Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby

  • Professor of Education

Research Concentration

  • Educational Psychology


PhD, Educational Psychology, University of Georgia

MA, Educational Psychology, University of Georgia

BS, Psychology/Spanish, Louisiana State University



  • Impact of race and racism on the educational experiences of African Americans • Critical race theory • Mixed methods research • Emotions and coping related to racism
Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby

Contact Information

Websites and Social Media


Jessica DeCuir-Gunby attended Louisiana State University where she earned a BS degree with a double major in psychology and Spanish, graduating summa cum laude with upper-division honors in psychology and both Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa distinctions. She then attended the University of Georgia where she was the recipient of the Gates Millennium Scholar Fellowship and the Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Fellowship, earning both her MA and PhD degrees in educational psychology. 

DeCuir-Gunby is a professor of education in the Educational Psychology concentration. Her research interests include the impact of race and racism on the educational experiences of African Americans, racial identity development, emotions and coping related to racism, critical race theory and mixed methods research. She is an associate editor for Review of Educational Research and serves on the editorial boards for Contemporary Educational Psychology and Educational Psychologist. She is currently president-elect of division 15 (educational psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She also formerly served on the board of directors for Kestrel Heights School, a K–12 charter school in Durham, NC. 

Prior to joining the USC Rossier faculty, DeCuir-Gunby served as a professor of educational psychology and department head in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences at NC State University. She was a faculty member at NC State for 18 years where she advised and mentored dozens of doctoral students and taught courses in mixed methods research, critical race theory, diversity, lifespan development, adolescent development and educational psychology.

Awards and Grants

  • American Educational Research Association Fellow, 2023
  • American Psychological Association Fellow, Division 15 (Educational Psychology), 2022
  • NC State University Alumni Outstanding Research Award & Research Leadership Academy, 2018
  • University of Georgia College of Education’s Alumni Outstanding Educator Award, 2015-2016
  • American Educational Research Journal Outstanding Reviewer Award, 2013
  • NC State University Faculty Scholar Award (Inaugural), 2012
  • NC State University Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award, 2012 
  • NC State University Outstanding Teacher Award & Academy of Outstanding Teachers, 2012 



DeCuir-Gunby's program of research focuses on three key areas: (1) race and racial identity, which includes critical race theory (CRT); (2) applied research methods with an emphasis on mixed methods research; and (3) emotions and coping in education. The majority of her research explores how issues of race and racism, often using a CRT lens, impacts African Americans across the lifespan and in various educational contexts. Additionally, as a practical/applied methodologist, she writes about the research process, teaching others how to use specific methodological approaches. Third, she explores the area of emotions and coping in education, most often concerning issues of race and racism.  

DeCuir-Gunby’s work has been featured in top-tier journals such as Contemporary Educational PsychologyEducational PsychologistEducational Researcher, and Review of Educational Research, among others. She has served as the co-author or co-editor of several books. The first book discusses the results of a multi-year, mixed methods teacher professional development study that merged critical multiculturalism and mathematics. The second book is an edited collection that explores the importance of examining race and ethnicity in the study of motivation in education. The third book discusses and demonstrates how to create mixed methods research proposals. Last, the fourth book is an edited collection that explores the methods and methodological approaches used by critical race theory experts in education research. She is currently working on two additional book projects.


DeCuir-Gunby has served as Co-PI on two National Science Foundation-funded grants, totaling over $4.3 million: Nurturing Mathematics Dreamkeepers (DRK-12 Grant) and Peer Mentoring Summits for Women Engineering Faculty of Color (ADVANCE Leadership Award Grant). Both grants used mixed methods approaches, were multidisciplinary, and explored important issues in diversity and STEM. Her latest grant, funded by the Spencer Foundation, was a qualitative exploration of Black working mothers and their experiences with distance learning during COVID-19.