Professor Michael J. Smith, PhD,is the son of two United States Air Force enlistees and lived in at least eight places as a child. He attended high school in Lancaster, California and enrolled in community college after graduating. He earned an associate of arts degree from Antelope Valley College and completed his bachelor's degree from Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Dr. Smith worked for 11 years in the field of college admission for LMU and Claremont McKenna College (CMC).
After six years with CMC he earned a master's degree from the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education under the direction of Professor Sylvia Hurtado. Following this, he returned to CMC for two more years before leaving the profession to pursue doctoral studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). As a doctoral student he taught undergraduates in service-learning courses and was a very happy Starbucks barista! In 2002, he earned his doctorate under the tutelage of Professor Patricia McDonough and presented his dissertation on the how sociological forms of capital shape the college choice experiences of African American parents.
From 2002 to 2004 he taught as a lecturer for UCLA's undergraduate education program and conducted postdoctoral research sponsored by the University of California All Campus Consortium for Research on Diversity (UC/Accord). He served as a postdoctoral assistant to the chair of education while teaching classes to undergraduates at UCLA and Santa Monica Community College. A study from his combined postdoctoral years explored the interaction of African American single mothers and their college bound high school daughters using a tri-generational approach. He began his appointment at PSU in 2005.
Michael J. Smith, PhD
Portland State University
Graduate School of Education
Educational Leadership and Policy
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751
Fourth Avenue Building
1900 SW 4th Avenue