Dr. Shawn Ricks

Dr. Shawn Ricks joined the RCOE faculty as chair of the department in 2020. She has experience working with diverse student populations, and has worked in the community college system, an HBCU, large public and small private settings.

Prior to her current position, she was the assistant vice president for equity, diversity and inclusion and an associate professor of race and ethnicity studies at Salem Academy and College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At Salem she worked with faculty, staff and students around issues of equity, diversity and inclusion at both individual and institution levels.

She is the current president of the North Carolina Foundation for Alcohol and Drug Studies, and a past president of the Southern Organization for Human Services. She serves an editor for the Journal of Human Services, and is a reviewer for The Urban Review and The Journal of Curriculum Theorizing. 

Dr. Ricks earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and cultural foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also holds an M.Ed. in counselor education and a B.A. in African and African American studies, both from Pennsylvania State University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist. 

Her research centers on the mental health and wellness of Black women in higher education; racial trauma and education; and living and learning in a “post-racial” America. She is the author of Psychological Tight Spaces: One Black Feminist Scholar’s Journey into Academia and Write Your Own Story: A Handbook.

Title: Chair, Associate Professor
Department: Department of Leadership and Educational Studies

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8374

Office address
516 C
College of Education Building