Sharon Fries-Britt is a Professor of Higher Education at the University of Maryland, College Park in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education and Special Education (CHSE). She is a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar Teacher. Her research examines the experiences of high achieving Blacks in higher education, underrepresented minorities (URMs) in STEM fields and issues of race, equity and diversity. Dr. Fries-Britt has published widely within peer-reviewed journals and she has served on the editorial boards of The Journal of College Student Development, The Journal of Diversity in Higher Education and the College Student Affairs Journal. Her research has been funded and supported by the Lumina Foundation, National Society of Black Physicists and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Fries-Britt is one of the faculty co-leads of a national case study of the University of Missouri recovery process following the campus racial unrest of 2015. This work is in collaboration with the American Council on Education (ACE) and has resulted in two national monographs the first published in 2018, Speaking Truth and Acting With Integrity Confronting Challenges of Campus Racial Climate examines the impact of the racial crisis for the university. The second monograph released spring 2020, Leading After a Racial Crisis: Weaving a Campus Tapestry of Diversity and Inclusion provides important insights for how leaders can address campus tensions following a racial crisis. Other lines of research examine the relationship building of Black males and faculty in STEM and within group experiences of native and non-native Blacks in higher education. Dr. Fries-Britt was a member of the American Institutes of Physics (AIP) National Task Force (2018-2020) to Elevate African American Representation (TEAM-UP) in physics. She is a co-principle investigator on a National Science Foundation grant (2018-2021) to explore the academic trajectories of Black transfer engineering students from community colleges.
Prior to her academic career she served as a senior level administrator in higher education and she has consulted extensively with colleges and universities, foundations, governmental agencies, national organizations and private industry on issues of race, equity, diversity and leadership. With over 39 years of professional experience in the field of higher education she brings a wealth of knowledge, insight and experience to both research and practice. Dr. Fries-Britt is the recipient of numerous awards including the Outstanding Faculty Award, Office of Multiethnic Student Education (2016), the Faculty Achievement Award, President’s Commission on Ethnic Minority Issues (2012), the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Mentoring Award (2011), the Alumni Excellence in Research Award, University of Maryland (2019) and the University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar Teacher Award (2019).