Ishwanzya Rivers

ishwanzya rivers

Dr. Rivers' curriculum vitae [PDF]


Dr. Rivers' research and teaching interests are college access, college choice, recruitment, and retention for underrepresented students, with an emphasis on the community college. Particularly, she examines relationships between higher education institutions, administration and organization of higher education, legislative policy, institutional policy, and social and economic outcomes for historically underrepresented and underserved students. She authored, “If They Don’t Make a Place for Us, We Should Make a Place for Ourselves”: African American Women and Nursing at State Community College,” in Black Women in Leadership: Their Historical and Contemporary Contributions, edited by Dannielle Joy Davis and Cassandra Chaney (2013). She is also the co-author of, “Dear Mr. Kozol…” Four African American Women Reauthoring Savage Inequalities (2013), published in Teacher’s College Record.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Educational Policy Studies with a specialization in Higher Education Policy and Organization, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
  • EdM, Educational Policy Studies with a specialization in Social and Cultural Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
  • BA, Psychology, Millikin University

Teaching Areas and Research Interests

  • Higher Education Policy and Law
  • Higher Education Systems, Organizations and Administration
  • Community College Systems
  • History of Higher Education
  • Access and Retention (postsecondary)
  • Educational Disparities in higher education
  • History of African American education (access)


  • Qualitative
  • Historical
  • Interpretive

Honors and Professional Service

  • 2017 – present ASHE Program Reviewer
  • 2014 – present TRUTH Editorial Board, Association of Black Women Historians.
  • 2013 – 2015 Reviewer, Kentucky Journal of Higher Education Policy and Practice, University of Kentucky.
  • 2014 – 2014 Research Team, IES Grant Project, Kentucky Education Collaborative.
  • 2013 – 2014 Chair, Orientation Committee, Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).
  • 2012 – 2014 Assistant Editor, Women, Gender & Families of Color Journal (WGFC), University of Kansas.

Professional Members

  • Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE)
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA)
  • American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • History of Education Society (HES)
  • Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH)
  • Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)

Publications and Presentations

  • Rivers, I. D. (2013). If they don’t make a place for us we should make a place for ourselves: African American women and nursing at State Community College. In D. J. Davis & C. Chaney (Eds.), Black women in leadership: Their historical and contemporary contributions. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  • Farmer-Hinton, R., Lewis, J., Patton Davis, L. & Rivers, I. D. (2013). Dear Mr. Kozol…: Four African American women scholars and the reauthoring of Savage Inequalities. Teachers College Record, 115, No. 6, online.
  • Span, C. M., & Rivers, I. D. (2012). Reassessing the achievement gap: An intergenerational comparison of African American student achievement before and after compensatory education and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Teachers College Record, 114, No. 6, online.
  • Rivers, I. D., Patton Davis, L., Farmer-Hinton, R., and Lewis, J. D. (2015, April). Counternarratives of Educational Success: East Saint Louis Teachers and Students “Reauthoring” Kozol’s Savage Inequalities. Roundtable presentation at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL.
  • Rivers, I. D., Patton Davis, L., Farmer-Hinton, R., and Lewis, J. D. (2014, September). Higher Education Achievement Tales: How East St. Louis Teachers and Students are Proving Jonathan Ishwanzya D. Rivers, C-V_5
  • Kozol’s Savage Inequalities Wrong. Paper presentation at the annual meeting for the Study of African American Life and History. Memphis, TN.