Mauriell H. Amechi, Ph.D.

Social Scientist, Policy Expert, and Consultant in Chicago, IL

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Dr. Mauriell Amechi is an accomplished scholar, professor, policy expert, and advocate recognized for his unwavering commitment to social justice and educational equity. With previous experience as a faculty member at Old Dominion University and the University of Redlands, Dr. Amechi has produced innovative policy-driven research and has trained educators and researchers entering the field of higher education. His research agenda focuses on identifying protective factors and policies that ensure more equitable educational experiences and workforce outcomes for marginalized students, with a particular emphasis on adolescents aging out of foster care. In 2020, Dr. Amechi founded Foster Youth Empowered, a consulting firm dedicated to addressing persistent inequities in high school and college completion for underserved adolescents impacted by foster care systems.

Along with numerous published commentaries, Dr. Amechi has shared his expertise to prominent news outlets, including but not limited to Inside Higher Education, Higher Ed Dive, Imprint News, Civil Eats, the 74, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. Imprint News spotlighted his work as a top op-ed of 2023. With extensive training in qualitative methodology, Amechi's academic journal publications center the voices and lived experiences of historically marginalized and underserved populations. His scholarly publications appear in various outlets, such as the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, Review of Higher Education, Journal of African American Males in Education, and the Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.

Furthermore, he has contributed to the education field through service commitments, including serving on editorial boards for JFYESIT and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, and presenting research at professional associations such as the American Educational Research Association and the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Born and raised on Chicago's west side, Dr. Amechi is a proud alumnus of Chicago Public Schools and first-generation college graduate. He holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois, an M.A. from the Ohio State University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoys traveling, sports, cycling, and the performing arts in his free time.

  • Work
    • Foster Youth Empowered, LLC
  • Education
    • University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
    • Ohio State University
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
It was a sincere pleasure working with Dr. Amechi as a contributor to Third Way’s ACADEMIX Upshot policy brief series in June 2020. Dr. Amechi’s report on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on postsecondary students aging out of the foster care system offers tremendous insight for state and federal legislators, and his research and advocacy on behalf of this critical yet often overlooked student population have far-reaching implications for meaningful policy reform.
Michelle Domino, Education Senior Policy Advisor, Third Way
I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Amechi who was the keynote of the California State University Monterey Bay Guardian Scholars - Foster Care Awareness event in May 2019. This was the first time the Guardian Scholars Program hosted a scholar to bring awareness about the obstacles and resilience of foster youth navigating higher education. His research and passion advocating for foster youth in higher education left an imprint on the Guardian Scholars Program and the greater CSUMB community.
Keyiona Ritchey, Guardian Scholars Advisor, Cal State Univ, Monterey Bay
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