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Stylus Publishing, LLC
Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans

Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans


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Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans

As a new generation of African Americans completes college, an increasing number of students are aspiring to the Ph.D. as a stepping stone to a career in the academy and to fully participate in shaping our society. Most African Americans are conscious that they are the first in their families to embark on this journey. They are aware they will meet barriers and prejudice, are likely to face isolation and frustration, and find few sources of support along the way.

This book, by twenty-four Black scholars who “have been there,” offers a guide to aspiring doctoral students to the formal process and to the personal, emotional and intellectual challenges they are likely to face. The authors come from a wide range of disciplines – from computing, education and literature to science and sociology. Although their experiences and backgrounds are as varied as they are as individuals, their richly diverse chapters cohere into a rounded guide to the issues for those who follow in their footsteps.

From questioning the reader about his or her reasons for pursuing a doctorate, offering advice on financial issues, the choice of university and doctoral program, and relocation, through the process and timetable of application, interviews, acceptance and rejection, the authors go on to describe their own journeys and the lessons they have learned.

These men and women write candidly about their experiences, the strategies they used to maintain their motivation, make the transition from HBCUs to PWIs, balance family and work, make the right choices and keep focussed on priorities. They discuss how to work effectively with advisors and mentors, make all-important connections with teachers and build professional and personal support networks. They recount how they dealt with tokenism, established credibility, handled racism, maintained their values and culture, and persuaded supervisors to legitimize their research interests in African American issues.

This is both an inspirational and practical book for every African American considering pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781579220792
Publisher: Stylus Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 10/28/2003
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Anna L. Green is a native of Opelousas, Louisiana. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University in New Orleans, her M.S. in Educational Psychology from Clark Atlanta University, and her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Florida State University. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University. She is co-editor of Sisters of the Academy: Emergent Black Women Scholars in Higher Education (Stylus Publishing, 2001), and President of the Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) Institute —

LeKita V. Scott Director of Foundation Relations and an adjunct instructor at Syracuse University.

A native of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Dr. LeKita Scott Dawkins is a founding member of Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) Institute ( She is co-editor of Journey to the Ph.D.: How to Navigate the Process as African Americans which is a timely guide and source of information for men and women of color considering the journey towards a terminal degree. Dr. Scott Dawkins possesses a passion for exploring the recruitment, retention, and advancement of ethnic minorities, particularly those in the field of fund-raising/development and those in graduate programs. She received her BS in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, her MEd in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University, and her PhD in Educational Leadership from Florida State University.

Brenda Jarmon is Associate Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Social Work, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee.

Table of Contents

Brenda Jarmon: Lift Every Voice — African American Students Surviving in Higher Education.

PART I: ENTRANCE INTO THE ACADEMY. LeKita V. Scott: Introduction; Kamau Oginga Siwatu: The Paths and Opportunities to Gaining Admission to the Graduate School of Your Choice; Tim Wilson, Nelson Soto and Jami Joyner: Deciding If and How to Pursue Doctoral Work; KaaVonia Hinton-Johnson: "Dreams Hanging in the Air Like Smoke" — A Personal Reflection Influencing Enrollment and Persistence in Higher Education; Randal D. Pinkett: Five Degrees to a Ph.D. — Positive Detours Along the Path to the Doctorate.

PART II: ADAPTING TO THE ACADEMY. Stephen Hancock: Balancing Act — A Reflective Practice; Catherine Cushinberry: Maintaining My Identity — Enhanced by the System, but Not Lost in It; Felicia Moore: In the Midst of It All — My Experiences in Science and Science Teaching, a Feminist Perspective; Anthony Graham: Pressing Toward the Mark — An African American Man’s Reflection on the Doctoral Process at a Predominantly White Institution; Terrolyn Carter: Enduring the Race — A Diary of My Graduate Years; Jonda McNair: "Walk Tall in the World" — Reflections from a Scholar of African American Children’s Literature.

PART III: SURVIVING THE ACADEMY. Courtney Johnson: The Mask — A Survival Tool; Lisa Watts: The Sankofa Bird of Ghana; April Peters: Making the Academy a Home for the Brave; Tamara Duckworth-Warner: Choosing a Mentor and Other Lessons of the Hidden Curriculum of Graduate School; Tarcha Rentz: The Role of Mentorship in Developing African American Students and Professionals; James Minor: For Better For Worse — Improving Advising Relationships Between Faculty and Graduate Students; Carolyn Hopp, Vincent Mumford and Franklyn Williams: The Role of Mentoring for Future Academicians; Anna L. Green: Conclusion — The Ph.D.: A Process, not a Product.

APPENDIX — Preparing for the Professorate.

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