Department of Education Policy & Leadership

S. Kiersten Ferguson

Clinical Associate Professor & Director for M.Ed. Higher Education Program



Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin
3101 University Blvd Ste.345
Box 750114
Dallas, TX 75275
214-768-4494
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S. Kiersten Ferguson is a clinical associate professor and the M.Ed. in Higher Education program director in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Her scholarly and teaching interests include diversity planning and implementation, bias response teams, campus culture, organizational change, student development theory, equity and access in higher education, recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and graduate students, mentoring, higher education pedagogy and curriculum.

Prior to joining the faculty at SMU, Ferguson was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Campus Diversity and Strategic Initiatives in the comprehensive Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. One of her projects included conducting and analyzing research for a pilot diversity planning process in the College of Fine Arts through a college-wide climate assessment survey, reflective inventory, statistical college profile, as well as focus groups and interviews with administrators, faculty, students, and staff members.  Ferguson also served as a Faculty Fellow for Inclusion and Equity in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin, where she assisted the vice president and associate vice president with research on campus-wide diversity initiatives.

Ferguson holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame in cultural anthropology and government/international relations. She received her Ph.D. in educational administration with a doctoral portfolio in women’s and gender studies and her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation focused on the experiences of faculty mentoring undergraduate women students in engineering. She was recognized as a top five finalist in the 2010 national Paul P. Fidler Research Grant competition by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Selected Presentations and Publications
Miller, R.A., Guida, T., Smith, S., Medina, E., & Ferguson, S.K. (2018). A balancing act: Whose interests do bias response teams serve? Review of Higher Education.

Miller, R.A., Guida, T., Smith, S., Medina, E., & Ferguson, S.K. (2018). Free speech tensions: Responding to bias on college and university campuses. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, 55(1), 27-39.

Sanders, S.L., & Ferguson, S.K. (2016). Diversity planning tools for diversity and inclusion committees. Office for Inclusion and Equity, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin.

Ferguson, S.K., Sanders, S.L., & Smith, S.L. (2016). Inclusive retention toolkit for faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Office for Inclusion and Equity, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin.

Ferguson, S.K., Sanders, S.L., & Smith, S.L. (2015). Inclusive search and recruitment toolkit for faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Office for Inclusion and Equity, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin.

Ferguson, S.K., Tull, A., & Ellis, M. (November, 2015). Resident assistants’ perceptions of student socialization and community building in a new residential commons program. Paper presentation at Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Denver, CO.
 
Miller, R., Guida, T., Smith, S., Medina, E., & Ferguson, S.K. (November, 2015). Free speech tensions: Responding to bias on college campuses. Paper presentation at Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Denver, CO.
 
Miller, R., Guida, T., Smith, S., Medina, E., & Ferguson, S.K. (April, 2015). Responding to hate on campus: Examining administrative leadership of bias response teams. Paper presentation at Annual of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Chicago, IL. 
 
Tull, A., White, L., & Ferguson, S.K. (March, 2015). Assessing socialization and community building of students and faculty in a new residential commons program. Presentation at Annual Meeting of NASPA, New Orleans, LA.
 
Ferguson, S.K., & Smith, S. (November, 2014). Our voices matter: Impact of the Peers for Pride Program on Student Facilitators. Paper presentation at University Council for Educational Administration Convention (UCEA), Washington, DC.
 
Miller, R., Guida, T., Smith, S., Medina, E., & Ferguson, S.K. (November, 2014). Understanding the purposes and operations of bias response teams. Paper presentation at Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Washington, DC.

Vincent, G.J., Sanders, S.L., & Ferguson, S.K. (2012). Transforming lives and communities: Case study of a diversity and community engagement portfolio at a flagship institution. In C. Clark, K. Fasching-Varner, & M. Brimhall-Vargas (Eds.), Occupying the Academy: Just how important is diversity work in higher education? (61-70). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Ferguson, S.K. (April, 2012). Pathways to mentorship: Connecting engineering faculty and undergraduate women students. Roundtable session presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Vancouver, BC.

Ferguson, S.K. (November, 2011). It’s not just about the students: Faculty benefits emerging from mentoring relationships with undergraduate students. Roundtable presentation at the 36th Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Charlotte, NC.

Ferguson, S.K. (October, 2011). Interdisciplinary opportunities with community outreach: Faculty mentoring engineering students. Paper presented at the 4th Annual University of New Mexico Mentoring Conference, Albuquerque.