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ELPA Ph.D. students participate in future faculty development programs

by Brett Nachman, WISCAPE Project Assistant | Sep 21, 2017
WISCAPE is excited to highlight two notable ​Ph.D. students in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) at UW-Madison, who were recently selected to participate in future faculty development programs at the University of Tennessee and New York University.

Jamila Lee-JohnsonCongrats go out to Jamila Lee-Johnson and Walter P. Parrish III, both entering their fourth year in the ELPA Ph.D. program. Whereas Lee-Johnson will be attending the Future Faculty Program at the University of Tennessee this month, Parrish is participating in the NYU Faculty First Look Program, which is held both this month and next March. We asked each of them questions about their academic and professional pursuits.

What are your career aspirations upon earning your doctorate?

Lee-Johnson: After completing my degree, I would like to pursue a tenure-track position at a teaching university. After receiving tenure, I would like to pursue an assistant dean position.

Parrish: Upon degree completion, my goal is to do meaningful work and scholarship that liberates and provides access to minoritized communities. What that looks like is yet to be determined; however, the professoriate is in my future.

Walter ParrishCan you describe some of your previous teaching experiences?

Lee-Johnson: For the past three years, I have been ​a teaching ​assistant (TA) for Dr. Rachelle Winkle-Wagner. As her TA, I have been able to teach a few of the lessons with the students in various classes. As a TA, I have been able to develop curriculum around diversity in higher education and facilitate inquiry-based discussions on social justice in higher education. In addition to being a TA, I have developed and taught classes for the PEOPLE program here at UW-Madison, and have worked as a teacher in Upward Bound programs in Atlanta and Michigan.

Parrish: In previous years, I have served as a teaching assistant for graduate-level higher education courses, an instructor for first-year college students focusing on increasing academic success, and a fine arts teacher with high school students.

What are your specific research interests? What is your dissertation on?

Lee-Johnson: My research interest is centered around understanding the experiences of ​black women in ​higher education. Specifically, I study the experiences of undergraduate black women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in elected student leadership positions. 

Parrish: My research agenda explores workforce diversity, workplace/labor issues, and organizational science in higher education as it relates faculty and administrators –- focusing on historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. I also pursue research on broader issues of race, diversity, equity, and inclusion at the institutional and systemic levels. My dissertation will explore the cognitive effects of workplace bullying on faculty within the United States.

What compelled you to apply to your respective future faculty programs?

Lee-Johnson: I applied for the Future Faculty Program, because I knew that it would be a great opportunity for me to explore what it means and what is like to be a faculty member at a Research 1 University. Furthermore, I think that this experience will provide me with a preview of what it is like to be at on campus interview for a faculty position.

Parrish: The NYU Faculty First-Look Program was appealing to me for few reasons. First, I searched for future faculty programs, because I wanted access to resources and knowledge about the faculty search process. These competencies and key tips are usually not provided in doctoral programs. Secondly, this program is situated in one of the most preeminent universities –- particularly, within a top graduate school of education and with faculty I respect and admire. Lastly, this program offers an opportunity to meet NYU faculty and post-docs whom I can learn, collaborate, and potentially work with.

What are some tools and skills you hope to learn there?

Lee-Johnson: I am looking forward to enhancing my networking skills and meeting with others to discuss my research.

Parrish: I hope to return from NYU with more confidence and tools for understanding the faculty search landscape, preparing application materials and job talks, and perhaps more clarity on my research.

What workshop are you most looking forward to and why?

Lee-Johnson: I am really looking forward to the workshop on negotiation and transferring into ​a professional role at a research university. I am looking forward to these two workshops, because I believe ​they go hand in hand. When I worked full-time, I would often help students negotiate salaries, so I am interested in learning new tips on how to negotiate my own salary once I finish with my degree.  Furthermore, I think that the session on transferring into a professional role will help me learn how to build a research agenda and how to develop goals for the first five years of my career.

Parrish: I am excited for all the sessions. Though, I truly look forward to receiving access to continuous faculty development opportunities and the 1:1 interactions with NYU scholars, specifically in higher and postsecondary education. I anticipate that these exchanges will be meaningful and contribute to my professional and personal development.

Best of luck to both Jamila and Walter as they embark on this new chapter!

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