Dr. Stacey Pearson Wharton

Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton offers expertise and a positive approach for issues surrounding diversity, social justice, inclusion, and mental health to provide hope and healing in difficult times.

For nearly 20 years Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton or Dr. Stacey (as her students affectionately call her) has dedicated herself to helping students maximize their learning, health and wellness, and personal growth. Now as a speaker, she’s hitting campuses across the country to inspire and educate students on taking steps for positive change in their lives and for their communities.

When Intent Doesn’t Equal Impact: Healing Relationships in the Wake of Offense

Watch the news and it seems like there’s always a hate bias incident happening on a college campus. These racist, sexist, or homophobic acts need to be addressed, but are we tiptoeing around difficult conversations, too afraid that we might do something wrong or make things worse? Can campuses breathe life into social justice frameworks without stepping in multicultural “poo”? Sowing the seeds of diversity can be challenging. Dr. Pearson-Wharton offers workable steps and guidance to you and your campus. This program helps campus and individuals deal with everything from minor weeds like microaggressions, to hate bias incidents by teaching tools to heal ruptures, listen without being defensive, apologize unconditionally, and manage fears of saying or doing the wrong thing. Students will gain the skills they need help cultivate a more inclusive and socially just campus community.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • that everyone will someday experience a time when their personal bias negatively impacts someone else despite their best intentions,
  • ways to heal ruptures created when well-intentioned people say and do dumb things,
  • how to hear, listen, and accept someone’s apology if and when they experience a microaggression, and
  • offer windows of hope, healing, and help despite the complexities and arduous work need to create an inclusive campus environment.

Taming the Dragon: Dealing with Stress and Anxiety

College students are facing more stress and anxiety than ever before and they are overwhelmed. The stress dragon has taken over – but like any monster, it has weaknesses. This keynote offers tools to help students manage and tame stress. Dr. Pearson-Wharton’s interactive techniques will reveal the difference between productive motivational stress and problematic anxiety, and offer strategies for training a baby dragon before it becomes a full-blown monster. The discussion will also challenge the cultural mindset around the virtues of being stressed. Students will become their own mental health champions and learn to support the people they care about who may be facing anxiety. By taming their stress dragons and finding inner peace, students will be on the road to finding “happily ever after.”

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to tackle anxiety and develop skills and concrete tools to reduce and manage their stress,
  • methods to increase their performance in their academics and organizations, and
  • the importance of working together as a community to support and help each other with stress and anxiety.

Being Black in White Spaces

Predominately white colleges and universities (PWCUs) have taken many meaningful steps to become more diverse and socially equitable places. But many students of color experience discrimination, social isolation, and psychological challenges during their educational experience. Given proper tools, students can not only survive, but thrive in these environments. Combining research studies that clearly articulate the challenges and joys of being a student of color in a predominantly white institution with personal stories of success and strategies for growth, this keynote will offer students practical lessons to hone the tools they need to thrive during their college experience and beyond.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of attending this program, students will learn:

  • how to be an ally and supporter of groups and individuals that are different from themselves,
  • ways to help marginalized groups share their story and feel included in the greater community, and
  • tools that can help different communities thrive in an environment where they may not be part of the majority population.

“Dr. Stacey appropriately challenged and supported the audience through difficult topics – it was especially nice to see that the students felt comfortable enough to be vulnerable and ask questions and openly share experiences.”

– Elizabeth Doyle, Director of Student Activities, Elmhurst College

“Dr. Pearson-Wharton offers “uncommon” common sense with humor that draws in her audience and leaves them wanting more. Her witty, but warm delivery make her a dynamic speaker for diverse audiences.”

– Ayanna McConnell Tribett, Eastern Michigan University

“Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton is chockfull of style and substance! She shows up authentically, inviting all those in her presence to do the same. She has extraordinary capacity to help her audience connect their head and hearts, advancing their competencies as leaders and social justice educators. Her academic and professional background and excellent ability to engage others always makes participants leaving her sessions feeling transformed and better prepared to lean into their own work.”

– Dr. Patty Perillo, Virginia Tech

“Dr. Pearson-Wharton’s ability to engage with the audience and communicate topics in a creative and interactive manner makes her shine as a speaker. We would love to have her speak again in the future!”

– Christine Asidao, University of Michigan

Stacey’s Bio

For nearly 20 years Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton has dedicated herself to helping students maximize their learning, health and wellness, and personal growth. She has served as an Assistant Dean, Assistant Vice President, Counseling Center Director, Staff Psychologist, Academic Advisor, Career Counselor and even a Hall Director. Dr. Stacey served the Governing Board of the American College Personnel Association as the Director of Equity and Inclusion where she used her expertise and experience to navigate complicated social justice issues. She has significant experience teaching, publishing, and presenting on issues related to college student development. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Counselor Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


Promotional Resources



New conference for a lot of yesterday looking forward to learning of the next few days #blessed #acha2018

Preparing to record for a classs...1 of the ways I know the end of semester is near! @cbkracker


So Tuesday we set a goal of training 100 QPR almost hit our goals but look who came to our last session. Yes our president @VPSLSusanLantz @SusquehannaU #helpgiveshope


This is the money shot here! An amazing evening of community #subsu #weout #studentlife #purpose

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