Leslie A. Williams, Ed.D., is the First Year Programs & Learning Communities Program Administrator and incoming ScHOLA²RS House Director. He recently served as the Racial Equity and Inclusion Research Fellow in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Connecticut. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at the Neag School of Education. Leslie’s career in education has spanned more than 25 years as a practitioner and scholar, and include roles as a middle and high school history teacher, an assistant dean for multicultural affairs, a program and research consultant at a philanthropic foundation, and visiting assistant professor of educational leadership. Through all these roles his work has always focused on improving the educational experiences and outcomes of all students, particularly those from historically excluded communities.
Leslie’s research focuses on the access, inclusion and success of underrepresented minoritized racial/ethnic, low-socioeconomic status and first-generation groups in higher education in the United States at three levels: 1) national and state policy such as affirmative action and financial aid; 2) institutional and organizational programmatic efforts such as diversity initiatives, cultural centers and college access programs; and 3) individual practices and experiences such as teaching and learning. His publications include: Trumpocalypse and the historical limits of higher education policy: Making the case for study/struggle; Beyond college enrollment: Exploring the relationship between historically underrepresented students’ prior participation in college access programs and undergraduate success, Pursuing equity through diversity: Perspectives and propositions for teaching and learning in higher education, and Building an equity and opportunity agenda: The economic imperative for college completion, a report on the National Urban League and USA Funds National Higher Education Summit. Leslie has also presented at numerous national and international refereed research conferences and served as invited keynote speaker at several colleges and universities in the United States.