show episodes
 
Cohort Sistas is a digital network that supports Black women pursuing research doctorates by providing resources, mentorship, and community. Hosted by Cohort Sistas founder Dr. Ijeoma Kola, the Cohort Sistas Podcast brings to life the stories, struggles, and successes of Black women with doctoral degrees and their lives beyond the degree. If you are interested in joining the Cohort Sistas community or you’re looking for more information on how to support or partner with Cohort Sistas, please ...
 
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show series
 
Many of us anchor our self-worth to our achievements, be they academic, physical, or fiscal. While we may find it motivating in the short term, the long-term effects of this can often result in unhealthy coping mechanisms and a paradoxically low sense of self-worth. Our guest today, Dr. Adia Gooden, is a licensed clinical psychologist, speaker, and…
 
Ahoy! This is Cohort Captain, the super actionable podcast made for cohort-based course creators. I'm your host, Jonathan Woodruff, and, just to introduce you to this podcast... In each episode, I'll interview an expert (who is usually also a cohort-based course creator) so they can break down their methods. For example, episode 1 features Captain …
 
While navigating a doctoral degree program as a Black woman has its challenges, if you are an immigrant studying in the USA, this path can be even more difficult. Today we speak with Dr. Clara Mundia from Kenya who received her Ph.D. in Environmental Resources and Policy from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and now works as a research dir…
 
There are many variables that impact the doctoral and postdoctoral experience. One of these is undoubtedly location. Today's guest, Dr. Anna Hood, has unique insight into higher education both here in the US, and in the UK, having completed her Ph.D. at Washington University, and now working as a lecturer in psychology at the University of Manchest…
 
While we have made great strides toward racial and gender equity over the last century, disparities still remain in fairness and equal opportunity. Unfortunately, one of the sectors where these disparities are the easiest to spot is in STEM. Today on The Cohort Sistas Podcast, you’ll hear from Dr. Carlotta Berry, a professor in the Department of El…
 
Thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast. Here today to share her journey is Dr. Bianca Goodrum, a licensed counselor and assistant professor at Our Lady of the Lake University. Dr. Goodrum’s dissertation focused on the stories of grief counselors’ self-care and wellness practices and, in today’s episode, she shares h…
 
As Gettysburg College’s first black administrator, and the only black woman to ever be a full professor at the college, Dr. Jennifer Bloomquist has many stories to share from her 20 year career. Although there have been challenges of being immersed in all-white spaces at the college, Jennifer has always felt that the institution has invested in hel…
 
Welcome to another episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast. Here today to discuss her work on Black girlhood and Black joy, and how she slowed down the doctoral journey to focus on fertility, is tenured professor Dr. Monique Lane. During this conversation, she shares how she published her dissertation in a book called Engendering #BlackGirlJoy. How to…
 
Doing a single postgraduate degree is hard enough under normal circumstances, and a real challenge during a pandemic. Dr. Tonia Burgess not only completed her Ph.D. during this time, but it was also her third degree in less than 10 years. Join us today as we discuss where she found the inspiration to start a master's and a Ph.D. after a nearly 30-y…
 
Today’s guest started out her college educational career in the field of chemistry, but when she was exposed to the lack of focus on non-traditional end users in the field of engineering, she decided to pursue a PhD which looked at how to improve the methodology of design. Dr. Malena Agyemang’s PhD journey had a few bumps in the road, and in today’…
 
Today’s guest, Dr. Ayeesha Hankins, obtained her PhD in educational psychology from the University of Carolina. Tune in to hear her thoughts on how to interpret and process a doctoral application rejection, what it was like to finish a doctoral degree in three years due to funding constraints, and navigating the challenge of not having clear resear…
 
On today’s conversation, Dr. Beatrice Ncho tells the story of how she left Cameroon to start her studies at a community college in the United States, before eventually achieving a PhD in chemical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. You’ll hear why she is passionate about helping Black women to excel in academia through mentorship, a…
 
Knowing that you want to do your Ph.D. when you are in high school is pretty remarkable, and it requires focus and dedication from a young age. This is the position today’s guest, Dr. Niambi Brewer, was in. Niambi received her Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also doing her postdoc at the Genetic…
 
Today’s guest, Dr. Wenimo Okoya, has a foot in both health and education, having worked as a classroom teacher in Harlem and the Bronx, received a Masters degree in public health and an EdD in health education. In this episode, she shares the details of her dissertation on why community schools hesitate to adopt trauma sensitive practices, and desc…
 
