Constance Iloh, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Higher Education

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Constance Iloh, PhD, explores the culture and business of postsecondary education and the consequences these infrastructures have on minoritized communities. Her work centers on (1) power, information, and opportunity asymmetries that cultivate stratified higher education experiences for students and faculty; (2), the cultural logics of college student consumer behavior; and (3), the possibilities of qualitative inquiry in the 21st century. As an anthropologist, Iloh is attentive to institutional culture as well as the interplay between a person and their environment. One of her conceptual contributions is the Iloh Model of College-Going Decisions and Trajectories, a three-component contextual framework that illuminates how an assortment of students make decisions about higher education. Iloh is also passionate about moving past the confines of conventional qualitative research and thinking more expansively about its potential. Her article “Do it for the Culture: The Case for Memes in Qualitative Research,” is published in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.

Iloh’s work has been featured in outlets such as the Harvard Law Review, Forbes, Medium, Politico, and National Public Radio, which profiled her as a national expert in naming her their Source of the Week. Iloh has been invited to share her expertise with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, the Community College League of California, the Institute of Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Telemundo, NBC Universal, and Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Campaign. Iloh is the inaugural scholar luminary for Inside Higher Ed and the University Innovation Alliance’s new show with her episode, “#Scholarship2Practice Interview with Dr. Constance Iloh.” Iloh has won multiple prestigious grants and fellowships, including the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Postdoctoral Fellowship, and is one of the few academics ever named to the change-agents and break-out stars of the Forbes “30 under 30” list.


  • PhD, Urban Education Policy, University of Southern California
  • MA, Business Management, Wake Forest University
  • BA, Psychology and Communication, University of Maryland

Academic Area

  • School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences
    • Department of Higher Education

Courses Taught

  • HED 798 Special Topics
  • HEDL 715 Qualitative Methods in Action Research
  • HEDL 733 Changing Worlds of Higher Education
  • HEDL 742 Student Access, Equity, and Success

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