Lauren C. Mims, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at Ball State University. Dr. Mims earned her doctorate in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. Dr. Mims obtained a B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012 and a M.A. in Child Development with a concentration in Clinical Developmental Health from Tufts University in 2014. Broadly, Dr. Mims' research examines how school environments influence how African American youth learn and develop their identities. She has addressed these issues extensively in her research, scholarship, teaching, and service.
Dr. Mims was formerly Assistant Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans during the Obama Administration, where she focused her efforts on student programming, strategic planning and management of projects and priorities including, but not limited to, centering youth voice, supporting federal interagency relationships, the development of research-based publications and handbooks for students, managing the Initiative social media accounts, and engaging with stakeholders through multi-media platforms. She was a member of the White House Council on Women and Girls, the U.S. Department of Education Policy Committee, the U.S. Department of Education Socioeconomic Diversity Working Group, as well as a member of First Lady Michelle Obama's Reach Higher Working Group. Lauren developed and hosted events such as the AfAmWomenLead Student Summit to Support Black Girls, a summit to support African American students with disabilities, and reading parties for youth to share resources, foster creativity and nurture a love of learning.
Dr. Mims' manuscript style dissertation, Meeting Black Girls on the Moon: A Qualitative Exploration of Black Girls’ Experiences in Schools, centers and privileges the voices of thirty-one Black girls to explore how ongoing practices, assumptions and processes across multiple levels of schooling perpetuate racial inequalities or promote racial equity. In seeking to better understand the lived experiences of Black girls in schools, Dr. Mims highlights opportunities for educators and policymakers to better support Black girls ("meet Black girls on the moon").
Based on her work with/for Black girls over the past decade, Dr. Mims has developed socio-emotional courses for Black girls. In 2019, she taught Black Girl Becoming. Michelle Obama’s bestselling novel “Becoming” serves as the anchor text. In 2020, she will teach Black Girl Power Hour. Dr. Mims takes a strengths-based approach that centers Black girls’ voices. Specifically the program calls for the girls to apply what they learn to draft new curriculum, research proposals, and policies each week. Her work has been featured in popular press outlets such as Black Enterprise, The Root, For Harriet, and Bustle.
This manuscript style dissertation, Meeting Black Girls on the Moon: A Qualitative Exploration of Black Girls’ Experiences in Schools, highlighted the experiences of thirty-one Black girls in middle schools and identified what supported or disrupted their learning and development.
Ph.D. in Educational Psychology: Applied Developmental Science May 2019 University of Virginia • Curry School of Education
M.A. in Child Development, Concentration: Clinical Developmental Psychology May 2014 Tufts University • Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study & Human Development
B.A. in English Language and Literature and Psychology May 2012 University of Virginia • College of Arts and Sciences
Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology 2019 - Present
Ball State University • Department of Educational Psychology
Department of Educational Psychology Teachers College, Ball State University
2019 - Present
President Barack Obama Presidential Appointee Assistant Director,
White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans
Events Hosted to Support Women & Girls of Color (selected):