Title: Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education, University of Texas at Austin
Education: Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Georgia State University; M.Ed., Counselor Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; B.A., Psychology, Wake Forest University
Dr. Kevin Cokley effortlessly excelled as a high school student in his small rural town of Mount Holly, N.C. When he arrived at Wake Forest University, however, he struggled in the classroom for the first time in his life.
Cokley, now an educational psychologist at the University of Texas, lacked study skills and did not know how to manage his time.
"When I tell African-American students my story about my abysmal first semester and early academic struggles, they are usually amazed and inspired by my resilience and subsequent accomplishments" Cokley says.
The once under-prepared Cokley trained himself on the fly and managed to earn three degrees. Now, about 30 publications, eight book chapters and 60 conference presentations later, he is one of the most prepared and up-and-coming educational psychologists in higher education.
"Dr. Cokley is a well-published scholar in the field of counseling,' says Dr. Edmund T. Emmer, the chair of UT's department of education psychology where Cokley just finished his first semester. "He has been well received by students and colleagues:'
The Association of Black Psychologists recently honored Cokley with its 2007 Scholarship Award. He has also earned an award from the American Psychological Association and had the honor of publishing in the Harvard Educational Review.
Cokley, who before UT taught at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, has racked up honors as a researcher in the area of Black psychology. He has sought to inquire about the construction of racial and ethnic identities and the psychological factors that impact Black student achievement.
"My research in many ways reflects my experiences as a Black male trying to negotiate the challenges of excelling academically at an elite, predominantly White university,' says Cokley, who is also an associate editor of the Journal of Black Psychology.
One of the ways that Cokley has excelled as a scholar--publishing instead of perishing--is by following the advice of a senior scholar who told him he should always have manuscripts in three stages of progress: in press, under review and in preparation. …