Marybeth Gasman

Director, Penn Center for Minority-Serving Institutions

Higher Education Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-573-3990


Professional Biography

Marybeth Gasman is a Professor of Higher Education in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds secondary appointments in History, Africana Studies, and the School of Social Policy and Practice. She also directs the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions.

Dr. Gasman's areas of expertise include the history of American higher education, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), minority serving institutions, African American leadership, and fundraising and philanthropy. Her research also explores the role education has in the development, growth, and journey of students seeking a college degree. She has written or edited 21 books, including Educating a Diverse Nation: Lessons from Minority Serving Institutions (with Clifton Conrad), Envisioning Black Colleges: A History of the United Negro College Fund, and Understanding Minority Serving Institutions (with Benjamin Baez and Caroline Turner). Eight of Dr. Gasman’s books have won research awards.

Dr. Gasman received the Penn GSE Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the Association for the Study of Higher Education’s Early Career Award in 2006. In 2010, she was awarded the Ozell Sutton Medallion for Justice by Philander Smith College. In May 2012, she received an honorary degree from Paul Quinn College, and the ASHE Council on Ethnic Participation's Mildred Garcia Senior Exemplary Scholar Award. In 2014, Gasman received the ASHE Leadership Award.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Gasman's articles have been published in the American Education Research JournalEducational ResearcherTeachers College Record, the Journal of Higher Education, the Journal of Negro EducationResearch in Higher Education, the Journal of College Student Development, among others. She is a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher EducationDiverse IssuesThe Huffington PostThe New York Times, and The Washington Post.

Dr. Gasman is the principal or co-principal investigator on seven major grants from funders such as The Helmsley Trust, The Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The Mellon Foundation, Educational Testing Service, and the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Her research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, USNEWS, CNN, and on National Public Radio.

Selected Publications

Conrad, C., & Gasman, M. (2015). Educating a diverse nation: Lessons from minority-serving institutions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Gasman, M., Spencer, D., & Orphan, C. (2015). Building bridges, not fences: A history of civic engagement at private Black colleges and universities. History of Education Quarterly

Gasman, M., Fluker, C., Commodore, F., & Peterkin, D. (2015). Understanding honors programs at historically Black colleges and universities. Journal of Negro Education, 83(4).

Arroyo, A., & Gasman, M. (2014). An HBCU-based educational approach for Black college student success: Toward a framework with implications for all institutions. American Journal of Education.

Hilton, A., Gasman, M., & Wood, J.L. (2014). The impact of the One Florida initiative on Florida’s public law schools: A critical race theory analysis. Journal of Educational Foundations.

Gasman, M., & Commodore, F. (2014). The state of research on historically Black colleges and universities: Areas of strengths and challenge. Journal of Multicultural Education, 8(2).

Nguyen, T., & Gasman, M. (2014). Lending a voice and creating a platform: The actions of the Vietnamese students at the University of California, Irvine, 1980–1990. Teachers College Record

Felder, P., Stevenson, H., & Gasman, M. (2014). Understanding the impact of racial identity to doctoral student socialization. International Journal of Doctoral Studies.

Freeman Jr., S., & Gasman, M. (2013). Characteristics of historically Black college and university presidents and their role in grooming the next generation of leaders. Teachers College Record.

Gasman, M., & Nguyen, T. (2014, Spring). Historically Black colleges and universities: Leading our nation’s efforts to improve the science, technology, engineering, and math pipeline. Texas Education Review.

Lundy-Wagner, V., Vultaggio, J., & Gasman, M. (2013). Preparing underrepresented students of color for doctoral success: The role of undergraduate institutions. International Journal of Doctoral Studies.

Fester, R., Gasman, M., & Nguyen, T. (2012). We know very little: Accreditation at historically Black colleges and universities. Journal of Black Studies, 43(7), 809–819.

Hutcheson, P., Gasman, M., & Sanders-McMurtry, K. (2011). Understanding resistance: Agency in the face of oppression within higher education, 1940–1960. Journal of Higher Education, 33.