Working at the intersection of clinical practice, consulting, and academia. Dr. Isha Metzger wears many hats. She is a licensed clinical psychologist, Assistant Professor at Georgia State University, and Director of The EMPOWER Lab, which looks to help communities heal from trauma and deal with anti-Black racism. In this episode, we hear about Dr. …
 
On today’s episode, we speak to Dr. McKenzie Stokes, a community psychologist and first-generation college student whose work examines the protective effects of racial socialization on Black youth in mono- and multiracial Black families. You’ll hear about her own experience growing up in a biracial family, which has driven her research into the imp…
 
Fearlessness and an inquiring mind are two ingredients with the power to carry students a long way. In this episode, we speak to Dr. Daphney Chery, a scientist and doctor who received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. In today’s episode, she tells the unique story of how she started her doctoral journey wit…
 
As we celebrate the 30th episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast we take a moment to examine one of the most common threads that come up in nearly every single episode: mentorship. Regardless of whether our guests have shared positive or negative mentorship experiences during their doctoral journey, it can't be denied that mentorship is one of the mos…
 
In this week’s episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast, we get together with Dr. Chrystelle Vilfranc to discuss her Ph.D. journey and the difficulties of finishing a doctoral degree during a pandemic. Dr. Vilfranc is the most recent graduate we’ve interviewed, having received her Ph.D. in April of this year. She earned her Ph.D. in Cancer and Cell Bio…
 
You may not have heard of today’s guest but, if you’re active on social media, you’re likely to encounter her work. Dr. Dominiqua Griffin is the Co-founder and CEO of Black Women PhDs, which bridges the formal and informal spaces for Black women along their doctoral journey. There’s plenty of focus on the challenges of pursuing doctoral and post-do…
 
Everyone wants to wake up in the morning with a strong sense of purpose, but carving out a career path that matches both your skillset and your area of interest can be incredibly challenging. Today’s guest, Dr. Kilan Ashad-Bishop, is a biomedical scientist who received her Ph.D. in cancer biology from the University of Miami. In this episode, we sp…
 
While pursuing a career as a medical doctor is a common and effective way to provide people with the care that they need, it is certainly not the only way to do so. In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Morine Cebert-Gaitors, who completed her Ph.D. in Nursing from Duke University School of Nursing and is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Uni…
 
There are plenty of different approaches to building a career. What should come first, academic pursuits or real-world experience? Today, our guest is Dr. Linda Baffo, a health equity evaluator and public health analyst with over a decade of experience in the field. In this episode, Dr. Baffo talks about how her two years of teaching with Teach for…
 
In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Tega Edwin, who received her Ph.D. in Counselor Education from Penn State University. She first worked as a school counselor and initially pursued a Ph.D. to become a district supervisor. Dr. Edwin kicks off our episode by telling us how she assessed her varying degrees of love for research, teaching, and servi…
 
With the words “You can have it all, but not at the same time,” Shonda Rhimes gave thousands of women permission to reevaluate the unrealistic expectations they had been imposing on themselves. Our guest today is all too familiar with the consequences of this dilemma. In today’s episode of the Cohort Sistas podcast, we meet up with Dr. Latoya Watso…
 
Black people have been marginalized and disadvantaged throughout history, but instead of allowing this to make you feel like you are not capable or worthy of greatness, let it instead fuel you and inspire you and motivate you to face up to every challenge that is thrown at you. That is the message that Dr. Monét Roberts has to share with us today. …
 
As a graduate student, it’s easy to become fixated on a rigid set of expectations, especially when it concerns what one’s academic trajectory should look like. In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Lauren Mims who has learned to accept that the academic path is often unpredictable, even in the face of the most dedicated planning. During her doctora…
 
Dr. Ijeoma Kola goes solo in this episode and shares the different questions and considerations she is battling as she prepares for a postdoctoral research fellowship. Dr. Kola explains why she decided to pursue a post-doc in the first place, despite the low financial incentive. She also discusses how academia ignores the destabilizing nature of th…
 
Since May is Mental Health Month, it seems fitting to share this interview that we did a while back. Dr. Kristen Voorhies holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in evolutionary biology and currently works as a marine biologist at the US Fish and Wildlife Services. Not only was Kristen the only Black woman in her cohort, but she was also the f…
 
On today’s episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast we speak with Dr. Morgan Jerald about her experience studying an interdisciplinary doctorate at the University of Michigan. We start by acknowledging the challenges of the social climate in which Dr. Jerald commenced her studies. Next, Dr. Jerald gives listeners some tips on producing an academic appl…
 
