You are cordially invited to the dissertation defense for Ms. Josie Andrews on Thursday, April 6, 2023 from 11am – 1pm in Claxton 451. Ms. Andrews is completing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Psychology & Research with a concentration in Adult Learning.
Her committee members are Dr. Mitsunori Misawa, Chair (Educational Psychology and Counseling), Dr. Ralph Brockett, (Educational Psychology and Counseling), Dr. Gary Skolits, (Educational Psychology and Counseling), and Dr. Juanita Johnson-Bailey, (University of Georgia - Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy)
The title of her dissertation is A Narrative Inquiry: Professional Identity of Tenured Black Female Faculty at Predominantly White Institutions in the American South
A growing interest in professional identity development in higher education has led scholars to reexamine how individuals think, act, and know like a professional within their profession. Sadly, research on professional identity development and the intersection of race, gender, tenure, and sociohistorical context have been limited. Therefore, the purpose of this narrative inquiry was to understand tenured Black female faculty members’ stories of how they developed and maintained their professional identity at predominantly White institutions in the Southern region of the US. The three major questions that guided the inquiry were: 1) How do tenured Black female faculty define their own professional identity? 2) What stories do tenured Black female faculty share about developing their professional identity at PWIs in the Southern region of the US? 3) What stories do tenured Black female faculty share about maintaining their professional identity at PWIs in the Southern region of the US? Using purposeful and snowball sampling strategies, 10 tenured Black female faculty members were recruited from eight PWIs in the Southern region of the US. Semi-structured interviews were employed to capture the participants’ narratives. Using a thematic analysis of narrative, five themes emerged from the interview data: 1) “wearing the cloak” of being the first tenured Black woman, 2) becoming a professor, doing professional roles, and serving as a professional contributor, 3) “oh, my professional identity is,” 4) selective dignity violations: “couldn’t give two pennies about me,” and 5) self-care: political warfare. The themes indicated that despite the participants’ triumphs at PWIs, they continued to struggle for a professional identity due to their positionality. Lastly, implications for practice and future research in the fields of adult and higher education were discussed.
If you are interested in attending her defense via Zoom, please contact Ms. Andrews at [log in to unmask] to request the link.