Marquez, Ph.D.

Kiyama, Judy Marquez, Ph.D. : Associate Professor

Associate Professor

Higher Education
303-871-3753, KRH 363

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Dr. Kiyama received her PhD from the University of Arizona. Dr. Kiyama’s research examines the structures that shape educational opportunities for underserved groups through an asset-based lens to better understand the collective knowledge and resources drawn upon to confront, negotiate, and (re)shape such structures. Her research is organized in three interconnected areas: the role of parents and families; equity and power in educational research; and underserved groups as collective networks of change. Dr. Kiyama’s current projects focus on the high school to college transition experiences of first-generation, and low-income, and families of color and their role in serving as sources of cultural support for their college-aged students. In 2014 Dr. Kiyama was awarded the Mildred García Exemplary Scholarship Award.


Nelson, Chris A., Ph.D.

Nelson, Chris A., Ph.D. : Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Higher Education
303-871-2487, KRH 349

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Chris A. Nelson, Ph.D., is of the Diné and Laguna Pueblo tribes of the southwest. Dr. Nelson received her doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arizona’s Center for the Study of Higher Education. With over 10 years of higher education experience, she has a cross sectioning of experiences ranging from educational pathways in STEM, policy research, and student affairs.

The research she engages with strives to challenge the status quo of higher education for Native students and their communities. Her primary research interest focuses on finance in higher education, which ranges from student experiences to policy. Chris also blends critical theory and Indigenous perspectives/methods to explore the long-term impacts of pre-college access programs.

Orphan, Cecilia, Ph.D.

Orphan, Cecilia, Ph.D. : Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Higher Education
303-871-3619, KRH 354

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Dr. Cecilia M. Orphan holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Portland State University. Dr. Orphan’s research centers on the effects of neoliberal ideology and public policy on the democratic purpose of public higher education, and the role of open access universities in facilitating educational opportunity and regional civic life. From 2006-2011, Dr. Orphan directed the American Democracy Project, a national civic engagement initiative involving 240 colleges and universities.  In 2011, Dr. Orphan was awarded the John Saltmarsh Award for Emerging Leaders in Civic Engagement, a national award given by AASCU presented annually to an emerging leader in the civic engagement field. Portfolio

Sponsler, Laura, Ph.D.

Sponsler, Laura, Ph.D. : Clinical Assistant Professor

Clinical Assistant Professor

Higher Education
303-871-2720, KRH 352

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Dr. Sponsler received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Saint Joseph’s University and a master’s degree in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Dr. Sponsler served as the founding director for NASPA’s Lead Initiative, a project recognizing a network of nearly 100 postsecondary institutions for their commitment to civic learning and democratic engagement.  Dr. Sponsler represented NASPA and its civic work with local, regional, and national partners.  She also collaborated with NASPA's Professional Development team to incorporate civic learning and democratic engagement into conferences and professional development opportunities for NASPA members.  In addition, she provided research support to the NASPA Research and Policy Institute. Prior to her scholarly work, Dr. Sponsler served as a practitioner in student affairs.  She coordinated the Franklin Community, which is dedicated to developing civic leaders for an increasingly democratic and culturally complex world.  Dr. Sponsler also served as the Assistant Director of Service-Learning in an immersion program along the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico as well as coordinated service and leadership programming at Cabrini College.

Tuitt, Franklin A, Ed.D.

Tuitt, Franklin A, Ed.D. : Professor, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Inclusive Excellence

Professor, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Provost on Inclusive Excellence

Higher Education
303-871-2591, KRH 226

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Dr. Tuitt received his Ed.D. from Harvard University.  He is the Senior Advisor to the Chancellor, Provost on Inclusive Excellence, and a Professor of Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education. Dr. Tuitt’s research explores topics related to access and equity in higher education; teaching and learning in racially diverse college classrooms; and diversity and organizational transformation. His scholarship critically examines issues of race, Inclusive Excellence and diversity in and outside the classroom from the purview of faculty and students.

In 2014 Dr. Tuitt was awarded the Mildred García Exemplary Scholarship Award.

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