Atiya R. Smith

  • Graduate Faculty
  • Undergraduate Faculty

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling

Core Faculty, Master's in Counseling (Clinical and School)

CSI Chapter Faculty Advisor

NBCC Campus Coordinator



Atiya R. Smith received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Hood College (’03), a master’s degree in Applied Psychology: Counseling Track from the University of Baltimore, and a doctoral degree in Education with a specialty in Counseling & Counselor Education [CACREP-accredited] from the University of Rochester. She is also a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Maryland and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).

Her research focuses on the experiences of three particular groups of students - (1) students of color, (2) first year college students, and (3) students with disabilities - and how their experiences shape their academic performance, behavior, social relationships, overall well-being, and both retention and attrition rates. More specifically, she examines:

  • The experiences of women of color attending PWIs and the coping strategies used to navigate barriers to their success [Primary research]
  • Factors that shape college freshmen retention rates 
  • Best practices for supporting students with disabilities in both P-12 and higher education

She also has an interest in identity development, the mind-body connection, race-based traumatic stress, and anxiety disorders.

Her professional interests include: assessment & appraisal in counseling, professional identity development in rising counselors, ethics and professional standards in counseling, integrating expressive arts into counseling practice, counseling underrepresented populations, special education, and the application of mental health services in schools, colleges, and universities. 

Currently, she holds the following leadership positions:

  • President-Elect - Maryland Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (MAMCD)
  • Co-Chair of the Mentoring Work Group - ACES School Counseling Interest Network (ACES SCIN)
  • Directorate member and Vice Chair for Research & ScholarshipAmerican College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE
  • Co-Chair of the Emerging Leaders Program - Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA)

Previously, she served as chair of the Research Interest Network for the North Atlantic Region’s Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (NARACES). She also served as the NARACES graduate student representative, the liaison from ACPA's Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services (CCAPS) to the American College Counseling Association (ACCA), and a regional representative to the ACES Emerging Leaders Task Force. 

Dr. Smith has been inducted into the international honor societies for counseling (Chi Sigma Iota), psychology (Psi Chi), and education (Kappa Delta Pi). She was also selected as an ACES Presidential Fellow (2013), an ACES Emerging Leaders Fellow (2013), an ACPA Ambassador (2015), and an ACES Emerging Leaders Mentor (2019). Her counseling experience includes work in K-12 settings (both public and independent schools), university counseling centers, and outpatient clinics. Her professional experience includes providing executive functioning coaching, academic coaching, and additional support to children, adolescents, and college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, and Specific Learning Disabilities. 

She is extremely excited to not only return to her alma mater and join the Department of Psychology & Counseling, but to also support rising counselors in reaching their fullest potential for themselves and their future clients. Stop by her office to say hello! Also, if you are interested in joining her research lab, The Student Retention Research Lab, send her an email for more information. 


  • Ph.D., University of Rochester (CACREP accredited)
  • M.S., University of Baltimore
  • B.A., Hood College

Professional Highlights

Directorate Member and Vice Chair for Research & Scholarship for ACPA's CASHE

The mission of the Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) is to provide outreach, professional development, advocacy, and networking opportunities for students and academic affairs professionals interested in learning about and enhancing all aspects of academic support. CASHE members conceptualize academic support to include academic advising, student academic transitions, academic preparedness, and developmental education among other forms of support. 

President-Elect of MAMCD

The Maryland Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (MAMCD), a division of the Maryland Counseling Association (MCA), is devoted to promoting a greater understanding of culture and ethnicity to the counseling profession, while at the same time, improving on the clinical interventions for improving on the standards and practices of multicultural counseling.