Rickey Frierson

Who is Rickey?

Rickey Frierson, Ph.D. has spent the last 12 years as an inspirational speaker toward high school and college students and community organizations. Rickey is a research associate at the University of Houston, where he is pursuing his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Rickey takes pride in assisting education leaders and institutions in examining proactive strategies to create efficient and fruitful educational experiences for their diverse students, staff, and faculty. Rickey has a Master of Science in Organization Development and a B.S. in Business Management. He also holds a civic leadership development and diversity certification from the Kansas Leadership Center. Through aha! Process, Rickey offers training in Emotional Poverty, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, How the African-American Experience Affects the Classroom and Strategies for Success, and Research-Based Strategies. He is also available for instructional coaching specializing in data-driven decision making.

Rickey’s credentials


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Houston – Main Campus (expected 2018)
  • Master of Science in Organization Development, Friends University
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Kansas State University

Work History

  • Qualitative research associate
  • Inclusion and diversity chair
  • Multicultural recruiter
  • Associate consultant
  • Independent living director

Topical listing of recent publications/presentations

  • Diversity Integration: The Effective Strategy to Enhance Students’ Academic Success in Higher Education
  • Stereoscopic Education
  • Chief Diversity Officers’ Impact on Diversity and Inclusion at Community Colleges
  • Principal Retention: An Analysis of Retention in the 2010 Principal Cohort
  • Understanding Culture Studies Centers and Their Role in the Improvement of Diversity in American Education
  • The Role of Researcher’s Program Discipline and Communicative Style in Designing a Successful Focus Group Interview: A Case Study
  • Creating Sustainable Engagements: Lessons Learned While Consulting in Ghana. Organization Development Journal, 34(2), 45.

Rickey’s aha! moment

In 2008, as a young social worker, I was introduced to a training titled Bridges Out of Poverty. It was a very impactful and enlightening training. I believe that it aligned the mentality of many of our clientele with their socioeconomic status concomitantly explaining why sometimes “we” as workers do not fully understand our clients’ actions and behaviors. This training reinforced in me the power of my own philosophy of “Leadership of Self”—a personal belief that anyone can change the current status when they have vision, purpose, goals, and most important, a champion that believes in them.

Rickey’s passions?

I subscribe to the belief that every individual and organization can be successful when an inclusive vision, a common goal, and a united purpose are established. Because of this, I have dedicated my professional and academic studies to assist and train education leaders and institutions in examining proactive strategies to create efficient and fruitful educational experiences for their diverse students, staff, and faculty. My current research is to understand institutional factors that contribute to higher graduation rates among African-American males attending predominately white institutions of higher education.

Rickey’s best training

My activities are geared toward involving the participants’ experiences to create authentic and organic dialogue and show them how to relate to and understand individuals different than themselves.

What does Rickey do for fun?

I love to work out and play sports. I spend time with my children at parks, museums, and other family activities. If it was possible, I would travel more frequently internationally; I love experiencing new cultures and learning new languages.