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Anjani Byrd


Ajani Byrd


Phone: (408)855-5190
Department: CalWORKS

Dr. Byrd is an equity minded scholar-practitioner that specializes in the retention and persistence of students of color. He has over 15 years of experience in post-secondary education across student and instructional affairs divisions. Dr. Byrd has worked at mid-sized private institutions, large public universities, state-wide organizations, and most recently within community colleges.

Since joining the district in 2017, Dr. Byrd has held several leadership positions. Acting dean of student equity and success at West Valley College, where he provided leadership and oversight over multiple student success units and learning communities.

He was also interim dean of language arts at Mission College, where he supported English, Communication, and English Second Language departments. Currently, he serves as the Director of CalWORKS.

At Mission College Dr. Byrd has worked across the institution to bring African American focused programming to campus, which includes the Inaugural Black and Brown Summit and the African American High School Leadership Conference.

Prior to Mission College, Dr. Byrd served as a post-doctorate fellow at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office where he gained extensive experiences evaluating Student Equity and Achievement programming, evaluating Inmate and Re-Entry Education practices, and launching statewide initiatives focusing on student food and housing insecurity.  


  • Ph.D., Higher Education
    • Loyola University Chicago
  • M.A., Sport Management
    • University of San Francisco
  • B.A., Liberal Studies
    • San Francisco State University

Research & Expertise

Retention and persistence of students of color, student development, program assessment and evaluation, and transfer readiness of marginalized populations in two-year institutions.


Squire, D., Jourian, T. J., Kelly, B. T., Byrd, A. M., Manzano, L., & Bumbry, M. (2018). A critical race feminist analysis of men of color matriculating into a higher education doctoral program. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 11(1), 16-33.  

Byrd, A. (2017). Transfer student success: Latinx student overcoming challenges at two- and four-year institutions towards baccalaureate degree attainment. Dissertation. 2778. 

Poon, O., Squire, D., Kodama, C., Byrd, A. M., Chan, J., Manzano, L., Furr, S., & Bishundat, D. (2016) A critical review of the model minority myth in selected literature on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in higher education. Review of Education Research, 86(2), 469-502.

Poon, O., & Byrd, A. M. (2013). Beyond tiger mom anxiety: Ethnic, gender and generational differences in Asian American college access and choices. Journal of College Admissions, 221.

Select Conference Presentations

Byrd, A. M., Barnes, Y., & Piper, D. (2021, February). Black scholars, brown lives. Western Region Council on Black American

Affairs, Virtual Conference. 

Byrd, A. M., McCoy, E., Childress, J., & Diaz, R. (2019, October). New professionals institute pre-conference: Panelist

discussion. Western Regional Conference for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Portland, OR.  

Marion, T. L. & Byrd, A. M. (2019, June). Their story, their words: A case study analysis of African American student-athletes in

community colleges. Presented at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education, Portland, OR.

Byrd, A. M. (2018, November). Not reinventing the wheel: Developing (action) assessment domains to guide student success utilizing your current toolkit. Presented at the Western Regional Conference for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Sacramento, CA.  

Favorite Quote

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” - Pele