Dr. Buffy Smith is a sociologist, educator and consultant. She is the founding associate dean of Dougherty Family College and professor of Sociology at the University of St. Thomas. 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. She was an Association for the Study of Higher Education/Lumina Fellow in 2003. Smith has over 10 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 success. She has received several awards and grants that recognize her research on diversity issues in higher education. Smith’s publications have been featured in research and practice-oriented journals, such as African-American Research Perspectives and Equity & Excellence in Education.