Terrell Strayhorn

Contributing Faculty
Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences
Ph.D. Education

Dr. Terrell Strayhorn is a Contributing Faculty member at Walden University, with primary appointment in the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences. He has been in higher education since 2005.

Previously, Professor Strayhorn served on the faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he served as Special Assistant to the Provost for Student Retention. Later, he was recruited to join the faculty at The Ohio State University, where he also served as Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE) and Founding Director of the Center for IDEAS within the College of Education and Human Ecology. He has held chief academic officer leadership roles at LeMoyne-Owen College and VUU.

An internationally-recognized student success scholar, highly acclaimed public speaker, and award-winning writer, Strayhorn is author of 13 books and over 200 book chapters, journal articles, and other scholarly publications. His most popular book, College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success, has won several recognitions and sold record copies internationally. He has given invited keynote lectures at more than 1,000+ universities and conferences across the globe. Dr. Strayhorn maintains an active and highly visible research agenda focusing on major policy issues in education and he has had an abiding life-long commitment to equity, diversity, social inclusion, and racial justice.

Strayhorn was named one of the country’s top diversity scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in 2011, one of Business First’s “Top 40 under 40,” one of the “Top 20 to Know in Education,” and earned many other accolades. He and his research have been quoted in major news outlets including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside HigherEd, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, and newspapers across the nation. Strayhorn received a bachelor’s degree (BA) from the University of Virginia (UVA), a masters degree (MEd) in educational policy from the Curry School of Education at UVA, a 2nd masters (MS) in psychology, and doctorate (PhD) in higher education from Virginia Tech. He is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in Biblical Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, board member at several non-profits, and a proud native of Virginia Beach, Virginia.


BA, University of Virginia

MEd, University of Virginia

MS, Indiana Tech

PhD, Virginia Tech

Public Service

Research Focus on Black Education Special Interest Group (SIG), Chair -

Rainbow Labs, Inc, Board Member -

Awards / Honors

Contribution to Higher Education Award, American College Personnel Association, 2017

Outstanding Contribution to Multicultural Research and Scholarship Award, American College Personnel Association, 2020

Forty under 40, Columbus Business First, 2015


Strayhorn, T. (2012). College students' sense of belonging: A key to educational success.

Hirt, J. B., Amelink, C. T., Bennett, B. R., Strayhorn, T. (2008). A system of othermothering: Relationships between student affairs administrators and students at historically Black colleges and universities. The NASPA Journal

Strayhorn, T. (2014). What Role Does Grit Play in the Academic Success of Black Male Collegians at Predominantly White Institutions?. Journal of African American Studies

Strayhorn, T. (2023). Analyzing the Short-Term Impact of a Brief Web-Based Intervention on First-Year Students’ Sense of Belonging at an HBCU: A Quasi-Experimental Study. Innovative Higher Education

Strayhorn, T. (2023). Estimating Differences in the Effects of Living–Learning Community Participation on Black Students' Sense of Belonging at Predominantly White and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Journal of College Student Development

Strayhorn, T. (2021). Interrogating the collegiate experiences of African American males formerly in foster care: A critical qualitative analysis. Children and Youth Services Review


Strayhorn, T. (2012). Demythifying the importance of equity and diversity in higher and legal education. LSDPA

Strayhorn, T. (2015). A return on investment analysis for Black graduates of historically Black colleges and universities: Insights from three studies. Penn Center for MSIs