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Dr. Wilson Okello

Assistant Professor of Education (HIED) and Research Associate (Center for the Study of Higher Education)

Phone: 814-863-3766

405D Rackley Building
University Park, PA 16802


  • Education Policy Studies


  • Higher Education Program



Dr. Wilson Kwamogi Okello (he/him) is a transdisciplinary artist and scholar who draws on Black critical theories to advance research on knowledge production and human development. Most immediately, he is concerned with how Black critical approaches make visible the epistemic foundations that structure what it means to be human and imagining otherwise possibilities for Black being therein. He is also concerned with how theories of Blackness might reconfigure understandings of racialized stress and trauma, qualitative inquiry, critical masculinities, and curriculum and pedagogy to create conditions of possibility in the education context and society.


Widely published, he has over 40 scholarly publications in leading venues such as the Journal of College Student Development, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. Dr. Okello is co-editor of “Trauma-informed practice in student affairs: Multidimensional considerations for care, healing, and wellbeing,” a New Directions for Student Services volume, and solo author of the forthcoming book with SUNY Press, “On Blackness, Liveliness, and What it Means to be Human: Toward Black Specificity in Higher Education.” Among other early career awards, he was selected as the 2023 Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Early Career award recipient; he received the 2022-2023 Council on Ethnic Participation (CEP) Mildred Garcia Award for Exemplary Scholarship by ASHE, and he was named a 2022 Emerging Scholar by the American College Personnel Association.


Currently, Dr. Okello is an assistant professor of higher education at Penn State University, where he is a research associate at the Center for the Study of Higher Education and director of the Black Study in Education Lab—a research and praxis hub concerned with exploring the potentialities of Blackness in educational research, practice, and policy.

Areas of Expertise


Equity and Diversity

Education Levels


Educational Studies

Critical & Feminist Theory
Cultural Studies

Higher Education

Higher Education Student Affairs

Individual Difference


Methodological Research

Discourse Analysis
Qualitative Research

Social Issues

Race and Ethnicity
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