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Micere Keels is an Associate Professor of educational inequality in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2005. Her research focuses on understanding how sociodemographic characteristics (race-ethnicity and poverty, in particular) structure the supports and challenges that individuals experience. She is particularly invested in developing systems-change interventions. 

Keels also directs the Trauma Responsive Educational Practices Project (TREP Project) which is a research-translation and research-practice-partnership that aims to connect the brain and behavior research on developmental trauma with the realities of school and classroom management. The TREP Project works to develop the individual and organizational capacity of educators and schools serving children growing up in neighborhoods that have high levels of toxic stress, such as violent crime, concentrated poverty, concentrated foster care involvement, and housing instability.

Keels directs the Minority College Cohort Study (MCCS), which is a longitudinal study that tracked a cohort of more than 500 Black and Latinx students who enrolled at one of five historically White universities in Illinois, in 2013. The MCCS aims to advance our understanding of postsecondary persistence. Co-authored articles from from this study are listed below. 

"Campus Counterspaces" is based on in-depth interviews with about 70 students who participated in the MCCS.

This research was funded through a Scholar's Award and a Mentoring Grant from the William T. Grant Foundation.

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Keels, M., Durkee, M., & Hope, E. (2017). The psychological and academic costs of school-based racial and ethnic microaggressions. American Educational Research Journal, 54(6), 1316-1344. Read more >>>

Hope, E. C., Velez, G., Offidani-Bertrand, C., Keels, M., & Durkee, M. I. (2018). Political activism and mental health among Black and Latinx college students. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 24(1), 26. Read more >>>

Hope, E. C., Keels, M., & Durkee, M. I. (2016). Participation in Black Lives Matter and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: Modern activism among Black and Latino college students. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 9(3), 203-215. Read more >>>


Durkee, M. I., Gazley, E. R., Hope, E. C., & Keels, M. (2019). Cultural invalidations: Deconstructing the “acting White” phenomenon among Black and Latinx college students. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Read more >>>

Offidani-Bertrand, C., Velez, G., Benz, C., & Keels, M. (2019, Online First). “I wasn’t expecting It”: High school experiences and navigating belonging in the transition to college. Emerging Adulthood.  Read more >>>

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