Personal profile

Personal profile

Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher is Professor of Higher Education and Community College Leadership. She is the Director of the Office for Community College Research and Leadership (OCCRL). Zamani-Gallaher previously served as Associate Head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership and Associate Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC).

Zamani-Gallaher holds a PhD in Higher Education Administration with a specialization in Community College Leadership and Educational Evaluation from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching, research, and consulting activities largely include psychosocial adjustment and transition of marginalized collegians, transfer, access policies, student development and services at community colleges.

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher is a recipient of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) Senior Scholar Award (2017), is an American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Senior Scholar (2018) and ACPA Diamond Honoree (2017), as well as the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Council on Ethnic Participation (CEP) Founder’s Service Award recipient (2018) and the ASHE-CEP Mildred B. Garcia Senior Exemplary Scholarship Awardee (2009). In 2019, Dr. Zamani-Gallaher was recognized by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) as the recipient of the Community College Research Award and honored by the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students (NISTS) with the Transfer Catalyst Award. Dr. Zamani-Gallaher served as President of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges (CSCC) an affiliate of the American Association of Community Colleges (2013-2014) and was Director for Research and Scholarship for ACPA (2015-2017).

Research Interests

For the last two decades, Dr. Eboni M. Zamani-Gallaher has conducted research on marginalized student populations in marginalized institutional contexts. Namely, her work has focused on access, broadening participation, and equitable postsecondary educational trajectories for diverse collegians in two- and four-year institutions. Zamani-Gallaher's scholarship specifically concerns how underrepresented and underserved students navigate open systems of admissions to further education and/or gainful employment. Her studies span policy relevant inquiry on affirmative action in college admissions, postsecondary prison education, and ADA compliance to addressing campus climate for racially minoritized students, students with disabilities, LGBTQIA collegians, and student veterans.

Dr. Zamani-Gallaher's research has been published in various journals and scholarly texts, including Equity and Excellence in Education, Higher Education Policy, New Directions for Community Colleges and Teachers College Record. She has authored/co-authored and edited/co-edited eight books which include Rethinking LGBTQIA Students and Collegiate Contexts: Identity, Policies, and Campus Climate (Routledge Publishing), Working with Students in Community Colleges: Contemporary Strategies for Bridging Theory, Research, and Practice (ACPA/Stylus Publishing), The Obama Administration and Educational Reform (Emerald Group Publishing) and African American Females: Addressing Challenges and Nurturing the Future (Michigan State University).


Dr. Zamani-Gallaher's approach towards instructional delivery and design are grounded in critical theory, more specifically, the organizing conceptual framework for her teaching is critical pedagogy as she finds it useful in engaging students in active learning, analytic thinking especially in terms of calling to question cultural hegemony. In her courses, she encourages students to challenge interest convergence and marginalization as well as policies and practices that oppress or act to suppress access and equity. She embraces central tenets of adult learning theory that values the experiences of students and the expertise they bring to the program. Hence, she seeks to develop scholars and educational leaders with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for helping to build learning communities within a global culturally pluralistic society.


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