Dr. Foster is an educational anthropologist dedicated to understanding and accounting for the social, cultural and structural factors affecting students' educational outcomes. He is also the founding director of ICUSP, the Institute for Community, University and School Partnerships. He has published extensively in areas related to African American students' academic engagement and achievement, including examinations of the work of the late anthropologist John Uzo Ogbu, serving students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and Black student identity and community.
Dr. Foster believes in rich ethnographic work as an important basis for understanding students' academic lives. He also believes in action oriented research and in institution building as means to facilitate positive changes in communities and schools. As an integral part of his scholarly vision, Dr. Foster collaborates with students, teachers, principals and others to collectively develop programs. He is the co-founder of COBRA (Community of Brothers in Revolutionary Alliance), which predominantly serves African American and Latino boys in Title I high schools and promotes their academic and leadership development. In 2006 Dr. Foster was named the LBJ Presidential Library Faculty volunteer of the year.