Episode 119- Kerri Kearney- Supporting Hidden Student Populations

Office Hours with John Gardner

Kerri Kearney discusses how gaining tenure helped her explore her passion for serving students from the foster care system. She discusses the role of the higher education system in supporting disadvantaged students in achieving their goals. Listen to why we need to reconsider assumptions about hidden populations and learn what you can do to support them.

Dr. Kerri Kearney is a professor of higher education and student affairs at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Her research and service primarily focuses on hidden student populations in higher education (students with backgrounds of socially stigmatizing, complex trauma) and organizational behavior, theory, and structure in higher education. Using her evolving research and practice experience, she established the R is for Thursday Network of Oklahoma in 2013, an initiative at the convergence of child welfare and higher education and a forerunner of the R is for Thursday Collective. Nationally, Dr. Kearney sits on the leadership team for Fostering Academic Achievement Nationwide (FAAN) and is the founder and leader of the National Conference for Hidden Student Populations, the nation’s first research conference on college students with foster care experience and other socially stigmatizing trauma. She sat on the board of directors for Oklahoma’s Count Me in 4 Kids, which received a governor’s commendation and established Oklahoma’s current Safe Families program, and she is a former executive committee member for the National Research Collaborative for Foster Alumni and Higher Education. Dr. Kearney’s work is published in diverse fields including higher education and student affairs, management and executive coaching, and qualitative research. Dr. Kearney has an M.B.A. in management and an Ed.D., as well as multiple trauma and wellness-related certifications. She spent over 20 years as an organizational consultant across varied industries before entering academia. She holds the Christine Cashel Professorship in Higher Education and Student Affairs and also serves as the Associate School Head for Educational Foundations, Leadership and Aviation in OSU’s College of Education and Human Sciences.