Gasman, M., & Hilton, A. (2011). Mixed motivations, mixed results: A history of law, interest convergence, and historically Black colleges and universities. Teachers College Record. 

Gasman, M. (2011). Perceptions of Black college presidents: Sorting through stereotypes and reality to gain a complex picture. American Education Research Journal.

Gasman, M., Kim, J., & Nguyen, T. (2011). Effectively recruiting faculty of color at highly selective institutions: A school of education case study. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education.

Kim, J., & Gasman, M. (2011). In search of a “good” school: First and second generation Asian American students describe their college choice process. Journal of College Student Development, 45.

Lundy-Wagner, V., & Gasman, M. (2010). When gender issues are not just about women: Reconsidering male students at historically Black colleges and universities. Teachers College Record.

Gasman, M., & Drezner, N. (2009). A maverick in the field: Fundraising for change in the Black college community during the 1970s. History of Education Quarterly, 49(4).

Gasman, M., & Drezner, N. (2009). Fundraising during the midst of the civil rights movement: The case of Hampton Institute. Nonprofit Sector and Voluntary Quarterly, 39, 321–342.

Gasman, M., Baez, B., & Turner, C. (Eds.). (2008). Understanding minority-serving institutions. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Palmer, R. & Gasman, M. (2008). It takes a village to raise a child: Social capital and academic success at historically Black colleges and universities. Journal of College Student Development, 49(1).

Perna, L., Lundy-Wagner, V., Drezner, N., Gasman, M., Yoon, S., Bose, E., & Gary, S. (2008). The contributions of historically Black colleges and universities to the preparation of African American women for STEM Careers: A case study. Research in Higher Education, 50(1), 1–23.

Gasman, M., & Drezner, N. (2008). White corporate philanthropy and its support of private Black colleges in the 1960s and 70s. International Journal of Educational Advancement, 8(2). 

Harper, S., & Gasman, M. (2008). Consequences of conservatism: Black male undergraduates and the politics of historically Black colleges and universities. Journal of Negro Education, 77(4). 

Gasman, M. (2007). Envisioning Black colleges: A history of the united Negro college fund. Baltimore, MD: The John Hopkins University Press.

Gasman, M., & Drezner, N. (2007, May). New Orleans' Black colleges: Rebuilding after disaster. Multicultural Review, 15(4).

Gasman, M. (2007). Truth, generalizations, and stigmas: An analysis of the media’s coverage of Morris Brown College and Black colleges overall. Review of Black Political Economy, 34(2).

Gasman, M. (2007, Winter). Swept under the rug: A historiography of gender and Black colleges. American Educational Research Journal, 44(3), 760–805.

Gasman, M., Anderson-Thompkins, S., & Haydel, N. (2006, December). Corridors and coffee shops: Teaching about race and research outside the classroom. Journal of College and University Teaching, 17(1 & 2).

Gasman, M., & Payton-Stewart, L. (2006, September). Twice removed: A White scholar studies Black sororities and a Black scholar responds. International Journal of Research and Method in Education, 29(2), 129–149.

Gasman, M. (2006, March/April). Salvaging "academic disaster areas": The Black college response to Christopher Jencks and David Riesman’s 1967 Harvard Educational Review article. Journal of Higher Education, 77(2), 317–352. 

Epstein, E., & Gasman, M. (2005). A not-so-systematic effort to study art: Lincoln University and the Barnes Foundation. Perspectives on the History of Higher Education (formerly History of Higher Education Annual) 24, 173–190.

Gasman, M. (2005). The role of faculty in fundraising at Black colleges: What is it and what can it become? International Journal of Educational Advancement, 5(2), 171–179.

Gasman, M., Gerstl-Pepin, C., Anderson-Thompkins, S., Rasheed, L., & Hathaway, K. (2004). Developing trust, negotiating power: Transgressing race and status in the academy. Teachers College Record, 106(4), 689–715.

Gasman, M. (2004, Winter). Rhetoric vs. reality: The fundraising messages of the United Negro College Fund in the immediate aftermath of the Brown decision. History of Education Quarterly, 44(1), 70–94.