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Pamela A. Larde

Associate Professor of Research

Pamela A. Larde


B.S. – California Polytechnic State University, 2000
M.Ed. – Azusa Pacific University, 2004
Ph.D. – Cardinal Stritch University, 2009


Pamela is an associate professor of qualitative research and higher education at Mercer University, a fellow of the Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, and a certified life coach. Her research focuses on interpersonal relationships, self-motivation, inspiration, resilience, and post-traumatic growth. She facilitates speaking engagements and training sessions for national and international audiences interested in how to integrate life purpose and creative change into the work that they do. Additionally, she has published three books and has authored several book chapters on the topic of first-generation students. Prior to her role as faculty, Dr. Larde spent twelve years in college student affairs where she received training in suicide prevention, motivational interviewing, and substance abuse counseling. She is currently working on her fourth book, which addresses leadership, life purpose, and post-traumatic growth.


As an associate professor of research at Mercer University, Dr. Larde teaches research and higher education content courses to doctoral and master level students. She regularly serves as either chair or qualitative methodologist for doctoral dissertation committees. She has also co-presented and co-published with students and fellow faculty as an extension of what is taught in class. Dr. Larde thoroughly enjoys working with students to plan and execute effective studies that have been instrumental in advancing students in the field of Education via dream jobs, conference presentations, and reputable publications. Below is an overview of her teaching activities:

Doctoral Courses
Seminar in Research Methodology
Qualitative Research Methodology
Dissertation II
Independent Research
Academic Affairs in Higher Education

Master’s Courses
Introduction to Research
Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment
Leadership Theory
Introduction to Higher Education
Student Development Theory
Higher Education Finance


The opportunity to engage in academic research is a major reason why Dr. Larde chose to transition from practicing higher education leadership to teaching in the profession. Her research focus, which initially addressed the issue of access to higher education, has expanded to explore several elements of positive psychology, including post-traumatic growth, self-determination, interpersonal relationships, and life-purpose. More specifically, she explores the post-traumatic experiences of veterans, inmates, and college students who experienced traumatic events or lived through traumatic environments. Theoretical models for this work have included self-determination theory, coaching with compassion, and the theory of hope. Her work has resulted invitations to write book chapters, offers to work with other scholars, and paid opportunities to provide trainings for state agencies, non-profit organizations, counseling professionals, and educators at all levels, both nationally and interntionally.


Larde, P. (2020). Dodge, deny, detract: Strategies employed by high school aged Black and Latino first-generation college aspirants on the journey to pursuing higher education. The Journal of Restorative Resistance.

Larde, P. (2019). Foreword. First-Generation College Student Research Studies. Eds. Hicks,
Butler, and Myrick. Hamilton Books. Lanham, MD.

Larde, P. (October 29, 2018). We Must Encourage Self-belief, Self-determination for Youth to
Experience Post-traumatic Growth. Youth Today.

Larde, P. (October 3, 2018). Post-traumatic Growth: Hope Is a Strategy, Not a Feeling. Youth Today.

Larde, P. (June 20, 2018). Why Young People Take Social Action: Self-Determination and Youth
Activism. Youth Today.

Larde, P., & Joseph, D. (2015). "Strategies employed by first-generation college aspirants of
color to resist stereotype threat and discrimination." In Spirituality Research Studies in Higher Education. Ed. Hicks. University Press of America.

Larde, P. (2014). Misconceptions of family support among first-generation African
American and Mexican American students who pursue higher education. In College student-efficacy research studies. Eds. Hicks & Pitre. University Press of America.

Larde, P. (2013). Letters to the brokenhearted. Tandem Light Press, Atlanta, GA.

Jenkins, K and Larde, P. (2013). BAMN! The 6th Circuit Strikes Down Michigan’s Proposal 2.
SCREA Journal, Spring 2013 issue.

Larde, P. (2013). How African American first-generation students make it to college. In Research
studies in higher education: Educating multicultural students. Eds. Hicks & Pitre. University Press of America.


Dr. Larde has consistently provided service to Tift College of Education and Mercer University in ways that are consistent with the Conceptual Framework of Tift College of Education through her leadership as co-chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee, and chair of the Leadership Academy. Additionally, she has participated in a number of college and university-wide committees. She has also served as qualitative methodologist with a load of as many 22 dissertation committees at times. Additionally, she mentors higher education professionals seeking growth and development and has served reputable organizations, including Sage Publications as a textbook reviewer and the National Incarceration Association as a board member. Below is an overview of her service activities:

• Faculty Executive Committee, Co-Chair (2019 – present)
• Faculty Welfare Committee, Chair (2017 – present)
• Graduate Curriculum Committee (2016)
• Leadership Academy Coordinator (2010 - present)
• Research Curriculum Committee (2013)
• Educational Leadership Faculty Search Committee (2013)
• Student Appeals Committee (2013)
• Student Honor Committee (2012-2013)
• Library and Media Technology Committee (2011 – 2013)
• Textbook Reviewer, Sage Publications (2010)