Dr. Evans is a Professor of Black Women's Studies in the Institute for Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) and affiliate faculty of Africana Studies (AAS) at Georgia State University. She served twelve consecutive years as department chair at Georgia State University, Clark Atlanta University, and University of Florida.
Dr. Evans has sustained a research interest in Black women's intellectual history for over two decades. Her research is rooted in educational history but has evolved to include mental health and wellness as a way to address systemic stressors of being department chair. She began studying Black women’s wellness in 2013 and expanded her research on memoirs from investigating “the life of the mind” to practicing the life of the mind, body, and spirit. In her writing, teaching, and speaking, she works to share how Black women elders—especially educators—have navigated the relentless demands of academe.
Dr. Evans is editor of the Black Women's Wellness book series at SUNY Press and has published four single-authored books:
· Black Feminist Writing: A Practical Guide to Publishing Books in Race and Gender Studies(SUNY, forthcoming 2024)
· Black Women’s Yoga History: Memoirs of Inner Peace (SUNY, 2021)
· Black Passports: Travel Memoirs as a Tool for Youth Empowerment (SUNY, 2014)
· Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History (UF, 2007)
She is also lead co-editor of five books:
· Dear Department Chair: Letters from Black Women Leaders to the Next Generation (Wayne State, 2023)
· Black Women and Public Health: Strategies to Name, Locate, and Change Systems of Power (2022)
· Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons (SUNY, 2019)
· Black Women's Mental Health: Balancing Strength and Vulnerability (SUNY Press, 2017)
· African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education (SUNY, 2009).
In addition to her books, Dr. Evans has three projects recently published: "Mother Vines: A History of Black Women and Wine" and "Take No Tea for the Fever': Tea in Black Women's Mental Health History and Self-Care as Resistance (articles in Phylon journal) and "Chair at the Table: Black Women Department Chairs on Academic Service, Leadership, and Balance" (a 2021 special issue of Palimpsest journal). She is curator of several web resources, including the Black Women's Studies Booklist, Africana Memoirs Database, and the Black Women's Yoga History site. She is also an independent book reviewer and editor of the Black Women's Wellness book series at SUNY Press.
Until June 2019, Professor Evans served as Chair of the of African American Studies, Africana Women's Studies, and History (AWH) Department at Clark Atlanta University. Evans was recognized with the 2017 Aldridge-McMillan Award for Excellence in Research at CAU. In 2013 she led the CAU Du Bois Legacy Project and in 2015, she edited Phylon: Review of Race and Culture, reviving the journal founded by W. E. B. Du Bois at Atlanta University. Her articles have appeared in Western Journal of Black Studies, Peace Studies Journal, Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Feminist Teacher, Florida Historical Quarterly, and African American Research Perspectives. Deeply rooted in community partnerships, she has co-edited two community-based publications, OASIS: Oldways Africana Soup in Stories (with Oldways, a food and nutrition nonprofit) and Purple Sparks: Poems by Sexual Assault Survivors(with youthSpark, an anti sex-trafficking and youth abuse prevention non-profit). She also has a longstanding partnership with Black Women’s Mental Health Institute in Birmingham, Alabama. Evans curates multiple websites for various digital humanities projects, including AfricanaMemoirs.net and the Black Women's Studies Booklist web resource bwstbooklist.net.
From 2003-2011, Dr. Evans served as faculty of African American Studies of Women's Studies at the University of Florida. She served as Director in 2010 and that year she was awarded the UF Colonel Allan R. and Margaret G. Crow Term Professor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Evans has conducted research at University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center in Washington D.C. and through the University of Florida’s Paris Research Center in Paris, France.
At GSU, in addition to WGSS and AAS, she is affiliate faculty in the Center for the Study of Stress, Trauma and Resilience as well as the Center for the Study of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD). Dr. Evans has committed herself to the profession of higher education, but she is even more committed to uprooting the normalization of stress and to making institutions more humane, sane, and equitable.
In May 2003, Stephanie Evans earned her PhD from the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies with a concentration in History and Politics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In May 2002 earned a Master’s Degree in the same field. Also in 2002, she completed the Graduate Certificate Program in Advanced Feminist Studies. Her main graduate student interest was Black women’s intellectual and educational history. In her dissertation, "Living Legacies: Black Women, Educational Philosophies, and Community Service, 1865-1965," she considered the educational ideas of four African American women educators: Fanny Jackson Coppin, Anna Julia Cooper, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Septima Clark.
While completing her dissertation, Evans worked as the Assistant Director for Youth Education Programs in the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. In the summer of 1999 she was a research intern at Stanford University’s Haas Center for Public Service and worked on issues of cultural identity and community service. In May 1999 she earned an Interdisciplinary Studies BA in Comparative Humanities--gender and cross-cultural American studies--from California State University, Long Beach. In her undergraduate work, she earned several honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude, and Outstanding Department Graduate and was a Kellogg Fellow and a McNair Scholar.
Dr. Stephanie Evans is happily married to Dr. Curtis Byrd. In 2019, they both turned 50 and celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary. Dr. Evans is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
THE BLACK PANTHER: A CULTURAL EXPLORATION by Ytasha L. Womack (2023)