Dissertating During a Pandemic

Narratives of Success From Scholars of Color

Edited by:
Ramon B. Goings, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Sherella Cupid, Louisiana State University
Montia D. Gardner, KIPP Minnesota
Antione D. Tomlin, Anne Arundel Community College

A volume in the series: Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement. Editor(s): Chance W. Lewis, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Published 2022

Dissertating During a Pandemic: Narratives of Success from Scholars of Color examines the experiences of doctoral students of color writing the dissertation currently and those who successfully defended their dissertation after the onset of COVID-19 and subsequent shutting down of college campuses in March 2020. While we know that scholars of color experience many barriers to completing the dissertation process prior to COVID-19 such as being in racist academic environments and being engaged in research areas that may not be supported by predominantly White faculty, it is important to consider how scholars of color are managing the dissertation process during this pandemic.

We approach this book from an asset-based approach where chapter authors are approaching both the challenges and opportunities they have experienced due to being a dissertation writer during the pandemic. Chapter authors also provide poignant feedback on how professors can be supportive to their needs as dissertation writers. One especially important contribution of this book is that our authors are from a variety of disciplines including: education, social work, psychology, African American studies, and sociology. Additionally, chapter authors are doctoral candidates (and recent graduates) at predominantly White institutions, historically Black colleges and universities, and online universities. Given the breadth of institution types each chapter will provide poignant suggestions for doctoral students across the nation as well as for faculty who are looking to better understand the dissertation writer experience to support their own students.

Because of the novelty of COVID-19, little is known about how doctoral students engaged in writing the dissertation during COVID19 are adapting. Moreover, there is little information available for professors on how to support their doctoral students during these unprecedented times. Thus, Dissertating During a Pandemic: Narratives of Success from Scholars of Color is positioned to be a must read for professors looking to support their doctoral student advisees as well as for doctoral students who are looking for strategies to navigate the dissertation process during the pandemic and beyond.

Introduction. SECTION I: FOSTERING IDENTITY AS COMMUNITY. Hoping Against Odds: Dissertating Amidst a Pandemic, Arpita Mandal. You Can Finish This Dissertation on Your Own, But You Don’t Have To: Leveraging Your Community Capital, Andréa Rodriguez. Dissertating During a Pandemic: Scholars of Color Share Stories for Success, Eric Jackson. Working Together Apart: The Role of Black Female Cultural Safe Spaces in the Midst of a Pandemic, Iris Rodgers. Sobrevivencia Y Aguante [Surviving-Thriving and Withstanding]: Building Resilience in Graduate School During the COVID-19 Era, Alpha Martínez-Suárez. SECTION II: LOSS, GRIEF, AND HEALING. Uncertain and Unpacking: How Moving and Rebuilding Our Home During COVID-19 Led to Reinventing My Work, Michiko M. Kealoha. PanDAMNic: A Working Married Mother’s Quest on Writing Her Dissertation Proposal During the Times of COVID-19, Tunisia Lumpkin. Bent to the Brink: Mothering, Healing, and Dissertating During the Pandemic, Whitneé Garrett-Walker. How to Redefine and Re-Imagine Success During Your Dissertation Process, Nadika Paranamana. SECTION III: PARENTING AND MANAGING. Managing Intersecting Identities While Dissertating in Place, Michelle C. Sermon. Dissertating While Mothering During a Pandemic: Some Tips for Black and Brown Academic Mamas, Nadejda I. Webb. Single Mom, ABD, Patricia M. Virella. SECTION IV: BECOMING PHINISHED. “It Just Got Real!”: Dissertating Under the Tripartite Pressure of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Anti-Black Racism, and the Academic Job Market, Francena F. L. Turner. It Ain’t Over ‘Til You’re Done, Quantrilla Ard. Dissertating While Black: Precarities and Possibilities During COVID-19, Shawn S. Savage. Identifying Opportunities and Making Space: Increasing Productivity During a Pandemic, Tamela C. Thomas. Dissertation as Protest: Uplifting Black Experiences Amidst of Two Global Pandemics, Channing Mathews. Writing Amidst Challenge: Tiny Tasks, Emotional Residue, and Quieting Your Inner Critic, Rebeca Gamez. About the Editors. About the Contributors.