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Williams Receives Prestigious AERA Award

Krystal L. Williams

Krystal L. Williams, assistant professor of higher education in the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, received the 2022 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award.

The award recognizes scholars who have made significant contributions to the understanding of issues that disproportionately affect minority populations and scholars in minority populations who have made a significant contribution to education research and development. Nominee must be in the first ten years of their professional careers since receiving their doctoral degrees.

Her nomination letters commend her outstanding scholarship, teaching, and general mentorship of students. “Her current body of work, productivity, and investment in students’ learning and socialization into the field make her exemplary amongst her peers,” wrote one nominator. In another letter, she was described as “a phenomenal young scholar whose work has already made impactful contributions across various disciplines, and who will continue to be a trailblazer in education.”

Williams’ research explores the use of public policies to promote college success for underrepresented students. She is an engaged and productive scholar, who currently focuses on STEM field diversity, student financial and academic strain in college, and student services at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

“One of my favorite African proverbs states, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ With this in mind, I view this award as an honor to be shared with my family, colleagues, collaborators, and others who have supported my research on policy issues related to HBCUs and the experiences of marginalized populations in STEM,” said Williams.

AERA is an international community of over 25,000 education researchers, including faculty, graduate students, and other professionals. She received the award at a special ceremony during the AERA Annual Meeting in April.

Williams also was named a 2021 Emerging Scholar by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

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Assistant Professor of Higher Education

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