Meet the Staff

Lamont A. Flowers

Lamont A. FlowersLamont A. Flowers is the Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational and Organizational Leadership Development in the College of Education and the Executive Director of the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education in the Division of Inclusion and Equity at Clemson University. The Charles H. Houston Center supports Clemson's Division of Inclusion and Equity by researching issues impacting institutional and educational outcomes and evaluating precollege and student engagement programs. From 2000 to 2005, Dr. Flowers was an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Florida. As a faculty member at the University of Florida, in addition to teaching students pursuing graduate degrees in higher education and student affairs, he conducted research to assess the impact of student experiences and institutional attributes on cognitive and psychosocial development. Dr. Flowers also served as a Commissioner on the Board of Commissioners representing South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District from 2016 to 2021 at the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs. This state agency examines issues, conducts research, and disseminates information about economic and social disparities affecting minority populations throughout South Carolina.

Dr. Flowers has authored or co-authored more than 100 scholarly publications exploring African American students' educational outcomes as well as leadership, diversity, and policy issues in education. Dr. Flowers' research interests focus on analyzing factors affecting educational and occupational attainment among African Americans as well as inclusion and equity issues impacting diversity outcomes in higher education. Dr. Flowers' methodological interests focus on integrating technological and empirical innovations in educational equity research as well as using software to enhance research, assessment, and training regarding diversity and inclusion scholarship. In this regard, Dr. Flowers' most recent journal article, published in the Communications of the ACM, titled "Testing Educational Digital Games: Diversifying Usability Studies Utilizing Rapid Application Development," highlights ideas about enhancing participation in evaluation research and the STEM workforce.

Dr. Flowers has received grants to conduct research from the American Educational Research Association, Spencer Foundation, and the Association for Institutional Research. Dr. Flowers currently serves as a co-principal investigator on a research grant funded by the National Science Foundation titled "Examining the Effects of a STEM Career Readiness Model to Enhance Underrepresented Minority Employment Opportunities" (Award #2205612). The 3-year grant project, funded between 2022 to 2025, studies the impact of a career development program and examines issues about STEM students' workforce preparation experiences at HBCUs. This sponsored research project aligns with a book Dr. Flowers co-edited in 2016 titled, Advancing Educational Outcomes in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The book integrates educational research regarding factors impacting engagement and retention among HBCU students pursuing STEM degrees.

Dr. Flowers has received several honors, including the National Association for Multicultural Education's Carl A. Grant Multicultural Research Award, the W.E.B. DuBois Higher Education Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators, and the Scholars of Color Early Career Contribution Award from the American Educational Research Association. Dr. Flowers received a bachelor's degree in accounting from Virginia Commonwealth University. He also received a master's degree in social studies education and a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Iowa. Additionally, Dr. Flowers received a master's degree in industrial statistics from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Flowers also received a master's degree in software engineering from Auburn University.

Cindy Roper

Cindy RoperCindy Roper is a Research Associate at the Charles H. Houston Center for the Study of the Black Experience in Education. She has a BA in Psychology and Sociology, a MS in Applied Sociology, and a PhD in Policy Studies, all from Clemson University. Her research interests are varied and include program evaluation, policy research, organizational research, and research addressing equity and social justice issues.

Dr. Roper has more than 20 years’ experience in program evaluation. She has conducted evaluations for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has also evaluated programs for Clemson University, the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, and school districts in the state. In addition to evaluation, Dr. Roper has worked in areas such as school leadership, issues related to Title IX in the university environment, expanding the educational pipeline for underrepresented students, community development, and water resource policy.

Dr. Roper has authored or co-authored papers on subjects such as school leadership, water resource management, assessment, and behavioral change. She has also participated in grant writing in areas including improving educational outcomes, workforce diversity, community development, charter school development, and student engagement. She has also written policy reports and research briefs focusing on disparities in education as well as presenting papers at education and evaluation conferences.

In keeping with her varied interests, Dr. Roper has lectured on evaluation practice, disparities in educational opportunity, assessment in higher education, survey development, statistics, and other topics. She has also taught introductory sociology, medical sociology, and evaluation research.