Laila McCloud is an assistant professor of College Student Personnel in the Counselor Education & College Student Personnel department at Western Illinois University. Dr. McCloud's research is currently situated into two streams of inquiry: (1) interrogating how institutional policies and practices influence the collegiate experiences of racially and gender minoritized students and (2) how student affairs educators are prepared to address policies and practices that impact minoritized students. Current research projects include: (1) study of how pre-orientation program websites use language to shape perceptions of campus racial climate; (2) an exploration of the attitudes of students in student affairs graduate preparation programs towards developing assessment competency; and (3) an analysis of how introductory syllabi in higher education and student affairs graduate preparation programs position the field and inform practice.
Before joining the faculty at Western Illinois University, Dr. McCloud worked professionally in student affairs at four-year institutions. Past research studies include her dissertation study titled, Engaging the Other: Black Students' Perceptions of Perspective-Taking at Historically White Colleges and Universities. This study focused on Black students' perceptions of the campus climate for helping them develop perspective-taking skills and how high impact practices help Black students develop these skills. She completed her Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies with a focus on Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Iowa in 2019. A Midwesterner at heart, Laila also holds a B.A. and M.Ed from DePaul University in Chicago.
Dr. Mitsu Narui serves as the Director of Research for the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH and as a Research Associate - Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis for Rankin & Associates Consulting. Mitsu has also held positions in assessment, curricular development, multicultural affairs, governmental policy, academic advising and residence life. In addition, Mitsu currently serves on the editorial boards for the Journal for LGBT Youth and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and has been actively presenting her research on Asian and Asian American lesbian, gay, and bisexual college students.
Dr. Ayesha Yousafzai earned her PhD from Virginia Tech in Higher Education. She currently works as a Special Assistant for the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech. In her professional career, she has worked both in Academic Affairs (college access, and student success initiatives) and Student Affairs (residence life, pre-Major advising, international student services). Her research focuses on experiences of Muslim international women, gendered Islamophobia in the U.S., and marginalized religious identities.