Whether you complete your studies first or break it up with experiences in the working world, you’re still going to gain the knowledge and you’re still going to do the work. In today’s episode, you’ll hear from Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan, a scholar and practitioner with over 15 years of teaching and youth programming experience. She holds a Ph.D. in …
 
It’s normal for many of us to choose to essentially put our lives on hold when we pursue a doctoral degree. The same cannot be said for Dr. Veronica Eyo, who had not one but three children while earning her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California! In today’s episode, we speak with Dr. Eyo about deciding to con…
 
In today’s episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast, we sit down with Dr. Ujunwa Okoye-Okafor to talk about her time at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, imposter syndrome, and the power of self-knowledge. Dr. Okoye-Okafor received her Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and, during that time, she was part of the team that…
 
In this episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast we speak with Dr. Ijeoma Opara all about her research, the importance of mentors and why there’s nothing wrong with taking a non-linear path to earning a doctorate. Dr. Opara received her PhD in Family Science and Human Development from Montclair State University. She is the founder of The SASH Lab, name…
 
In this episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast, you’ll hear from today’s guest, Dr. Norrell Edwards, who shares her perspective on thinking about your Ph.D. as just one part of your career journey, not the be-all and end-all! Dr. Edwards completed her doctorate in English literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a specialization…
 
The language we use matters, especially if we want to enact change upon systemically racist power structures. In today’s episode, we get together with Dr. Noelle Chaddock who received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Binghamton University and serves as the Vice President of Equity and Inclusion at Bates College. She teaches and publishes critical race …
 
Pursuing a doctoral degree typically means pursuing a very unique specialization, often with a predetermined trajectory, and institutions aren’t always equipped to accommodate students who envision an alternate pathway. This insight comes from our guest today, Dr. Margaret A. Brunson, a multidisciplinary leader, writer, coach, and entrepreneur. Dr.…
 
I'll be popping in for a solo episode every so often and today I wanted to take some time to share a bit about the story behind Cohort Sistas and explain our programming and impact. Our mission is guided by three pillars: resources, mentorship, and community, and in this episode, I briefly share how we provide those three pillars for the women who …
 
On today’s episode of the Cohort Sistas Podcast, assistant professor at NYU, Dr. Chantal Hailey emphasizes the game-changing role of peer and senior support in doctoral studies. We dive into the role of racial preference, safety and perceived safety in New York. We begin our conversation by touching on the role of race, safety and racialized safety…
 
Completing a Ph.D. in the science field wasn’t enough to get Dr. Lamia Harper where she wanted to be, so she recently started pursuing an education of a very different type; bible studies. Lamia’s goal is to combine her passions for science and faith through educating youth about the intersection between the two. In today’s episode, Lamia explains …
 
In this week's episode, I chat with Dr. Claudia Okonkwo, who received her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology last year and currently works for Boston Consulting Group. Dr. Okonkwo talks about adjusting to life in the US after moving from Nigeria to attend college, how she created time during her doctoral degree for…
 
In this week's episode, I chat with Dr. Arielle Brown, who is a licensed psychologist currently practicing at Louisiana State University's Mental Health Service. She earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and shares with us why she chose the PhD route over a PsyD or a master's degree, how she had…
 
In today's episode, I speak with Dr. Amber Spry, who I've known since way back in college when we did a summer research program together called Leadership Academy. Dr. Spry received her PhD in Political Science from Columbia University and is now an assistant professor at Brandeis University. She shares really critical insight on how you can create…
 
In today's episode, I speak with Dr. Mercy Agyepong, who is an assistant professor in sociology of education at New York University. Dr. Agyepong received her PhD in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she shares with us how she bounced back from a 2.16 undergraduate GPA, why she turned down a PhD acceptance fro…
 
In today's episode, I speak with Dr. Vivian Rodriguez, who has been a school psychologist for almost 20 years, and recently completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Rodriguez is also a fellow blogger at LivByViv.com and podcaster at the Don't Mix In Podcast, so we talk about how she strategically timed going back to…
 
In today's episode, I speak with Dr. Sharese King, a Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Chicago. Dr. King discusses her work on how Black speech is perceived and stigmatized, how she transitioned from her undergraduate program right into a Ph.D., and the benefits of doing a post-doc before accepting a teaching p…
 
In today's episode, I speak with Dr. Renee Ragin Randall, a postdoctoral fellow and incoming assistant professor in Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. Dr. Randall shares how a career in foreign service led her to pursue a PhD, what it was like growing up with a mother in academia, and why she thinks get…
 
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