Dr. Leann V. Smith
Dr. Leann V. Smith
All Children Deserve Our Best




Dr. Leann V. Smith received her Ph.D. in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). She also holds a master's degree in educational psychology from UT Austin and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the effects of multiple ecological systems on the academic, emotional and social development of ethnic minority youth, with an emphasis on cultural assets for Black youth. Other areas of research include STEM achievement and motivation, and the diversification of the field of school psychology. Dr. Smith also has a solid foundation of clinical skills in school, private outpatient, residential treatment, and community mental health settings. She completed her APA- and APPIC-approved predoctoral internship at the Momentous Institute in Dallas, TX. 

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Areas of Research


Culture, Achievement, and Well-being for Diverse Youth

This line of research focuses primarily on the cultural-specific correlates of academic motivation, achievement, and psychological well-being of racially diverse youth. An emphasis on the investigation of cultural assets for Black youth is also apparent.



  • Cokley, K., Awad, G., Smith, L., Jackson, S., Awosogba, O., Hurst, A., Stone, S., Blondeau, L. (2015). The roles of gender stigma consciousness, gender identification, and imposter phenomenon in the academic outcomes of women and men. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-015-0516-7
  • Cokley, K., Smith, L., Cody, B., Beasley, S., Miller, K., Hurst, A., Awosogba, O., Stone, S., & Jackson, S. (2014). Bridge over troubled waters: Meeting the mental health needs of Black students. Phi Delta Kappan, 96, 40-45.
  • Cokley, K., Smith, L.V., Jackson, S., Stone, S., Saucer, C., Awosogba, O., Hurst, A., Roberts, D., Bailey, M. (2017) Imposter feelings as a moderator and mediator of the relationship between perceived discrimination and mental health among ethnic minority college students. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 64(2), 141-154. doi: 10.1037/cou0000198
  • Sanchez, D., Smith, L.V., & Adams, W. (2017). The relationships among perceived discrimination, marianismo gender role attitudes, racial-ethnic socialization, coping styles, and mental health outcomes in Latina college students. Journal of Latina/o Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/lat0000077
  • Smith, L.V., & Cokley, K. (2016). Stereotype threat vulnerability: A psychometric investigation of the Social Identities and Attitudes Scale (SIAS). Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 49(2), 145-162.
  • Smith, L.V., & Jackson, S. (2014). An overview of Black achievement: Current trends at all levels of the education trajectory. Texas Education Review, 2(2), 191-202.
  • Trundt, K., Keith, T., Caemmerer, J., Smith, L. V. (2017). Testing for construct bias in the Differential Ability Scales, Second Edition (DAS-II): A comparison among African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Caucasian children. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment. Advanced copy online. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282917698303
  • Blake, J.J., Smith, L.V., & Knight, A.D. (2016). Theoretical frameworks of ethnic minority youth achievement. In S. L. Graves and J. J. Blake (Eds.), Psychoeducational assessment and intervention for ethnic minority children: Evidence-based approaches.

Diversification of School Psychology Profession

As the nation's cultural and linguistic diversity continues to increase, it is important that the professionals and goals of the profession of school psychology become more inclusive of and responsive to diversity.



  • Smith, L.V., Blake, J. J., & Graves, S. L. (2013). School psychology programs’ efforts to recruit culturally diverse students. Trainers’ Forum, 31(2), 4-23.
  • Smith, L.V., Blake, J.J., Graves, S.L., Vaughan-Jensen, J., Pulido, R., & Banks, C. (2016). Promoting diversity through program websites: A multicultural content analysis of school psychology program websites. School Psychology Quarterly, doi: 10.1037/spq0000149.


Culturally Responsive Home and School Environments

(Soon to come)



Children must have at least one person who believes in them. It could be a counselor, a teacher, a preacher, a friend. It could be you. You never know when a little love, a little support will plant a small seed of hope.
— Marian Wright Edelman
Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
— James Baldwin
Though it be a thrilling and marvellous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so -doubly dynamic- to be young, gifted and Black.
— Lorraine Hansberry


MY "why" statement

I do this work --about which I'm wildly passionate-- because ALL children deserve an opportunity to be resilient. Exceptional children are not merely born, they are raised by parents, teachers, communities, mentors, friends and are given certain assets (love, support, discipline, socialization, spirituality, identity) that will allow them to overcome the stressors we all encounter during development. I do this work because once we better understand that which makes children resilient, we can intervene and begin to change the trajectory of their future.


thought leaders and colleagues