Atiya R. Smith

  • Graduate Faculty
  • Undergraduate Faculty

Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling

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

Program Director, School Counseling Specialty

Tatem Arts Center, Room 319
Office Hours

By Appointment


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, a National Certified Counselor (NCC), and a Certified Child and Adolescent Trauma Professional (CATP).

Dr. Smith's 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 not only shape their academic performance, behavior, social relationships, and overall well-being, but also retention and attrition rates. More specifically, she examines:

  • The experiences of girls & 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

Alongside these main interests, she also has research and professional interests in: racial trauma, the mind-body connection, intangible loss, school-based mental health services, college student mental heath, higher education & student affairs, socialization processes in doctoral education, assessment and appraisal in counseling, integrating expressive arts into counseling practice, and professional identity development in rising counselors. Students who are interested in joining Dr. Smith's research lab, The Student Retention Research Lab, are encouraged to send her an email for more information. Both undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in any of these areas, and a strong work ethic, are welcome! 

Dr. Smith is active in state, regional, and national professional organizations. She not only enjoys mentoring students into the counseling profession, but also inviting select students to serve on various leadership teams with her. Currently, she holds the following leadership positions:

  • Immediate Past-President - Maryland division of the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (MAMCD)
  • Post Secondary Vice President - Maryland division of the American School Counselor Association (MSCA)
  • Western Maryland Regional Coordinator - Maryland division of the American College Personnel Association (MCPA)
  • Membership Chair - Maryland Counseling Association (MCA)
  • 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

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), a regional representative to the ACES Emerging Leaders Task Force, and co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Program through the Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA). 

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 a pediatric hospital. Her professional experience includes providing executive functioning coaching, academic coaching, and additional support to children, adolescents, and college students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury, 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! 


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

Professional Highlights

Immediate Past-President of the Maryland State Branch of the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development (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.

Post-Secondary Vice President for the Maryland School Counselor Association

The Maryland School Counselor Association (MSCA), a state division of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), advocates for and promotes excellence in the profession of school counseling to support current and future school counselors in fostering the full potential of all students’ academic, career, and social/emotional development across all regions of the state.

Coordinator of the Western Region for the Maryland College Personnel Association (MCPA)

The Maryland College Personnel Association (MCPA) is a division of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and was chartered in 1969. MCPA's purpose is to provide leadership to the student personnel profession in the colleges and universities of the state of Maryland; to advance the contribution of the student personnel administration in higher education through teaching, counseling, research, and commitment to productive change in college student personnel practices to stimulate the professional development of college student personnel administrators within the state; and, to provide liaison between college student personnel and organizations concerned with higher education in the state of Maryland.

Membership Chair for the Maryland Counseling Association

The mission of the Maryland Counseling Association (MCA) is to promote public confidence, and trust in the counseling profession and to influence policies that affect professional counselors and the welfare of the diverse clients they serve. MCA supports professional counselors and counselors-in-training through a variety of professional development opportunities and support services.

Directorate Member & Vice Chair for Research & Scholarship for ACPA's Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (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. 

Committee Chair of K-8 Student Engagement & Committee Member of High School Student Engagement within GDS' Black Alumni Alliance

Georgetown Day School (GDS) is a coed, P-12, non-sectarian private school in Washington, DC that honors the integrity and worth of each individual within a diverse school community. GDS is dedicated to providing a supportive educational atmosphere in which teachers challenge the intellectual, creative, and physical abilities of students and foster strength of character and concern for others. GDS' Black Alumni Alliance seeks to empower, connect, and celebrate the Black community within the greater GDS Alumni Network. The group unites the presence of alumni and students of the GDS community through efforts with the school’s Alumni Engagement department, establishing relationships, connections, and opportunities to alumni of the African diaspora.