Steve Mobley posing on a stool

UA’s Mobley Among Top 15 Emerging Scholars in Higher Education

Steve Mobley posing on a stool
Dr. Steve D. Mobley Jr.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama Assistant Professor of Higher Education Steve D. Mobley Jr. was selected as one of the nation’s top 15 emerging scholars under the age of 40 by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.”

The magazine annually selects 15 diverse scholars out of hundreds of nominees who are making their mark in academia.

“Being named one of the top 15 scholars of color in the country by ‘Diverse: Issues in Higher Education’ is a prominent accolade within the education sector,” said Mobley. “Past awardees include scholars who have gone on to become college presidents, several deans at leading institutions of higher learning, and an array of prolific researchers and thinkers of our time.

“I am elated to be receiving this honor and it is not lost on me that this is a distinction that several prominent Black scholars whom I respect and admire have received in the past.”

Mobley’s research explores institutional and interpersonal equity by amplifying the voices of underserved and marginalized communities. His research utilizes interdisciplinary frameworks to explore the complexities of Black identities within Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs. His research also interrogates the intersectional experiences of Black communities within white post-secondary contexts.

“I have used my scholarship to further nuance and complicate our understanding of Blackness,” said Mobley. “Using critical lenses, I show that there is no singular ideal of Blackness in higher education and that for far too long institutions of higher education and scholars in our field have disregarded intersectional Blackness.

“It feels really good to be recognized in this manner, especially because I have deliberately and intentionally chosen to center Black communities and HBCUs within my scholarship. Also, my scholarship unapologetically amplifies the experiences of Black queer and trans* communities within higher education contexts. Thus, in a way, I feel that both HBCUs and Black queer and trans* higher education stakeholders are also being recognized as well.”

Mobley has been a faculty member in UA’s department of education leadership, policy and technology studies since August 2016.

“Much of Dr. Mobley’s scholarship is centered on an ongoing intersectional analysis of how sexual orientation, gender identity and racial identity are mediated on the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” said Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the UA College of Education. “His work, which has been widely cited in the research literature, has delivered unique and penetrating insights on the tensions that exist in such a context.

“We are proud of the good contribution he is making to advance our understanding of how gender and race identities are shaped in higher education settings.”

Mobley earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication and culture from Howard University, Master of Science in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from the University of Maryland.


Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications,, 205-348-8325


Dr. Steve D. Mobley Jr.,