Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Foundations & Leadership

Committee Director

Felecia Commodore

Committee Member

Dana Burnett

Committee Member

Angela Eckhoff


Contemporary literature regarding the experiences of Black women in higher education administration is scarce, and that which does exist, often focuses on those who serve in teaching faculty roles, and/or fails to provide a holistic perspective on the lives of those who makeup this group. Utilizing an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach, this qualitative investigation explored the lives of Black women college administrators from their perspective. Grounded in the theoretical framework of Patricia Hill Collins’s Black Feminist Thought, this study aimed to uncover the lived experiences of Black women student affairs administrators as they relate to their professional demands and pursuits as well as their personal obligations and interests; in addition, the study also sought to acquire new knowledge about Black women student affairs administrators’ mentoring relationships with other women college administrators.

To better comprehend this phenomenon and address the research questions, data were collected via three interviews with each participant, as well as from audio- or video-recorded reflective journal entries completed by the participants. Four themes emerged from the researched data: Hyper-awareness of Self, Importance of Relationships with Other Black Women, Opportunity to Give Back Through Work, and Negotiating Demands of Personal and Professional Life.


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