Speaker Profile: DeShawn Preston, PhD, Southern Education Foundation

Portrait of DeShawn PrestonWe are very pleased to have Dr. Preston presenting some of his findings from his report Untold Barriers for Black Students in Higher Education at the Saylor Higher Education Summit.

DeShawn Preston serves as the Southern Education Foundation’s (SEF) Higher Education Research Fellow. He recently received his Ph.D. in Higher Educational Leadership from Clemson University, and his research agenda focuses on African American students in graduate and professional programs. More specifically, his dissertation topic examines the role and influence HBCUs play in supporting African Americans in their enrollment into doctoral programs. He also maintains a graduate assistantship in the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education.

Prior to joining SEF, DeShawn worked as a summer intern for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. During his tenure, he was instrumental in preparing for the national 2015 HBCU conference and authored a number of blog posts on strategies for how HBCUs can optimize their use of funding opportunities offered by the federal government.  DeShawn has also served as a Graduate Research Fellow for the United Negro College Fund’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute. As a fellow, he worked on several research projects examining the contributions HBCUs make to STEM disciplines. He holds an M.A. in American History from Howard University and a B.A. in History from Oakwood University.

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