1st Edition

Women Scholars: Navigating the Doctoral Journey

Edited By Jelane A. Kennedy, Beverly A. Burnell Copyright 2018
    332 Pages
    by Apple Academic Press

    332 Pages
    by Apple Academic Press

    Over and over, studies have concluded that the doctoral experience is a monumental challenge in higher education, particularly for women. This book, Women Scholars: Navigating the Doctoral Journey, provides an enlightening ethnographic look at women and their doctoral developmental experiences. The book’s aim is to empower women to be able to contextualize their experience while also offering support and inspiring readers to consider alternative ways to successfully approach the doctoral process. Women anticipating and entering the life of academia will benefit from the voices and experiences shared by the women scholars in this book.

    The essay writers in this volume offer an examination of critical incidents in their doctoral experiences and offer strategies they have found helpful in managing those incidents. The book also addresses challenges presented by the transition from doctoral study to post-doc employment. The volume presents 46 essays from 40 women representing a range of ages, ethnicities, academic disciplines, sexual orientations, family circumstances, and family educational histories. Their stories are told in five stages:

    Stage 1: Preadmission to Enrollment

    Stage 2: First Year of Program

    Stage 3: Second Year Through Candidacy

    Stage 4: The Dissertation Stage

    Stage 5: Completion and Transition to Employment

    These are stories of empowerment, of pitfalls and barriers overcome, of successful negotiations of the graduate school process, of the joys and challenges of scholarly pursuits, of positive help-seeking behaviors and strategies, and of life after the dissertation is completed.

    Potential applicants for doctoral studies will walk away with a sense that graduate education is possible and that one can be successful. Higher educators in doctoral programs, as well, will acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation for the idiosyncratic challenges facing their female students and, one hopes, develop policies and/or strategies and behaviors that empower and encourage these students’ completion of their doctoral studies.

    From the Concrete Walls of Spanish Harlem to the Mosaic Tiles of Academia

    Sherlene Ayala

    Do I Really Want or Need a Doctorate, and How Do I Choose the Right Program for Me?

    Delmy M. Lendof

    You Can’t Do That!

    Cherie L. King

    "Good Moms Don’t Go to Doctoral Programs"

    Jody J. Fiorini

    First Steps

    Margaret Leone

    Making the PhD Happen, Stage 1: Preadmission to Enrollment

    Anne Toolan Rowley

    The Overnight Psychologist

    Hillary Hurst Bush

    Not All Who Wander Are Lost

    Beverly A. Burnell

    The Ticket to the Dance

    Emily Phillips

    The Importance of a Successful Peer Support Group

    Anna W. Nolan

    The Language of the Academy: An English Language Learner in a Doctoral Program

    Cinzia Pica-Smith

    The Doctoral Experience: One Single Woman’s Response to the (Mis)perceptions of Academic Peers and Family

    Maureen E. Squires

    My First Year: Is Work-Life Balance Achievable?

    Cherie L. King

    Ahead of the Curve

    Deborah J. Smith

    "You Can’t Make a Silk Purse Out of a Sow’s Ear," My Mother Said

    Signe M. Kastberg

    Widening the Circle

    Kim R. Harris and Lucille W. Ijoy

    "My Keepers": The Power of Mentorship During the First Year Doctoral Experience

    Markesha Miller

    Making the PhD Happen, Stage II: First Year of Program

    Anne Toolan Rowley

    This Was Not the Original Plan

    Jamie S. Switzer

    Who Would Have Thought?

    Jelane A. Kennedy

    Against All Odds: Persevering While Pursuing the PhD

    Nadja C. Johnson

    Mentoring: A Real Relationship

    Allison M. Hrovat, Melissa Luke

    "Lift as We Climb": Community in Doctoral Education

    Liza A. Talusan

    And This Too Shall Pass

    Nancy L. Elwess

    From ABD to EdD/PhD

    Yettieve A. Marquez-Santana

    Making the PhD Happen: Part 3

    Anne Toolan Rowley

    The Big Push

    Cherie L. King

    Advancing Through Candidacy: Selecting a Dissertation Topic, Chair, and Committee

    Maureen E. Squires

    When Motherhood and PhD Collide: The Power of Positive Messages

    Kate Bresonis McKee

    Promise and Potential: How I Lost and Found My Scholarly Counseling Self

    Karen L. Mackie

    A Greater Purpose

    Wanda I. Montañez


    Silvia Mejía

    The Importance of Social Capital and Internal Determination

    Terri Ward

    Mrs., Mommy, Doctor: The Dissertation Phase

    Cherie L. King

    Making the PhD Happen: Part 4

    Anne Toolan Rowley

    Talking Me Off the Ledge

    Wendy Neifeld Wheeler

    A Place for Me

    Aja E. LaDuke

    My Albatross: Completing the Dissertation at Last

    Jennifer A. Brown

    A Story of Thriving and Arriving: My Online PhD Journey

    Patrice Jenkins

    The Doctoral Study: The Intertwined Professional Transition and Personal Transformation

    Ying Tang

    Dear Miles: Letters from a Grateful PhD Student

    Kit Anderson

    Why Perseverance Was Crucial

    Eileen Cecilione

    "Finish Wisely"

    Seema Rivera

    And for You

    Tammy Lynn Garren

    Finding My Scholarly Voice

    Michelle C. Sterk Barrett

    Finding Your Cape: Discovering the Educator Inside

    Susannah C. Coaston


    Jelane A. Kennedy, EdD, is an Associate Professor in the Student Development and Higher Education Program, Counselor Education and Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT. She was previously Professor in the Counseling and College Student Services Department at The College of Saint Rose, Albany, New York. She teaches graduate students in the both Counseling and College Student Services. At The College of Saint Rose, she had been the Program Coordinator of College Student Services for 20+ years. Some of her areas of professional focus have been career development, cultural competency, and ethical practices. She has worked with numerous students completing their theses and has coached doctoral students from other colleges as they have worked to complete their programs. She has also mentored master’s level students entering doctoral programs. Dr. Kennedy began her career working in student affairs primarily in the area of career services.

    Beverly A. Burnell, PhD, Professor Ementa at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Plattsburgh, and also served as the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator for the campus. She taught graduate students in the department’s nationally accredited Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and the program in Student Affairs and Higher Education. Some of her areas of professional focus have been career development, counselor professional roles and identity, ethical practice, cultural competence, and transition processes for students with disabilities. Dr. Burnell has been an active contributor to the design of nationally accredited graduate programs in Teacher Education and Counselor Education and has coordinated the accreditation process for the Counselor Education Department. Dr. Burnell began her education career as a secondary mathematics teacher and has been a college career counselor, academic advisor, and personal counselor.

    "Professors Kennedy and Burnell have captured generalized guidelines and tactical advice for pursuing doctoral education in their new book. Divided into multiple chapters, each begins with an overview of the phases or stages of doctoral education that will be of use to those considering this pursuit or in the throes of it. . . . The more compelling aspects are the stories of women from all walks who chose this path and their lived experiences while doing so. Practical, heart-wrenching, inspiring, compelling, and cause for personal reflection by every reader, this compilation shows the current state of doctoral studies from the inside out. Future graduate students and current faculty need to critically consider the stories included here if we want to improve the opportunities and possibilities for all women."

    —Marilyn J. Amey, Mildred B. Erickson Endowed Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Educational Administration, Michigan State University