Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.
Educational Administration and Higher Education
School of Education
Dr. Brittany M. Williams
Dr. Rachel E. Friedensen
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Black Women, Student Affairs, Identity-Conscious Supervision
The purpose of my study is to understand Black women entry-level student affairs professionals’ experiences with their supervisors through an identity-conscious framework. I used Critical Authentic Leadership (Brown et al., 2019) and Black Feminist Thought (Collins, 2000), as the framework of my study to highlight the impact of identity on supervisory relationships. To provide a consistent analysis I interviewed Black women who work at predominately white institutions (PWIs).
PWIs can be a challenging environment for Black women to thrive in given their historical background. Today Black women can still expect to experience gendered racism and discrimination at PWIs, (Gardner et al., 2014; marbley et al., 2015; Williams et al., 2020; Winkle-Wagner et al., 2019). They also have the additional challenge of navigating PWIs as places of work where professionalism is defined by white supremacist ideals (Davis, 2016; Gray, 2019). This white washing of professional spaces can make identities, emotions, and personal values secondary or non-existent in comparison to the daily work associated with their positions.
To focus more attention on the people who make up professional positions, I considered the identities of both supervisors and supervisees. Identity is essential given the dynamics of power and privilege that exist with supervisory relationships. Ultimately, a supervisor holds more power and positional authority than a supervisee. Relationships with supervisors can also impact how new professionals feel about their personal and professional experiences at their current institutions.
Herrera, Vanessa, "Exploring Black Women Student Affairs Professionals and Identity-Conscious Supervision" (2023). Culminating Projects in Higher Education Administration. 65.