Zamani-Gallaher named Senior Scholar of the American College Personnel Association

by the College of Education at Illinois  /   Mar 22, 2018

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ACPA honorees, left to right, Tonisha Lane (Emerging Scholar), Symphony Oxedine (Presidential Citation), and Eboni Zamani-Gallaher (Senior Scholar)  

The American College Personnel Association (ACPA) has named College of Education Professor Eboni Zamani-Gallaher a Senior Scholar. Zamani-Gallaher was appointed with the honor on March 12 at the organization’s annual convention in Houston.

Debora L. Liddell, a professor of higher education and student affairs at the University of Iowa, presented Zamani-Gallaher with the award. She called Zamani-Gallaher the “quintessential scholar in higher education and student affairs” due to her research on community colleges, student success, and equity and access.

“This is exactly our goal in the ACPA Senior Scholars program,” Liddell said. “To use cutting-edge research and evidence to inform and improve practice. Eboni will be a tremendous asset to our group as we move the ACPA scholarly agenda forward, and mentor emerging scholars.”

Zamani-Gallaher is a professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership and director of the Office of Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). Her research for the past two decades has focused on marginalized students across institutional contexts, work that aligns with ACPA, an organization for practitioners and scholars that is centered on social justice. 

“My work at OCCRL fits the scholarly orientation of ACPA as we address the needs and educational trajectories of diverse youth and adults transitioning to community colleges to further education and workplace opportunities,” Zamani-Gallaher said.

Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart of Colorado State University is an ACPA Senior Scholar and has collaborated in the past with Zamani-Gallaher as a speaker at the College’s Dean's Diversity Lecture Series, which Zamani-Gallaher helps organize and promote. Stewart said Zamani-Gallaher’s focus on the community college sector brings an underrepresented focus to the Senior Scholars group.

“The majority of all students, and the overwhelming majority of all racially and ethnically minoritized, first-generation, and low-income students, begin their college careers in community colleges,” Stewart said. “Eboni's scholarly expertise in this area will enhance our internal discussions and enable us to better support and speak to the issues faced by community college student affairs administrators and the students they serve.”     

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACPA is a comprehensive student affairs association that engages students in lifelong learning and discovery. It was founded in 1924 and has approximately 7,500 members representing 1,200 institutions worldwide.

The ACPA’s Senior Scholars Program was implemented in 1984 and advocates for the integration of scholarship into the practice of student affairs. The program provides scholars with a continuing opportunity to promote scholarship through the presentation of programs of interest to the profession at national conventions and serves the association on projects related to their fields of interest.

“I have the deepest respect for the work of current and past ACPA Senior Scholars,” Zamani-Gallaher said. “I’m pleased and proud to join their ranks.”