Mariama Gray, Ph.D.

Headshot of Mari Gray

Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership


Phone: 916-317-5113

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Disproportionate student discipline, Principal preparation, Critical geography/spatial analysis of unequal relations of powers


Mariama Smith Gray is a fourth generation Californian and graduate of Oakland public schools. Dr. Gray earned her BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies, MA in Education, and teaching credential from Stanford University.  She earned a second MA in Education and an administrative services credential from San Jose State. She has fifteen years of experience teaching and leading schools in Northern California, including two California Distinguished Schools, one distinguished by the state for excellence in math instruction. As a mentor teacher, she was recognized by the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP) for excellence in pre-service teacher preparation. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Davis in 2016 where she was awarded the UC Davis Dissertation Year Fellowship and the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. An assistant professor of Education in the Department of Educational Leadership, Dr. Gray’s research examines the role of school administrators and school-based law enforcement in the disproportionate discipline of Latino boys. Her latest article, Blocking the Bathroom: Race and Gender in School Spaces, draws on socio-cultural geographical theories to examine the spatial arrangements of the disproportionate discipline, surveillance, and banishment of Latino boys who were constructed as gang members in school and community spaces.