Creating a “Safe and Supportive Environment:” Mentoring and Professional Development for Recent Black Women Doctoral Graduates

Tamara Bertrand Jones, La'Tara Osborne-Lampkin, Shawna M. Patterson, Danielle Joy Davis
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 483-499
Formal structures that support doctoral student socialization are limited, while formal programs for Black women doctoral students specifically are even more scarce. The purpose of this research was to examine an early career professional development program for Black women doctoral students and its influence on the mentoring relationships developed by participants. We conducted individual interviews with six Black women who participated in the Research BootCamp®, an early career professional development program, as doctoral students. Two salient features of the program were identified, including its structure and intentional focus on intersectionality. Our findings also indicate that early career professional development provided opportunities for participants to develop sustainable mentoring relationships. The formal structure of the Research BootCamp® facilitated Black women doctoral students in developing mentoring networks through continued engagement with senior scholars and peers, provided social support, created outlets for professional development, built research capacity, and contributed to Black women’s overall socialization to the academy.
doctoral student socialization, Black women, mentoring, professional development
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