Cynthia Demetriou

Vice Provost, Student Success and Retention Innovation

Cynthia Demetriou, PhD, oversees multifaceted programs, supports, and policies for undergraduate retention and student success at the University of Arizona. With numerous publications and presentations, she is a leader for student success research and practice. A recipient of a $3.3M ‘First in The World’ grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Demetriou oversees The Finish Line Project including direct student service and empirical investigations focused on degree completion for first-generation college students. Dr. Demetriou holds multiple degrees including a PhD in Education, with a focus on Educational Psychology, Measurement and Evaluation, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an EdM from Harvard University, and a BA from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She started her career as a classroom teacher and believes in the power of education to transform lives.


Select Publications:

  • Greene, J. A., Urban, C. J., Plumley,R. D., Bernacki, M. L., Gates, K. M., Hogan, K. A., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (Submitted for Publication). Modeling temporal and contingent self-regulatory processing in a higher education biology course. Learning and Instruction.
  • Ellis, J. M., Powell, C. S., Demetriou, C. D., Huerta-Bapat, C., & Panter, A.T. (In Press). The lived experiences of first-generation college students’ microaggressions and microaffirmations at a predominately white research university. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. 
  • Midkiff, B., Langer, M., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2017). Measuring grit among first generation college students: A psychometric analysis. In L. A. van der Ark, M. Wiberg, S. A. Culpepper, J. A. Douglas, & W. C. Wang (Eds.), Quantitative Psychology – The 81st Annual Meeting of the Psychometric Society, Asheville, North Carolina, 2016. New York: Springer Verlag.
  • Demetriou, C., Meece, J., Eaker-Rich, D. & Powell, C. (2017). The activities, roles, and relationships of successful first-generation college students. The Journal of College Student Development, 58(1), 19-36.
  • Powell, C., Demetriou, C., Morton, T. R., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Critical Race Theory as a framework for understanding and promoting minoritized student retention at Predominantly White Institutions. In S. Whalen (Ed.), Proceedings of the 12th National Symposium on Student Retention (pp. 114-129), Norman, OK: The University of Oklahoma.
  • Demetriou, C. & Powell, C. (2014). Positive youth development and undergraduate student retention. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice, 16(4), 419-444.
  • Powell, C., Demetriou, C., & Fisher, A. (2013, October). Micro-affirmations in academic advising: Small acts, big impact. The Mentor: An Academic Advising Journal.
  • Demetriou, C. (2011). The attribution theory of learning and advising students on academic probation. NACADA Journal, 31(2), 16-21.
  • Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Sciborski, A. (2011). Integration, motivation, strengths and optimism: Retention theories past, present and future. In R. Hayes (Ed.), Proceedings of the 7th National Symposium on Student Retention, 2011, Charleston. (pp. 300-312). Norman, OK: The University of Oklahoma.
  • Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Sciborski, A. (2009). An innovative intervention for students failing to meet academic standards: The Bounce Back Retention Program case study. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 11(3), 28-31.
  • Demetriou, C. (2007). Beyond the degree checklist. About Campus, 12(4), 27-29.
  • Demetriou, C. (2005). Potential applications of social norms theory to academic advising. NACADA Journal, 25 (2), 49-56.

Select Presentations:

