Buffy Smith, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of Dougherty Family College & Prof. of Sociology, University of St. Thomas
Buffy Smith, Ph.D. is a sociologist, educator, and consultant. She is the interim dean of
Dougherty Family College and professor of Sociology at the University of St.
She earned her B.A. in Sociology at Marquette University and a M.S. and
Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Smith’s primary research
interests include examining racial and class disparities within the higher education
She writes on policy issues dealing with mentoring, access, retention, equity,
and diversity in higher education. She has over 15 years of experience researching how
colleges and universities can assist underrepresented students with understanding and
navigating the institutional culture of higher education in order to achieve academic
Dr. Smith has received several awards and grants that recognize her research
on diversity issues in higher education. Dr. Smith’s publications have been featured in
research and practice oriented journals such as African –American Research
Perspectives and Equity & Excellence in Education. In addition, she is the author of the
book, Mentoring At-Risk Students through the Hidden Curriculum of Higher Education.