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2015 Doctoral Student Awardees
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 First Place Winner - Jasmine Pope (University of Arkansas)

Dr. Jasmine Pope Collier is the Director of Development at Hill College where she oversees all fundraising, grants, and alumni relations initiatives for the five campus community college district.Jasmine’s research focuses on alumni giving and fundraising at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Prior to joining the administration at Hill College, Dr. Collier served as the Development and Alumni Relations Coordinator at Northwest Arkansas Community College and a Community Director at Texas A&M University. Dr. Collier completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at Texas Southern University and a Master of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Texas A&M University. Her doctorate is in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas.


 Second Place Winner - Lissa D. Stapleton (Iowa State University)


Dr. Lissa D. Stapleton was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. As a first generation college student, Stapleton attended Wright State University (WSU) and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a minor in African and African-American Studies. Highly involved as an undergraduate, she continued her education at the University of Dayton in the College Student Personnel program and graduated in 2006 with a Masters in Science and Education. Once graduated, Stapleton continued in Residence Life as a Community Director at California State University Northridge (CSUN). Working with a diverse group of students, Stapleton worked specifically with Deaf and hard of hearing students. Having learned American Sign Language as an undergraduate, Stapleton was able to have direct communication with the Deaf community allowing her a deeper understanding of the challenges, successes, and equity issues that Deaf students, faculty and staff encountered on a daily basis. She came face-to-face with her own hearing privilege and autistic behavior, and her passion and scholarly curiosity began to grow as she worked among and within the CSUN Deaf community. Wanting a deeper understanding and solution these experiences encouraged Stapleton to pursue her doctorate at Iowa State University in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education and Social Justice and a minor in Women’s Studies. Graduating in 2014, she is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Stapleton teaches in the Higher Education Student Affairs program. Her research continues to interrogate issues of environment, equity, and access for Deaf students, faculty and staff with a particular interest in the intersections of race, gender and sexual orientation.


 Third Place Winner - Kimberly Lowry (University of North Texas)


Dr. Kimberly M. Lowry currently serves as the Executive Dean of Student and Enrollment Services at Eastfield College in Mesquite, Texas. In her role as the Executive Dean, she is responsible for areas such as Academic Advising, Testing, Disability Services, TRIO, Records Management, Dual Credit and two Early College High Schools. Dr. Lowry received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of North Texas, her M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development from California State University, Long Beach, and her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Long Beach. Her doctoral research examined the community college choice of African Americans who undermatch and her research focuses on transfer students, student athletes, high achieving African American students and community college choice.


   Fourth Place Winner - Rhea Perkins (LSU)

Dr. Rhea M. Perkins is a Higher Education professional who seeks to "open glass ceilings and solidify slippery floors.” With each interaction, her goal is to help students reach their goals by developing tangible plans that disrupt societal and personal barriers. Dr. Perkins’ varied administrative background includes experiences in residence life, career services, campus activities, academic advising, orientation, and teaching introductory university courses. She has served in various settings such as large public institutions, a Hispanic serving institution, and a small, private, religious affiliated institution. Her research focuses on the interaction of race, gender, color, and class, the role of colorism in the identity development of Black women, and qualitative research design and methodology. Dr. Perkins received her Ph.D in Educational Leadership and Research with an emphasis on Higher Education Administration at Louisiana State University, her MS in Higher Education Administration from Florida International University, and her BS in Human and Family Development from Arizona State University.

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