American Association for Blacks in Higher Education honors dissertation by alum Lee-Johnson

UW–Madison alumna Jamila Lee-Johnson received second place honors in the Dissertation of the Year Award competition from the American Association for Blacks in Higher Education.

Lee-Johnson earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 2019.

Jamila Lee-Johnson

Her dissertation is titled, “I am Becoming”:  Understanding  the Experiences of Undergraduate Black women at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Elected Student Leadership Positions.”

Lee-Johnson explains that study explored the experiences of 18 undergraduate black women who hold elected student leadership positions from 15 private and public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) from around the country.

For the purposes of this study, Lee-Johnson notes that “elected student leaders” was defined as students who ran for offices and were elected into those offices by the general student body. These positions included,  but were not limited to: Student Government Association (SGA) president, SGA vice- president, other members of the executive cabinet, class officers, and the campus queen and her royal court.

Lee-Johnson adds that this study specifically focused on the women’s pre-college leadership experiences and their leadership experiences on an HBCU campus.

The findings for the study were based on the following research question: How do undergraduate black women lead when they attend HBCUs, and what shapes their leadership experiences?

Lee-Johnson is currently an inclusive excellence lecturer with UW-Whitewater’s College of Education and Professional Studies.

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