Professor's Book Recognized by the American Educational Research Association
Dr. Joanne Kilgour Dowdy, professor, Department of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies, recently received national recognition for her book Ph.D. Stories: Conversations With My Sisters. Dowdy is the recipient of the 2009 American Educational Research Association Narrative and Research Special Interest Group's Outstanding Book Award.
Her book is a collection of interviews with female African-American professors in Northeast Ohio and relays their experiences in obtaining a Ph.D. and working in academia.
Dowdy's book stems from the feelings of isolation she experienced as the only black woman on the faculty in her department. That experience caused her to form a community with other black female professors and research their experiences. Comments from that network of women, who spoke regularly with Dowdy between 2004 and 2005, were included in the book.
Dowdy says the book is meant to give others advice and explain how to become a success.
"My research interest is how to become successful," Dowdy says. "People need models and they need to find a community where they can learn and develop the abilities to be a success."
After her book was completed and published in 2008, Dr. Walter Gershon, assistant professor, Department of Teaching, Leadership and Curriculum Studies, who also serves on the committee for the Narrative and Research Special Interest Group, invited Dowdy to submit the work for consideration for the award.
Dowdy says she couldn't believe she had actually won when she received the letter.
"I sat, staring, trying to understand that it was my book," she says. "Then I sent thanks to the committee, the committee chair, the dean, the people who participated, and those who paid for my Ph.D. program."
"When the participants for the book read it, they said, 'You got it,' so I felt like I had already won," she says. "Now, I’ve won twice!"
Dowdy will spend two weeks in April traveling to three cities in Morocco to discuss her research and an upcoming book. She is currently co-editing a book that focuses on literacy other than that involved in understanding the printed word. That publication will be a collection of stories by 12 authors from around the world. She hopes to have the new book published by Hampton Press in about 15 months.
More information about Ph.D. Stories: Conversations With My Sisters is available at the Hampton Press Web site.
By Lindsay Kuntzman