Dr. Tamara Hoff Pope, Ph.D.

Managing Director of College Success


(312) 319-7229

A staunch advocate of education equity, Tamara Hoff Pope has spent the last decade cultivating the academic, social, and leadership development of first generation and low-income students in higher education. As the Managing Director of College Success, Dr. Pope oversees engagement and connection with Scholars and the College Success Team to ensure that Scholars persist and are on track for graduation and career success. Ultimately, she helps Scholars position themselves strategically for successful careers post-graduation through identifying critical milestones and pivotal college experiences that support their overall growth and development as future leaders.

Previously, Dr. Pope has taught, mentored, and advised high school and undergraduate students through the Upward Bound, McNair Scholars, and 100 STRONG African American freshmen recruitment and retention programs. Through these programs, she has facilitated study skills workshops, monitored students’ academic progress and social acclimation to campus life, and coordinated cultural enrichment programming for students from underrepresented populations. She has also helped prepare students of color for graduate school through supervising undergraduate research projects, connecting students with GRE test prep courses, and advising students on the graduate school application process. Her own research pertains to the history of African American women in higher education and how they understood the aims and value of higher education in relation to gender and racial progress. Serving in these various professional capacities has enabled Dr. Pope to support the successful matriculation and degree completion of students from marginalized communities.

Dr. Pope has also taught in a number of higher education institutions in the departments of Education/Educational Policy Studies, History, African American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. She obtained a B.S. in Mathematics, M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a former American Educational Research Association (AERA) Minority Dissertation Fellow (2012), a Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellow (2011-2015), as well as a Surge Institute Fellow (2017). She continues to volunteer as a leadership certificate coach for undergraduates and tutors Chicago Public School (CPS) students in mathematics. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., world traveler, avid bid whist player, proud Chicagoan and CPS alum.