Clewiston Challenger, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neag School of Education (Affiliate)

Research Overview

My research focuses around how students adjust to college and how that impacts their academic motivation and success. I look at factors such as self-efficacy, academic buoyancy (resilience), sense of belonging, and institutional attachment to see how they relate to motivation. I also look at these factors among students of Color who attend predominantly White institutions (PWIs) and the influence it has on their mental health, belonging, retention, persistence, and graduation rates. Projects I plan to work on as an InChip affiliate are ones that examine student adjustment to college as it pertains to mental health and their involvement in their college. I am a new faculty, so in my doctoral program, my dissertation study examined college adjustment, efficacy, buoyancy, and motivation in over 1,300 college students who participated in my study. This allowed me to gather extensive data on this population for analysis for several years to come.


BA; Psychology (UConn, 2003)
MA; Educational Psychology, School Counseling (UConn, 2008)
PHD; Counselor Education and Supervision (Penn State, 2017)

Featured Publication

O’Neil, J. M., Challenger, C., Renzulli, S., Crapser, B., & Webster, E. (2013). The boy’s forum: An evaluation of a brief intervention to empower middle-school urban boys. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 21, 191-205. DOI: 10.3149/jms.2102.191

Contact Information
Mailing Address249 Glenbrook Road
Unit 3064
Storrs, CT 06269