Kayla Elliott is pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Her research interests include higher education policy, equity, and philanthropy, with an emphasis on Minority-Serving Institutions. She specifically studies how performance funding systems impact Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). She advocates for HBCUs, including her alma mater Fisk University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and served as a student representative on the university’s board of trustees. Kayla also holds a Masters from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, and has worked and interned with a range of nonprofit education organizations including Lumina Foundation, the Southern Education Foundation, and Teach For America. As a research assistant, Kayla has been a member of the Urban Male Initiative research team and the Associate Research Director for ADVANCE FAU, a National Science Foundation supported initiative focused on eliminating institutional barriers for women and minority STEM faculty. Kayla also teaches undergraduate courses on student success and leadership. Thus far, Kayla has co-authored multiple publications including a book, book chapter, journal articles, and essays. She is a member of the Association for the Study of Higher Education and the Council for the Study of Community Colleges and has been a presenter, moderator, and reviewer for both organizations’ annual conferences. In addition to receiving endowed scholarships from Fisk and IUPUI, Kayla was a 2015-2016 Provost Fellow, a P.E.O. Scholar Award for 2017-2018, and the inaugural winner of the AACTE Holmes Scholar Dissertation Competition.