Published Papers

Authentically me: Examining expectations that are placed upon Black women in college. Issues

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Through analyzing critical life stories with Black alumnae from predominantly White institutions, this article offers a narrative, in-depth approach to explore the ways in which alumnae managed and resisted expectations and stereotypes that were placed upon them by peers, faculty, and staff during college. Findings suggested that participants grappled with assumptions of who they should be as Black college women. As they resisted stereotypes and expectations, they crafted unique pathways toward asserting their authentic selves. The findings emphasize heterogeneity among Black women and the need for varied support structures in educational institutions.


“Es como una Familia”: Bridging emotional support with academic and professional development through the acquisition of capital in Latinx student organizations

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This study explores the ways Latinx-based organizations assist Journal_of_Hispanic_Higher_Education_Journal_Front_Coverstudents in navigating college and career preparation. Data consist of in-depth interviews with 17 first-generation Latinx students attending two predominantly White institutions in the Midwest. I employed Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory to examine the ways Latinx student organizations cultivate social and cultural capital among participants. Findings reveal that peers in Latinx-based organizations share capital relevant to navigating college, academics, and career development.


JCSD new coverPerson First, Student Second: Staff and Administrators of Color Supporting Students of Color Authentically in Higher Education

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In this qualitative study I explored the mentoring roles of staff and administrators for first-generation Black, Latinx, and Biracial students. Social reproduction theory (which assesses how inequality is perpetuated or disrupted generationally) was used to analyze social capital cultivated by mentors. Staff of Color nurtured the capital that students brought with them to college, and because of this students often turned to the staff for other forms of support, which opened the door for acquisition of cultural capital. White staff focused almost exclusively on students’ academic experiences, neglecting their backgrounds. Supporting students holistically and valuing their backgrounds establish authentic relationships that support students’ success.


dhe-150Colorblind mentoring? Exploring white faculty mentoring of Students of Color.

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In this critical multisite case study we examined the concept of colorblind mentoring. Using Bonilla-Silva’s Colorblind Racism Frames, we sought to understand White faculty members’ perspectives on their mentoring of Students of Color. The findings revealed that White faculty members often engage with students from a “colorblind perspective.” Their use of race-neutral, colorblind language (avoiding racial terms but implying them) allowed White faculty members to describe their students as academically inferior, less prepared, and less interested in pursuing research and graduate studies while potentially ignoring structural causes. Faculty perceptions of students may influence the way Students of Color perceive their academic abilities and potential to achieve success in STEM disciplines and in graduate education.


Students perspectives on holistic mentoring practices in STEM fields.

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This critical multi-site case study examined the holistic mentoring practices provided by faculty to Students of Color in STEM fields at a predominantly White institution and a historically Black institution. We employed Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory to examine the ways in which social capital developed through faculty-student mentoring relationships led to the accumulation of cultural capital valued in STEM fields and higher education more broadly.

JCSD new cover

Encouraged or “weeded out” in the STEM disciplines: Students’ perspectives on faculty interactions within a predominantly White and a historically Black institution. 

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For this multisite qualitative case study, framed in Bourdieu’s social reproduction theory, we examined mentoring experiences among Students of Color majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines at both a predominantly White institution and a historically Black institution. Findings revealed that faculty served as gatekeepers for accessing STEM-related careers for Students of Color. Students of Color at the historically Black college experienced positive mentoring and professional development, whereas those at the predominantly White institution found the faculty unwilling to mentor them professionally and perceived the faculty as “weeding them out” of the STEM field.