Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to gain an understanding of the experiences of being a female, African American STEM undergraduate who is enrolled at an elite Predominantly White Institution and who has a mentoring relationship. A hermeneutic approach to phenomenology was used to gather data through open-ended interviews. Research questions included: What are the lived experiences of female, African American, STEM undergraduate students of the STEM community at an elite Predominantly White Institution? What are the lived experiences of high achieving female, African American, STEM undergraduate students with their mentors? Four themes emerged from the interviews: (a) Discouraging Academic Environment, (b) Minority Stress, (c) Positive Persuasions, and (d) Mentoring Support. This study concluded that African American women needed a supportive environment to thrive as an undergraduate STEM major. This support came from African American peers, informal mentoring experiences that provided psychosocial support and affirmed their ability, formal mentoring experiences that provided academic guidance, and positive verbal messages by university professors that women belong in STEM careers.
© The Author
Johns, Reginald O., "A Phenomenological Investigation of the Lived Experiences of Female African American Undergraduate Stem Students at an Elite Predominantly White Institution" (2018). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1550153720.