  • Demetriou, C., Allen, B., Salvesen, C., & Huerta-Bapat, C. (2018).  First-Generation College Student Success at Research One (R1) Universities: Innovative Programs and Supports. GlobalMindED Conference, Denver, CO.
  • Ellis, J. M., Powell, C., Demetriou, C., Panter, A.T. (2017, May). First-Generation College Student Motivation to Interact with Faculty at a Research University (Poster). 29th Association for Psychological Science Annual Convention, Boston, MA.
  • Morton, T. R., Corwin, L., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2017, April). The choice to remain in STEM: A characterization of transfer students’ experiences. National Association for Research in Science Teaching, San Antonio, TX.
  • Osment, M., Sutphen, M., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2017, January). Beyond The Finish Line: Tailoring course learning goals in STEM for lifelong learning. Association of American Colleges and Universities, San Francisco, CA.
  • Gonzalez, C., Levine, S., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2016, October). Examining the Use of Strengths-Based Self-Assessments to Promote First-Generation College Student Achievement. National Conference on Students in Transition, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Markle, R., Midkiff, B., Ramirez, N., Ellis, J., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Noncognitive skills and support of first-generation college students. National Conference on Students in Transition, New Orleans, LA.
  • Greene, R., Powell, C., Ellis, J. M, Demetriou, C. & Panter, A. T. (2016). The Finish Line Project Men of Color Peer Coaching Program (Poster). National Symposium on Student Retention, Norfolk, VA.
  • Powell, C., Demetriou, C., Morton, T. R., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Critical Race Theory as a framework for understanding and promoting minoritized student retention at Predominantly White Institutions. National Symposium on Student Retention, Norfolk, VA.
  • Midkiff, B., Ellis, J., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Comparative methods for evaluating a growth mindset version of a non-cognitive assessment score report. American Evaluation Association Meeting, Atlanta, GA.

  • Midkiff, B., Ellis, J., Demetriou, C., Langer, M. M., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Everyday discrimination and affirmation among first-generation college students: An assessment of the validity and reliability of a modified version of the EDS. American Psychological Association meetings, Denver, CO.
  • Morton, T. R., Ramirez, N. A., Meece, J., Demetriou, C., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Perceived barriers, anxieties, and fears in prospective college students from rural high schools. American Psychological Association Annual Meetings, Denver, CO.
  • Midkiff, B., Demetriou, C., Langer, M., & Panter, A. T. (2016). Measuring grit among first generation college students: A psychometric analysis. International Meeting of the Psychometric Society, Asheville, NC.
  • Ramirez, N. A, Meece, J., Demetriou, C., Morton, T., & Panter, A.T. (2016). Dreaming Big: The educational aspirations of rural first-generation college students and how they prepare for college success. American Educational Research Association, Washington, D.C.
  • Panter, A. T., Demetriou, C., & Germuth, A. (2016). The Finish Line Project: Empirical studies on first generation college students. First in the World Grantee Meeting, U. S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.
  • Demetriou, C. & Powell, C. (2014). Positive youth development as a framework for research and practice in undergraduate student retention. National Symposium on Student Retention, Louisville, KY.
  • Demetriou, C. & Mann, A. (2012). The Carolina Firsts program for first-generation college students. The College Board, Southern Regional Conference, Miami, FL.
  • Powell, C. & Demetriou, C. (2011). Understanding minority male persistence and encouraging student success (Poster). National Symposium on Student Retention, Charleston, SC.
  • Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Sciborski, A. (2011). Integration, motivation, strengths and optimism: Retention theories past, present, and future. National Symposium on Student Retention, Charleston, SC.
  • Demetriou, C. and Mann, A. (2010). Carolina Firsts: Innovative programs to support first- generation college students. National Academic Advising Association National Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Cox, E., LaMantia, L. & Demetriou, C. (2009). Examining the crossroads of academics and college student mental health. National Academic Advising Association National Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Demetriou, C. (2009). Using ecological systems theory to understand impediments to undergraduate student success and retention. International Personal Tutoring and Academic Advising Conference, Liverpool, UK.
  • Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Sciborski, A. (2009). Ecological academic intervention at UNC-Chapel Hill: The Bounce Back component. American College Personnel Association National Conference, Washington, D.C.
  • Dawson, A., Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Scoborski, A. (2008). Designing and implementing a system of academic probation and intervention in support of student success and retention. International Assessment & Retention Conference, Scottsdale, AZ.
  • Demetriou, C. & Schmitz-Sciborski, A. (2008). It takes a university: Designing and implementing a system of academic probation and intervention in support of student success and retention. National Academic Advising Association National Conference, Chicago, IL.
  • Demetriou, C. (2008). Bolstering retention efforts: Creating a culture of academic student responsibility. American College Personnel Association National Conference, Atlanta, GA.
  • Demetriou, C. (2005). Potential applications of social norms theory to academic advising. National Academic Advising Association Northeast Regional Conference, Montréal, QC, Canada.