McMickens Honored for Dissertation

Phi Delta Kappan, March 2012 | Go to article overview

McMickens Honored for Dissertation


Tryan L. McMickens, a visiting assistant professor at Suffolk University in Boston, has been awarded the 2011- 12 PDK International Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. His dissertation examines how historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) prepare their students for cross-racial, post-collegiate environments.

McMickens' dissertation research was supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Millennium Scholars Program and included interviews with more than 80 alumni and graduating seniors from 20 HBCUs across the country.

"It is an honor to name Dr. McMickens as the recipient of this award," said William Bushaw, PDK's executive director. "His study sheds light on the educational experiences of students at historically black colleges and universities and how those experiences inform their responses to racism in post-collegiate environments. The reviewers were unanimous that his dissertation made an important contribution to the field of education."

Because critics question the need for HBCUs in to-day's multicultural society, McMickens' work makes an important contribution to empirical research on this topic, as well as adding to the discussion about how to prepare students to participate in a racially diverse society, said Shaun R. Harper, McMick-ens' dissertation supervisor and director of the University of Pennsylvania Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education.

"I am most passionate about teaching, learning, and exploring the ways education can positively influence one's life," said McMickens. …

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