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James M. Ellis

Assistant Professor

James M. Ellis

Dr. James M. Ellis’s research investigates relationships between education pipeline experiences and racial-ethnic and low-income student pathways to college enrollment and degree completion. His’ scholarship examines the nexus between college readiness program participation, developmental approaches to college readiness, social support from peers and adults and racism and discrimination in education settings. Dr. Ellis utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to carry out his research program and has methodological expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods and designs. He regularly collaborates with education practitioners to conduct his research.

He was a lead research investigator with the Finish Line Project a U.S. Department of Education First in the World grant. This research examined first-generation college student persistence, academic outcomes and participation in university retention programs at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. His future program of research includes examining the intersectionality of racial and socioeconomic identity and its influence on college persistence among Black and Latinx male undergraduate students.

Research Interests/Focus

K-20 education and career pathways of low income and racial minority students, education pipeline intervensions, racism and discrimination in secondary and postsecondary settings, program evaluation, and underrepresented students’ college preparation, access, and success


Year Degree   School
2015 PhD Education (CSHPE) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2007 MSW Interpersonal Practice/Children & Youth University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
2006 BSW Social Work University of Washington, Seattle
Year Description
2019 Byun, J. E., Ellis J.M., Demetriou, C.P., Panter, A. T. (2019, April). A Phenomenological Variant Ecological Systems Theory Approach to Understand Student-Faculty Relationships among Racial-Ethnic Male First-Generation College Students. Paper presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Kennesaw, GA.
2018 Ellis, J. M., & Powell, C. S. (2018, November). Small Acts, Big Impact: A Microaffirmations Workshop. The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
2018 Ellis, J. M., Powell, C., Huerta-Bapat, C., Demetriou, C. & Panter, A.T. (2018). First Generation Student Perspectives: Microaffirmations & Microaggressions. Paper presented at The 2018 College Board Southern Regional Forum, Orlando, FL.
2018 Ramirez, N., Midkiff, B., Ellis, J. M., Demetriou, C. P., & Panter, A. T. (2018, April). Choosing to Apply to Graduate School: A Study of First-Generation College Students. Paper to be presented American Educational Research Association (AERA), New York, New York.
2017 Ellis, J.M., Powell, C.S., Demetriou, C.D., Panter, A.T. (2017, May). First-Generation College Student Motivation to Interact with Faculty at a Research University. Paper presented at the 29th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.
2017 Ellis, J.M. (2017, November). Examining the Effects of Opportunity Gaps on Participation in a College Access Program among Black Adolescents. Paper presented at the 42nd Association for the Study of Higher Education Annual Meeting, Houston, TX.
2016 Midkiff, B., Ellis, J.M., Demetriou, C. P., Langer, M. M., & Panter, A. T. (2016, August). Everyday discrimination and affirmation among first-generation college students: An assessment of the validity and reliability of a modified version of the EDS. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association annual meeting, Denver, Colorado.
2016 Ellis, J. M., Ramirez, N. A., Midkiff, B., Powell, C., Demetriou, C.D., & Panter, A. T. (2016, August). Examining the Microaggression and Microaffirmation Experiences of First Generation College Students. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
2016 Hoffman, A., Ellis, J. M., Kurtz-Costes, B., Vuletich, H., & Rowley, S. (2016, October). Cultural Pride Socialization, Racial Centrality, and Self-Esteem in African American Adolescent Boys. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Childhood Development Special Topic Meeting: Babies, Boys, and Men of Color, Tampa, Florida.
2016 Markle, R., Midkiff, B., Ramirez, N., Ellis, J. M., Demetriou, C. P., & Panter, A. T. (2016, October). Noncognitive skills and support of first-generation college students. Paper presented at the National Conference on Students in Transition, New Orleans, Louisiana.
2016 Greene, R., Ellis, J. M., Powell, C.S., Demetriou, C. & Panter, A. T. (2016, November). The Academic Coaching Program Experiences of Undergraduate Men of Color. Poster presented at the proceedings of the 12th Annual National Symposium on Student Retention, Norfolk, VA.

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