Dr. Mauriell H. Amechi

Social Scientist, Professor, and Consultant in VA

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Mauriell Amechi, Ph.D., is a foster care advocate, social scientist, professor, consultant, and keynote speaker committed to educational equity and improving college outcomes and opportunities for marginalized learners. He is also the Founder and Owner of Foster Youth Empowered, LLC. Amechi's scholarship centers on higher education policy and research, emphasizing educational equity, racial justice, access, college and career transitions, and persistence to degree completion for underserved student populations. His early research seeks to influence public policy and practice by documenting the experiences and trajectories of youth and young adults aging out of foster care, and the endless roadblocks they often face to obtain a postsecondary degree in higher education. Before joining academia, Amechi served as the inaugural director of the College Outreach, Retention, and Engagement Program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where he led several student retention and recruitment efforts targeting underserved communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Amechi's peer-reviewed journal publications appear in 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 (JFYSIT), to name a few. In addition to serving on editorial boards for JFYESIT and the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, he remains active in professional associations, namely the American Educational Research Association, the Association for the Study of Higher Education, NASPA, and ACPA. He is also affiliate faculty at the Office of Community College Research and Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Visiting Scholar at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.

Born and raised in Chicago, the Westside native is a proud alumnus of Chicago Public Schools. Amechi received his B.A. with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and M.A. from Ohio State University. He also holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He enjoys international travel, music, sports, cycling, mentoring, and performing arts in his free time.

  • Work
    • Old Dominion University
  • Education
    • University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
    • Ohio State University
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison
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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