UW Madison - Department of Counseling Psychology - Faculty - Travis Wright

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Main Office

Department of
Counseling Psychology

School of Education
335 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-4807
Fax: 608/265-3347

Email: counpsych@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form

Professor Travis Wright

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Professor Travis Wright

Counseling Psychology (CP)

528D Teacher Education Building  binoculars icon
225 North Mills Street
Madison, WI 53706
Office: 608/263-4669
Fax: 608/263-9992


Curriculum Vitae

Personal Biography

Dr. Travis Wright is the founder/director of the BASES Project, a school and community-based intervention for homeless preschool students, their families, and teachers. Dr. Wright is a nationally recognized expert on resilience and emotionally responsive teaching, especially for children developing in the midst of adversity. Previously, he worked as a school-based mental health counselor, public school teacher, and early childhood educator in Washington, D.D. and Boston Public Schools.


CAS (Certificate of Advanced Study), School Mental Health Counseling
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

EDD, Human Development and Psychology, Risk and Prevention
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

M Ed, Human Development and Psychology, Risk and Prevention/ Gender Studies
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

BA, College Scholars, Community: Identity, Development, and Change, Summa cum laude
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN



Scheduled Teaching

  • Spring 2013 - Reframing Resilience
    Course Number: 975, Course Level: Graduate
  • Fall 2012 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education
    Course Number: 660, Course Level: Undergraduate

Grants and Sponsorships

  • 6/30/2014 - Amount: $37,000.00, ""determining How Homeless African-American Preschoolers And Their Teachers Perceive Relationships With Each Other"," Awarded By: UW Graduate School Research Competition, Sponsor Type: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Travis Wright, Principal.
  • 2011-2013 - Amount: $58,760.00, ""using Exergaming To Promote Physical Activity In Urban Pre-Schoolers"," Awarded By: National Institute of Health, Sponsor Type: Federal, Travis Wright, Supporting; ; .
  • 2011-2012 - Amount: $20,000.00, "Alexandria Citywide Playgroup Initiative (acpi): Supporting Culturally-Diverse Immigrant And Non-Immigrant Families With Young Children," Awarded By: The Women's Giving Circle of Alexandria, VA, Sponsor Type: Local, Travis Wright, Principal.


  • Wright, T., Roach, V., & Yukins, B. (2012). Is that all there is? GLBTQ adolescent support in the best of circumstances: One family’s story. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. 15(4), 105-114.
  • Wise, V., & Wright, T. (2012). Critical Absence in the Field of Educational Administration: Framing the (Missing) Discourse of Leadership in Early Childhood Settings. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation. 7(2), 1-9.
    Abstract: Many studies have noted the strong and positive effect of educational leadership on student achievement, school culture, and other aspects of the educational environment. Current research also points unequivocally toward leadership as an important factor in the achievement of quality in most educational institutions. Leadership has been cited as second only to classroom instruction in its contribution to achievement. Despite the fact that the importance of leadership has been established in the field of education in general, research on leadership in early childhood settings has been lacking. Further, the research in this area is dominated by only a few researchers, with most of the studies being conducted as dissertations. The purpose of this article is to (a) highlight this critical absence in the field of educational administration; (b) critically examine the reasons underlying this missing discourse; (c) present the pertinent existing literature; and (d) articulate the potential implications of continued scholarship in this area. Previous findings suggest that continued efforts in the area of leadership in early childhood settings have implications for educational practice and theory.
  • Wright, T. (2011). Tell me lies: Confronting the preschool closet. Journal of Cases in Educational Leadership. 14(2), 1-7.
    Abstract: This case explores the impact of being closeted on a gay, male preschool educator and the ways in which homophobic culture is fostered in one early learning center. Although sometimes protective, being challenged to hide one’s sexual orientation most always has negative consequences for the individual and society. Internalized homophobia silences and devalues individuals, and maintains a dominant homophobic culture. The complicated relationships between sexual orientation, race, class, and gender are also illuminated. This case encourages education administration students to consider the impact of homophobia on individual staff members and to imagine possibilities for advocacy and adequate staff support.
  • Wright, T. (2011). Countering the politics of class, race, gender, and geography in early childhood education. Educational Policy. 25(1), 240-261.
  • Brown, C., & Wright, T. (2011). The rush towards universal public pre-k: A media analysis. Educational Policy. 25(1), 115-133.
  • Wright, T. (2010). On Jorge becoming a boy: A counselor’s perspective. In Brion-Meisels, G., Cooper, K., Deckman, S., Dobbs, C., Francois, C., Nikundiwe, T., & Shalaby, C. (Eds.), Humanizing Education: Critical Alternatives to Reform, (pp. 267-288). Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard Education Press.
  • Wright, T. (2010). Learning to laugh: A portrait of risk and resilience in early childhood. Harvard Educational Review. 80, 444-463.
  • Wright, T. (2007). On Jorge becoming a boy: A counselor’s perspective. Harvard Educational Review. 75(2), 164-186.
  • Wright, T. (in press). Making it vs. satisfaction: How women raising young children in poverty assess how well they are doing. Journal of Social Service Research.

Awards and Honors

  • AERA Early Career Award- Early Childhood Education and Child Development (2011)
    Organization: American Educational Research Association- Early Childhood Education and Child Development SIG
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: National
    Date(s): 2008 - 2014
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