Faculty & Staff Directory

Eric Mayes, PhD, EdM

Assistant Professor

O: (410) 516-5267

Dr. Eric Mayes is an Assistant Professor of Education at Johns Hopkins University with an emphasis in Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education. As a former national director at the Children’s Defense Fund, Dr. Mayes spearheaded national program evaluations and growth strategy. Dr. Mayes has served as a director at the historic Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute, executive director of its Child Development Center, and inaugural faculty fellow in the Eugene Applebaum Chair in Community Engagement while at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Mayes worked as a director at the U.S. Dream Academy and as an elementary/middle school building administrator in Washington, DC. As a researcher, Dr. Mayes examines the mediating role of culture in cognition and learning, with a particular focus on the impact that culturally congruent standardized assessments and learning environments have on student achievement.

Prior to his leadership positions, Dr. Mayes served as a high school technology teacher in Detroit, Michigan. He has worked and researched internationally in West Africa, studying instructional approaches, curriculum development and assessment practices in the Gambian education system. While studying in Brazil, he assisted in the delivery of programs focused on increasing higher education access to Afro-Brazilian students in Salvador, Bahia.

He holds a post-doctorate Master’s Degree in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Howard University, and a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Michigan.

A former college athlete, Dr. Mayes advanced from a walk-on to Co-Captain of the 1997 University of Michigan National Championship Football Team. Dr. Mayes is a motivational speaker with a passion for building success in others. Dr. Mayes is a motivational speaker with a passion for building success in others. He lectures and presents internationally on leadership and learning.



Ed.M. Harvard University, 2011, Education Policy and Management

Ph.D. Howard University, 2006, Educational Psychology

M.S., University of Michigan, 2000, Educational Technology

BGS, University of Michigan, 1998, General Studies


ED.851.705 Effective Leadership
DD.705.700 Individual and Group Dynamics
ED.855.642 Talent Management and Organizational Finance
ED.700.302.61 Theories of Personality
ED.855.712 Multiple Perspectives on Learning and Teaching
ED.883.718 Research Methods and Systematic Inquiry I


Mayes, E. (PI). Bolstering Achievement and Expanding Pathways to College and Career Readiness through CDF Freedom Schools (2013). $60,000 grant from Cindy Estrada Charity Fund. United Auto Workers.

Mayes, E. (PI). Freedoms Schools in Detroit, Michigan (2011). $130,000 grant from the Skillman Foundation.

Jen, C., (PI) Alexander, G. Sharon Milberger, Andrea Cassidy, Shen, B., Mayes, E. Assessments of health status in preschoolers: A feasibility study (2008). $100,000 grant from the Institutes for Population Studies, Health Assessment, Administration, Services and Economics (INPHAASE). Sponsored by Wayne State University and Henry Ford Health Systems.

Mayes, E. (managed). Childcare Access Means Parents in School (2008). $626, 616 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Award # P335A050433.


Mayes, E. & Gethers, K. (2018). Transformational Leadership: Creating a culture of change in an age of accountability. Paper presentation at the American Education Research Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY.

Mayes, E., & Fakharzadeh, S. (2018). Innovative and Culturally Responsive Leadership Models for a Changing Educational Landscape. Paper presentation at the International Conference on Professional Doctorates. London, England.

Mayes, E. (2017). The case for Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education: Improving quality, equity & efficiency in public education through ingenuity and innovation. Keynote address at Prairie Rose School Division. Dunmore, Alberta, Canada.

Mayes, E., & Fakharzadeh, S. (2015). Using Cognitive Apprenticeship for Culturally Responsive, Effective Feedback. ASCD Express, 10(19). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/ascd-express/vol10/1019-mayes.aspx

Mayes, E. (2015). The Changing Culture and Demographic of the American Schoolhouse: The Case for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Leadership in Education. Doctoral Speaker Series Presentation. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, MD.

Mayes, E. (2015). Culture, Cognition and Innovation in the 21st Century Classroom. Digital Innovation Talks Presentation. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, MD.

Mayes, E. (2014). Recruiting and Preparing Minority Teachers in Urban Schools. Webinar Panelist. U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC.

Mayes, E. (2014). Cognition and Culture: The Situated Context of Learning. Science of Learning Institute. Johns Hopkins University. Baltimore, MD.

Mayes, E. (2013, 2012, 2011). Creating Sustainable University, School and Community Partnerships: CDF Freedom Schools Program as a transformative leadership development model to increase Student Achievement and Civic Engagement. Presentation at University of Michigan, Fisk University, Tennessee State University, University of Oregon, Florida State University, Duke University, Howard University, Marygrove College, University of Detroit Mercy.

Mayes, E. and Park, Y. (2013). Children’s Defense Fund Marlborough County Pre-K Freedom Schools Program Assessment Results. Internal Children’s Defense Fund Report. Washington, DC.

Mayes, E. (2012). Engaging Key Community Partners to Support and Advance Your CDF Freedom Schools Program. Panel Moderator. Children’s Defense Fund National Conference. Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mayes, E. and Hinton, M. (2011). Out of School Learning Time as a Chief Strategy in Eliminating Achievement Gaps. Internal Children’s Defense Fund Policy Brief. Washington, DC.

Mayes, E. (2010). Bridging the Cultural Gaps in Teaching and Learning: Embracing Diversity, Exploring Difference, and Accepting Change in American Public Schools. Keynote Address at Plymouth Canton Community Schools Staff Development Symposium. Plymouth-Canton, Michigan.

Mayes, E. (2009). The Rap Test: The Situated Cognition of Reading Comprehension through an Examination of African-American students reading comprehension performance on Rhythmical African-American Prose in a Comparative Analysis Framework. Paper presented at the 41st Annual Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) International Convention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Mayes, E., Arthur, L., Johnson, J., Robinson, V., Ashe, S., Elbedour, S. and Collins, K. M. T. (2004). Reading comprehension among African-American graduate students. The Journal of Negro Education, 73, 443-457.