Debra D. Rayford

Dr. Debra D. Rayford


Dr. Debra D. Rayford is a Postdoctoral Teaching Associate with expertise in ethnic identity development, Black masculinity, Afrocentric education, psychological oppression and empowerment, Jim Crow’s effect on African Americans’ identity, and the Black experience in the United States.

Rayford earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Ohio University, a M.Ed. in Educational Foundations, a B.A in Psychology, and a Certificate in Preparing Future Faculty from the University of Cincinnati. 

Her publication, “Can You See Me: The Necessity for an Afrocentric Education,” was published in the book, “Perspectives on Empowering Education.”

At UWF she works with the College of Education and Professional Studies – Research and Advanced Studies/Ed.D. Programs. Her assignments include conducting workshops for doctoral students, administering the Doctoral Digital Platform, establishing an Annual Research Conference, online teaching, and reviewing doctoral dissertations. 

At Ohio University she was a dissertation coach and a Graduate and Research Assistant. She was President of the Graduate Education Association. She received the first Leadership and Service Award and was inducted into the AACTE/Holmes Scholars Program.

Degrees & Institutions:

Rayford received a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a master's degree in Educational Foundations from the University of Cincinnati. She went on to earn a doctorate degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Cultural Studies in Education from Ohio University.


Currently researching the changing identity of the African American culture. Transitioning from Colored, Negro, Black, to African American. Collecting data on how laws have influenced the Black experience in America, specifically identity. Previously researched how an Afrocentric education influenced the development of African American adolescent males' self-concept, self-esteem, and ethnic identity. 

Current Courses:

  • Educational Foundations: A Philosophical and Multicultural Analysis


    Book Chapter 

    • Can you see me? The Necessity for an Afrocentric Education (2014). In F. E. Godwyll, P.O. Ojiambo, & P.A. Bedu-Addo, (Eds.)., Perspectives in Empowering Education (pp. 69-89). New York: Nova Science Publishers. 

    Journal Articles 

    • New Day Ole’ Times: Neo-lynching in America. (In Progress to be Submitted Winter, 2016) 
    • African Diaspora: The loss of ethnic identity regained. (In Progress to be Submitted Winter, 2016) 

Keywords: Ethnic identity development, Afrocentric education, Afrocentric self-concept and self-esteem, Nguzo Saba, Maat, psychological oppression and empowerment, Jim Crow’s effect on African-Americans’ identity, the Black experience in the United States