Michelle Maher

Michelle  Maher
Education, Social Work and Psychological Sciences

Contact Info
330 Education



Michelle Maher is a professor in the Division of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Foundations. She joined the UMKC faculty in 2015 and has taught several courses, including The College Student, Leadership in Higher Education, and Organization and Administration of Higher Education. In additional to her faculty responsibilities, she currently serves as a co-principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded Kansas City Urban Sustainability Engineering Fellows program. Initiated in 2020, this program supports and mentors engineering students dedicated to renewing the urban core: https://www.umkc.edu/news/posts/2019/september/major-engineering-grant-helps-transfer-students.html

Research Areas

Dr. Michelle Maher explores graduate student research, teaching, and disciplinary writing skill development; and higher education access and equity issues.


Maher, M., & Ashby, M. (2021). Acquiring disciplinary knowledge. In J. Gilmore & M. Hatcher (Eds.), Preparing for College and University Teaching: Competencies for Graduate and Professional Students (pp. 21 – 38). Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Maher, M. A. Wofford, A., Roksa, J., & Feldon, D. (2020). Finding a fit: Biological science doctoral students’ selection of a principal investigator and research laboratory. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 19(3). Available at https://www.lifescied.org/doi/10.1187/cbe.19-05-0105.

Maher, M. A., Wofford, A., Roksa, J., & Feldon, D. F. (2020). Exploring early exits: Doctoral attrition in the biomedical sciences. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, 22, 205 – 226.

Ashby, M. T., & Maher, M. A. (2019). Consensus, division, and the future of graduate education in the chemical sciences. Journal of Chemical Education, 96, 196 – 202. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00642


Graybill, T., & Maher, M. (2020, November). The multiple meanings of the term “first-generation” to Latinx students attending predominantly white institutions. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, virtual conference.

Marx, D., Torres, T., & Maher, M. (2020, October). ‘Do what is right’: Creating and sustaining a Latinx mentoring program at a predominantly white institution. Paper presented at the Organization of Educational Historians, virtual conference.

Maher, M., O’Shea, K., Marszalek, J., & Cairns, D. (2020, June). Integrating the IDEO design process to find solutions to engineering challenges in a freshman general education class. Paper presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, virtual conference.