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D.I.V.A. Diaries

The Road to the Ph.D. and Stories of Black Women Who Have Endured


Edited By Cherrel Miller Dyce and Toni Milton Williams

The Distinguished, Intellectual, Virtuous, Academic Sistas (D.I.V.A.S.) is a group of Black women who formed a bond with one another as doctoral students as a means of support on their journey through the academy. The acronym defines the women individually and as an entire group. This anthology can be used as a practical, student-centered sourcebook for Black female doctoral candidates. By providing narratives about the importance of race, class, culture, religion, socioeconomics, and nationality, this book aims to encourage more Black women to pursue a terminal degree and to continue professional development throughout their careers. It provides readers with strategies to sustain themselves while in a graduate program, on the job market, and during the tenure-earning process. Contributors are full of passion as they encourage one another while bringing the reader into their realm of the academic battlefield.


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Chapter 3. Collaboration and Encouragement as Mile Markers: Running for the Prize of PhD (Cynthia Thrasher Shamberger)


3. Collaboration and Encouragement as Mile Markers: Running for the Prize of PhD CynThia Thrasher shaMBerger Strength to Run Who put me here to run this race? Where does my help come from? How can I take another step to endure this journey’s strenuous pace? I look to the Great Creator within and find the strength to run. The open window lets rain on my face, no sleep all night long. Trying to stay awake to meet a deadline, hating the country music whine, as I drive along. Exhausted in this difficult space—will I ever get done? Looking to the Great Creator, again, I find more strength to run. Lonely days and lonely nights, tears and groans and sighs are mingled with those who care for me, cheering from the sides. Until at last the journey’s done, the victor’s prize is won. Now I lift my voice, my eyes, my hands and thank The Great Creator within for being my strength to run. — Cynthia Thrasher Shamberger As I contemplated what lay ahead, the sun rose and chased away the morning dew, revealing the beauty of our surroundings and its intricate details. Like taunting bullies, competing voices in our heads made us doubt whether we could finish the half-marathon race. Although we live in separate towns, my daughter and I managed to train by encouraging each other via email, phone, and text messages. I also travelled an hour one way, so we could train together whenever possible. The half-marathon experience...

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