Dr. Tiffani Riggers-Piehl is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Division of Educational Leadership Policy and Foundations, School of Education at UMKC, having previously served across multiple functional areas in academic and student affairs at Baylor, UCLA, and Greenville College (IL). She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, where she studied college student spirituality and student-faculty interactions. Her dissertation, “Enhancing Classrooms and Conversations: How Interactions with Faculty Predict Change in Students’ Spirituality in College” identifies ways that faculty can be more involved in students’ meaning-making and spiritual development. Prior to her studies at UCLA, Tiffani earned a Master of Science degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs at Baylor University, where she discovered her interested in scholarly pursuits: specifically, spiritual and moral development, research and teaching, and gender differences in education. Dr. Riggers-Piehl’s research has been featured in the Teacher’s College Record, Research in Higher Education, and Religion and Education, among other journals. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of College and Character and Secretary for the Religion and Education SIG in the American Educational Research Association. Her professional passions include teaching and training, investigating the college student experience, and creating a collegial academic community.
College student development; Campus climate; Spirituality and religion in college; Student-faculty interaction, pedagogy, and student success; Interfaith experiences in college; Gendered aspects of spiritual development in college; Conditional effects of gender.Degrees:
Ph.D., Higher Education and Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., Higher Education and Organizational Change, University of California, Los Angele
M.S. Ed., Higher Education and Student Affairs, Baylor University, Waco, TexasPublications:
Riggers-Piehl, T. A. & Sax, L. J. (2018). Enhancing the spirit: How interactions with faculty influence students’ meaning-making and spiritual quest in college. Journal of College and Character, 19(2), 101-119. DOI: 10.1080/2194587X.2018.1445642
Mayhew, M. J., Bowman, N. A., Rockenbach, A. N., Selznick, B., & Riggers-Piehl, T. A. (2018). Appreciative attitudes toward Jews among non-Jewish U.S. college students. Journal of College Student Development, 59(1).
Rockenbach, A. N., Bowman, N. A., Riggers-Piehl, T. A., Mayhew, M. J., & Crandall, R. E. (2018). Respecting the LDS/Mormon minority on campus: College students’ attitudes toward Latter-day Saints. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 56(4): 798-819. DOI: 10.1111/jssr.12481
Riggers-Piehl, T. A., & Lehman, K. (2016). Modeling the relationship between campus spiritual climate and the sense of belonging for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish students. Religion and Education, 43(3), 247-270. DOI: 10.1080/15507394.2016.1175843Grants:
Principal Investigator, Fostering Academic and Social Engagement: An Investigation into the Effects of All-Girls Education in the Transition to University. Funded by National Coalition for Girl’s Schools, August 2017-January 2019. Collaborators: Dr. Gloria Lim, Co-Principle Investigator, and Karen KIng. Awarded $43,000 to update a 2009 study on women graduates of single sex high schools as they enter colleges. Study uses a multi-level approach to better understand the effect of participation in single-sex high schools at college entry.
Co-Principal Investigator, The Role of College Experiences in the Development of Self-Authored Worldview Commitment for First-Year STEM Students. Funded through the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Interfaith Youth Core, Dr. Matthew Mayhew, and Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach, October 2017-December 2018 Collaborators: Dr. Kate Lehman, Co-Principle Investigator (UCLA) and Emily Sandval, M.S., (Baylor University). Awarded $7500 to examine how students within STEM develop a spiritual or worldview commitment and how their experiences within their major may foster or hinder the development of a spiritual commitment.