Room: 3113 Benjamin Building
Phone: (301) 405-0186
Sharon Fries-Britt (Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park)
Associate Professor, Higher Education; HESI
Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education (CHSE)
Affiliation and Special Appointments:
Incoming Director (Fall 2013-2015), Higher Education, Student Affairs and International Education Program (HESI)
Research Associate, National Association for Black Physicists
Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity
_______________________________________________Research Interests | Bio | Honors & Awards | Grants & Projects | Publications |
Minority students, minority high achievers, race, equity and diversity in higher education.
My research, teaching and service as a professor are informed by my previous experiences as an administrator and my work for over 30 years as a consultant on race, equity and diversity in and outside of higher education. I became keenly aware of the challenges that underrepresented students, faculty and administrators encountered in the academy however I found little research reflecting the "lived experiences" of these important populations in the academy.
Over the course of several studies, my research team has examined the experiences of underrepresented students most of whom were STEM majors. These students represent an important part of the pipeline in STEM education and they are an important link to understanding what contributes to the success of Blacks in the academy. Not only have they persisted as science majors, many have successfully completed an undergraduate degree and others are working on their graduate education. They represent the talent pool from which we will recruit future graduate students, faculty, and ultimately, practicing scientists. Their experiences inform ourunderstanding of sources of motivation to pursue science and what contributes to their overall success.
Our recent work began in 2004 with the National Society of Black and Hispanic Physicists (NSBP and NSHP) exploring patterns of success in Physics majors. In this work we seek to understand the factors identified by students as contributing to their success and those factors that impede their progress. The project is guided by several key questions, (a) what academic and social factors are important to minority students majoring in physics, (b) in what ways did minority students in physics characterize their experience, (c) what perceptions did students have about their interactions with faculty in and outside of the classroom, (d) did race contribute to their motivation to succeed, and (e) how did their academic experiences shape their sense of self? Our research team has written several publications from this work and presented at numerous conferences. We are currently working on manuscripts that examine the experiences of immigrant students, graduate students, mentoring and women in STEM classrooms based on the data from NSBP. In addition to the work with NSBP I was also a Co-PI on a grant to study race, equity and diversity in the 23 southern and boarder states funded by the Lumina Foundation from 2004-2006. In 2008-2010 I worked as a consultant for MIT on their study on faculty race and diversity.
2001-Present: Johns Hopkins University (Consultant on Race, Equity and Diversity)
- Center for Education and Training
- University Diversity Leadership Council
- Numerous campus departments
2005-2008: United States Secret Service (Consultant on Race, Equity and Diversity)
2006-Present: Princeton University (Consultant on Race, Equity and Diversity)
- Office of Human Resources (ongoing)
- Provost office 2012-2013 Capacity Building for Diversity
- Residential and Dining Services Training
2008-2010- Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT
- Provost Office: Initiative for faculty race and diversity.
Faculty Achievement Award, University of Maryland, President's Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues, 2012.
Mentor of the Year, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), 2011
Community Service Award, University of Maryland's, Black Faculty and Staff Association, 2002.
Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award, Department of Education Policy and Leadership, 2001.
“Evaluation of Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), Bridge to the Doctorate in STEM.” Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering, University of Maryland, 2010-2011, (Evaluator), Awarded $10,000.
“Study of Race Equity and Diversity in 19 Southern and Border States.” Lumina Foundation for Education, 2004-2006, (Co-PI), Awarded $323,800.
Grant sub-contracted as part of “Broadening Participant in Physics: Fall Regional Meetings and Spring Annual Conferences of the National Society of Black Physicists.” DMR-0400699, 2004-2006, (PI), Awarded $25,000.
“Evaluation of Civil Rights Summer Internship Program.” Harvard Civil Rights Project, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and Citizens’ Commission on Civil Rights, 2001-2003, (Co-PI), Awarded $4,000.
Recipient of Diversity Initiative Faculty Support Award. Sponsored by the Office of Human Relations, University of Maryland, College Park, 2001-2001, Awarded course release equivalent to 10% of salary.
“Gifted and Talented Black Students.” Graduate School, University of Maryland, 1996-1996, (PI), Awarded $26,000.
Fries-Britt, S. L., Villarreal, R. C., Elias McAllister, D., & Blacknall, T. (2012). K-12 teachers: Important bridges to success for African-American students. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 18(4).
Fries-Britt, S. L., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., Perna, L. W., Milem, J. F., & Howard, D. G. (2011). Underrepresentation in the Academy and the Institutional Climate for Faculty Diversity. Journal of the Professoriate, 5(1), 1-34.
Fries-Britt, S. L., Younger, T. K. & Hall, W. D. (2010). Lessons from high-achieving students of color in physics. New Directions for Institutional Research, 2010(148), 75-83.
Perna, L. W., Fries-Britt, S. L., Gerald, D. S., Rowan-Kenyon, H. T., & Milem, J. F. (2008). Underrepresentatation in the academy: A study of race equity in three southern states. Journal of the Professoriate, 3(1), 5-28.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2008). Advising through a Wave of Change. NACADA Journal, 28(1), 3-7.
Fries-Britt, S. L. & Griffin, K. (2007). The black box: How high achieving Blacks resist stereotypes about Black Americans, Journal of College Student Development, 48(5) 509-524.
Fries-Britt, S. L. & Kelly, B. T. (2005). Retaining each other: Narratives of two African American women in the academy. The Urban Review, 37(3), 221-242.
Fries-Britt, S. L., Burt, B., & Johnson, J. M. (2013). Black students in physics. The intersection of academic ability, race, gender and class. In T. L. Strayhorn (Ed.), Living at the intersections: Social identities and Black collegians. New York: Information Age Publishing, Inc.
Fries-Britt, S. L., Burt, B., & Franklin, K. (2012). Black males majoring in physics: How HBCUs are making a difference. In R. T. Palmer & J. L. Wood (Eds.), Black men in Black Colleges: Implications for diversity, recruitment, support, and retention (pp. 71-88). New York: Routledge Press.
Fries-Britt, S. L. & Holmes, K. M. (2012). Prepared and progressing: Black women in physics. In C. R. Chambers & R. V Sharpe (Eds.), Black female undergraduates on campus: Successes and challenges (pp. 199-218). United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Fries-Britt, S. L., Younger, T., & Hall, W. (2010). Underrepresented minorities in physics: How perceptions of race and campus climate affect student outcomes. In T. Elon Dancy (Ed.), Managing diversity: (Re)Visioning equity on college campuses (pp. 181-198). New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc.
Selected Invited Talks
Fries-Britt, S.L. (2013). Studying Students in the 21st Century: Enhancing the success of diverse students. The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.
Fries-Britt, S.L., Stanley, C.S and Stevenson, M.R. (2013). Translating Diversity Scholarship into Diversity Practice, National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) 7th Annual Conference, Washington, DC.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2012). Blurring the lines: Focusing together on student transformation. Keynote address at the annual meeting of NASPA Region IV-East, Madison, WI.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2012). Faculty diversity training workshop. Invited keynote and facilitation for faculty and professional staff engaged with minority science students at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MD.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2010). High achieving minority students managing multiple identities. Keynote address at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2009). High achieving minority students. Keynote address at Rutgers University Division of Student Affairs, New Brunswick, NJ.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2007). Keynote address at the annual meeting of the National Association for Academic Advising, Baltimore, MD.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2007). Keynote address National meeting of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network, Pittsburgh, PA.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2006). Race, equity and diversity in the workplace, Invited Talk for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC.
Fries-Britt, S. L. (2005). Ambassadors for diversity, Invited Talk for the Center for National and Community Service, Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC.