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Kristen J. Mills

Post Doctoral Scholar, Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach

mills.907@osu.edu

Biography

Dr. Kristen J. Mills is an EHE Dean’s Diversity Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Educational Studies at The Ohio State University. Dr. Mills earned her degrees at Michigan State University including a bachelor’s in psychology, and master’s and doctorate in ecological-community psychology. First, her program of research examines academic resilience and racial battle fatigue (cumulative psychosocial and physiological impact of racism on People of Color) among racially and ethnically minoritized students in secondary and higher education. Second, her program of research examines the use of research evidence in education. Her research aims to strengthen practices and interventions that promote both academic success and well-being among traditionally underrepresented students.

Education

·       Doctor of Philosophy, Psychology (Ecological-Community), Michigan State University, 2019

·       Master of Arts, Psychology (Ecological-Community), Michigan State University, 2015

·       Bachelor of Science, Psychology, Michigan State University, 2012

Research Interests

  • Educational Achievement
    • Academic resilience among racially and ethnically minorized students
  • Equity
    • Mobilizing institutional and community-based supports for minoritized students
    • Use of research evidence in education
  • Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA)
    • Academic resilience among racially and ethnically minorized students
    • Racial battle fatigue among Black students

Research Summary

First, Dr. Mills’s program of research examines academic resilience and racial battle fatigue among racially and ethnically minoritized students in secondary and higher education. Two broad questions guide this research:

(1) What factors or combination of factors (e.g., personal and environmental risk factors, protective factors, and positive adaptations) influence academic resilience among racially and ethnically minoritized students?

(2) Specifically, how do Black students experience racial battle fatigue?  

Most recently, she has examined the associations between campus climates, civic engagement, academic resilience, and racial battle fatigue among Black college students. Second, her program of research examines the use of research evidence in education and is guided by the following broad question:

(3) How do educators use research evidence?

Most recently, in collaboration with the MiSPI project research team, she examined how educators conceptualize research. Dr. Mills’s goal is to sustain a program of research for which the broader impacts inform educational and psychological research, praxis, and interventions that promote both academic success and well-being among traditionally underrepresented students in secondary and higher education.

Selected Grants

•Consultant, Academic Socialization and Support of Black Graduate Womxn in EHE. Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology. Research Grant. 2019 Graduate Student Interdisciplinary Research Initiative ($938).

Selected Publications

Mills, K. J. (2020) “It’s Systemic”: Environmental racial microaggressions experienced by Black undergraduates at a predominantly white institution. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. 13(1), 44-55. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dhe0000121

Mills, K. J., Lawlor, J. A., Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., & McAlindon, K. (2020). What is research? Educators’ conceptions and alignment with U.S. federal policy. Evidence and Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 16(3), 337-358. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426419X15468576296175

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., Lawlor, J. A., & McAlindon, K. (2019). What types of brokerage bridge the research-practice gap? The case of public school educators. Social Networks59, 41-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2019.05.006

Lawlor, J., Mills, K. J., Neal, Z., Neal, J. W., Wilson, C., & McAlindon, K. (2019). Approaches to measuring use of research evidence in K-12 settings: A systematic review. Educational Research Review27, 218-228. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2019.04.002

Neal, J. W., Mills, K. J., McAlindon, K., Neal, Z. P., & Lawlor, J. A. (2019). Multiple audiences for encouraging research use: Uncovering a typology of educators. Educational Administration Quarterly55(1), 154-181. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013161X18785867

McAlindon, K., Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., & Lawlor, J. (2019). The BOND Framework: A practical application of visual communication design and marketing to advance evaluation reporting. American Journal of Evaluation40(2), 291-305. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214018771219

Neal, Z. P., Lawlor, J. A., Neal, J. W., Mills, K. J., & McAlindon, K. (2019). Just Google it: Measuring schools' use of research evidence with internet search results. Evidence & Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 15 (1), 103–23. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426418X15172392413087

Neal, Z. P., Neal, J. W., Mills, K. J., & Lawlor, J. A. (2018). Making or buying evidence:  Using transaction cost economics to understand decision making in public school districts. Evidence and Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 14(4), 707 - 724. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426416X14778277473701

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Lawlor, J. A., Mills, K. J., & McAlindon, K. (2018). What makes research useful for public school educators?. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 45 (3), 432-446. doi: 10.1007/s10488-017-0834-x

Neal, Z. P., Neal, J. W., Lawlor, J. A., & Mills, K. J. (2015). Small worlds or worlds apart? Using network theory to understand the research-practice gap. Psychosocial Intervention, 24(3), 177-184. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10488-017-0834-x

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Kornbluh, M., Mills, K. J., & Lawlor, J. A. (2015). Brokering the research–practice gap: A typology. American journal of community psychology, 56(3-4), 422-435. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-015-9745-8

Horodynski, M., & Mills, K. J. (2014). The voice of low income mothers on infant feeding. Journal of Extension [On-line], 52(6), Article 6RIB5. Available at https://www.joe.org/joe/2014december/rb5.php

Selected Presentations

Mills, K. J. (2020, November; Virtual due to COVID-19). Racial battle fatigue among Black students: Exploring the role of campus climate and civic engagement. Paper presented at the 45th Annual Association for the Study of Higher Education Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Mills, K. J. (2020, August; Virtual due to COVID-19). How is campus climate associated with racial battle fatigue? Paper Presented at American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Washington D.C., USA.

Mills, K. J. (2020, April; Canceled due to COVID-19) Trials of triumph: Campus climate and academic resilience among Black college students. Paper presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Williams, K. N., Edwards, D., Supple, A., Johnson, D. J., Mills, K. J., & Yoon, J. (2020, March; Canceled due to COVID-19) Autonomy support, family identity, and resilience in African American college women. Poster presented at Society for Research on Adolescence Biennial Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., Lawlor, J. A., & McAlindon, K. (2019, March). Knowing who to ask: Educators’ use of network brokers to learn about social skills programs. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, Baltimore, MA.

Causey, S., Supple, A., Johnson, D. J., Edwards, D., Williams, K., Mills, K. J., Yoon, J., & Coard, S. (2019, March). Examining the relationship between resilience, racial identity, and racial socialization in collegiate women of color. Poster presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Conference, Baltimore, MA.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Lawlor, J. A., Mills, K. J., & McAlindon, K. (2018, August). Tracking public school educators' search for information using a small world survey. Paper presented at the International Network for Social Network Analysis Sunbelt Social Networks Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Neal, J. W., Mills, K. J., McAlindon, K., Neal, Z. P., & Lawlor, J. A. (2018, April). Multiple audiences for encouraging research use: Uncovering a typology of educators. Paper presented at the 2018 American Educational Research Association Annual Conference, New York City, New York.

McAlindon, K., Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., & Lawlor, J. A. (2017, December). The BOND framework: A practical application of design and communication theories to advance dissemination and implementation research. Poster presented at the 10th Annual Conference on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health, Arlington, Virginia.

Mills, K. J., Lawlor, J. A., McAlindon, K., Neal, J. W., & Neal, Z. P.  (2017, October). Beyond report cards and conferences: Understanding educators' perceptions of parent engagement in schools. Paper presented at the Midwest Ecological-Community Psychology Annual Conference, East Lansing, MI.

Lawlor, J. A., Wilson, C., Mills, K. J., McAlindon, K., Neal, J. W., & Neal, Z. P. (2017, October). Measurement, engagement and dissemination, oh my! Highlights from the Michigan School Program Information Project. Symposium presented at the Midwest Eco Conference, East Lansing, Michigan.

Neal, J.W., Neal, Z.P., Lawlor, J.A., McAlindon, K., & Mills, K.J. (2017, July). Capitalizing on small worlds: A network Intervention to narrow the communication gap between researchers and public school educators. Paper presented at the National Association for Social Networks Conference, Washington, DC.

Clements, K., Herrera, S., Myers, C., & Mills, K. J. (2017, June). Maximizing research for the people who need it. Roundtable presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Lawlor, J. A., McAlindon, K., & Mills, K. J. (2017, June). Social networks as an infrastructure for improving school administrators’ access to research evidence. Paper presented at the Society for Community Research and Action’s Biennial Conference, Ottawa, Canada.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., McAlindon, K., Lawlor, J. A., & Mills, K. J. (2017, May/June). Making the world smaller: A network intervention to improve public school educators’ access to and use of research evidence. Paper presented at the International Network for Social Network Analysis Sunbelt Social Networks Conference, Beijing, China.

Neal, Z. P., Neal, J. W., McAlindon, K., Lawlor, J. A., & Mills, K.J. (2017, April). The spatial diffusion of information for education policy decision-making. Paper presented at the Urban Affairs Association Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., Lawlor, J. A., & McAlindon, K. (2017, April). Understanding how social networks facilitate the use of evidence by public school administrators. Paper presented at the Society for Research in Child Development Conference, Austin, TX.

Neal, Z. P., Neal, J. W., Lawlor, J. A., Mills, K. J., & McAlindon, K. (2017, March). Replicating Milgram's small world experiment in the MiSPI Project. Paper presented at the International Convention of Psychological Science, Vienna, Austria.

Mills, K. J., Wilson, A. B., & Morton, C. (2016, October). Making it work: Strategizing and navigating in academia to get to the next level. Panel presented at the Black Doctoral Network Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Lofton, H., Johnson, D. J., Adekoya, A., Mills, K. J., & Yoon, J. (2016, October). Fathers’ presence in mothering spaces: Racial, gender-based and other socialization messages to college women of color. Poster presented at the Society Research on Child Development Special Topic Meeting – Babies, Boys, and Men of Color, Tampa, FL.

Johnson, D. J., Xie, M., Mills, K. J., & Harrell, Z.  (2016, July). Mediating depression among Latina college women: Intersectionality and ethnic identity. Poster presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race Biennial Conference, Palo Alto, CA.

Mills, K. J., & Neal, J. W. (2016, June). Racial microaggressions and resilience of Black students. Paper presented at the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Mills, K. J., Neal, Z. P., Neal, J. W., Lawlor, J. A. (2016, April). Using networks to facilitate the use of research evidence by public school administrators. Paper presented at the Sunbelt XXXVI International Network for Social Network Analysis, Newport Beach, CA.

Neal, J. W., Neal, Z. P., Mills, K. J., & Lawlor, J. A. (2016, March). Making or buying evidence: Using transaction cost economics to understand decision-making in public schools. Paper presented at the annual Urban Affairs Association Conference, San Diego, CA.

Johnson, D. J., Mills, K. J., Lambert, M., Lofton, H., & Xie, M. (2015, October). Racialized mediators, ethno- gendered discrimination experiences, and depression among African American college women. Poster presented at the Society for the Study of Human Development Biennial Conference, Austin, TX.

Mills, K. J. (2015, June). Racial microaggressions toward African American students attending a predominantly white institution. Poster presented at the Society for Community Research and Action Biennial, Lowell, MA.