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2016 Doctoral Student Awardees
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First Place Winner - David Robinson – Morris, Ph.D. (Louisiana State University)


David W. Robinson-Morris holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research with a dual concentration in Higher Education Administration and Curriculum Theory from Louisiana State University. Currently, Dr. Robinson-Morris is completing an Education Specialist (Ed. S.) Certificate in Education Leadership with a focus on applied research, measurement, and evaluation and serves as a post-doctoral graduate research assistant in the School of Education at Louisiana State University (LSU).

David’s primary area of research critiques/deconstructs the current state of higher education, and theorizes the equal privileging of ontology and epistemology—a balanced focus on being-becoming and knowledge acquisition—within the field of higher education. Dr. Robinson-Morris’ dissertation titled, "An Ontological (Re)Thinking: Ubuntu and Buddhism in Higher Education”— (re)thinks higher education and Western subjectivity through southern African (Ubuntu) and Eastern (Buddhism) onto-epistemologies. Moreover, it (re)imagines a higher education milieu that educates both the heart and mind toward a deeper understanding of our shared humanity. Additional research interests include: exploring the effectiveness of doctoral pedagogical preparation of future scholar-researchers; the incongruence of policy and practice in higher education; and pushing qualitative research paradigmic boundaries by exploring and innovating new qualitative methodologies.

In addition to graduate assistantships in LSU Community University Partnerships (CUP) in Equity, Diversity and Community Outreach, and LSU Campus Life, Dr. Robinson-Morris has served as senior publicist to the former mayor of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina; as a higher education administrator at Loyola University New Orleans, where he served for four years as the associate director of alumni relations; and as director of development (fundraising) for the Capital One-New Beginnings Charter Schools Network and Breakthrough New Orleans at Isidore Newman School.

David serves as a copy editor on the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Developments Editorial Board, as a reviewer for the Journal of Curriculum Theorizing (JCT), member of the Bergamo Graduate Student Council (2015), and LSU Curriculum Theory Graduate Collaborative Leadership Team. Dr. Robinson-Morris is a member Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Kappa Psi, Omicron Delta Kappa, the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), American Educational Research Association (AERA), the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He is also a member of the Son of a Saint Foundation Advisory Board, and is a founding board member of Propeller (Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans).

David obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Communications - Public Relations from Loyola University New Orleans in 2006 and Masters of Public Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2011. He is a native of Galveston, Texas.


Second Place Winner - Dr. Ramon Goings (University of Maryland)


Dr. Ramon B. Goings is the Program Coordinator for the Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research interests are centered on disrupting deficit narratives about African American Males throughout the educational pipeline. Specifically, his scholarship explores the experiences of high-achieving Black males PK-PhD and the development and experiences of Black male educators. He is the co-editor of the upcoming books:Graduate Education at Historically Black Colleges and Universities: A Student Perspective (Routledge Press) and Race Mentoring through Social Media: Black and HispanicScholars Share Their Journey in the Academy (Information Age Publishing). Moreover, his scholarship has been featured in academic and popular press outlets including: Journal of African American Males in Education, Adult Learning, Inside Higher Ed, Education Week, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

Dr. Goings is a recipient of the 2016 College Board Professional Fellowship andan Asa G. Hilliard III and Barbara A. SizemoreResearchInstitute on African Americans and Education Fellow held at the 2015 American EducationalResearchAssociation (AERA) annual conference. Dr. Goings currently serves as the Managing Editor of theJournal of African American Males in Education(JAAME). Prior to working in higher education, Dr. Goings was a music education and special education teacher and intern with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. Dr. Goings earned his Doctor of Education degree in Urban Educational Leadership at Morgan State University, Master of Science in Human Service in Human Services at Post University, and Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Lynchburg College.


Second Place Winner - Dr. Steve Mobley (Georgetown University)


Dr. Steve D. Mobley, Jr., is a proud native of Washington, DC and has dedicated his life to enhancing the post-secondary educational experiences of underrepresented students. Dr. Mobley, Jr. has extensive experience in the field of higher education. He is currently the Associate Director of the undergraduate program at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Prior to arriving at Georgetown, he held appointments in academic affairs at the University of Maryland and taught courses in The College of Education, Undergraduate Studies, and the Academic Achievement Programs (A TRiO Initiative). He earned his B.A. in Communication & Culture from Howard University. Upon graduating from Howard he completed his Master’s in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania, and most recently he earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Maryland. Beginning in August 2016, Dr. Mobley, Jr. will be an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration at The University of Alabama. His research focuses on the contemporary placement of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Particularly, Dr. Mobley, Jr.’s work underscores and highlights the understudied facets of HBCU communities including issues surrounding race, social class, and student sexuality.


Third Place Winner - Jennifer Grace (LSU)


Jennifer Grace earned a bachelor degree in Secondary Education from Louisiana State University (LSU), a Masters degree in School Counseling from the University of New Orleans (UNO), and will be completing her doctorate degree in the Spring 2016, also from UNO, in Education Administration with an emphasis on K-12 schools. Her research focuses on "Rerouting the School to Prison Pipeline”. Jennifer has been an educator for over ten years; having served as an ELA teacher, guidance counselor and currently, as an assistant principal at St. Helena College and Career Academy. In her role she helps design course curriculum, mentors students, manages students’ learning processes, and coordinates several aspects of instructional development on campus. In addition, Jennifer has presented at several professional and academic conferences. She has presented on issues concerning, "Strategies for engaging African American Males in a PK-16+ continuum and Decoding the Common Core”. Her research topics are relevant and significant to student achievement, particularly for African American males in the educational pipeline. ​

Third Place Winner - Kimberly Everett 


Kimberly D. Everett, Ph.D. currently serves as the Director of the Office of Multicultural Student Success at DePaul University in her hometown of Chicago, IL. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing programs and services to foster the retention and success of first generation college students, students of color, and student from low income backgrounds. With more than 15 years of professional experience, Kim is a scholar practitioner with expertise in the impact of intersecting identities in higher education policy and practice. Her work focuses on cultural consciousness and the influence of identity in the experience of students in higher education.

Kim is a triple Cyclone having earned her B.S. in Elementary Education, her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Student Affairs Administration and her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in Social Justice in Higher Education- all from Iowa State University.

Prior to her work at DePaul, Kim served as the Founding Director of the African and African American Resource Center at Northeastern Illinois University. Additional experience includes residence life, TRiO and multicultural student services at Iowa State University and the University of West Georgia.


Fourth Place Winner - Keicia Hawkins


Dr. Keicia Hawkins is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction in the Gallaspy College of Education and Human Development at Northwestern State University. She completed her doctoral studies in Educational Leadership at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, her M.Ed. in Secondary Education (HPE with an emphasis in Sport Administration) and Ed. Specialist in Educational Leadership and Technology from Northwestern State University, and her B.S. in Health and Physical Education from Louisiana Tech University.Dr. Hawkins has over twenty years of classroom teaching and administrative experience in K-12 public schools and higher education.She has taught high school English and middle school health and physical education at the K-12 level.She has experience as an assistant principal at both the middle and high school level and as a middle school principal.Dr. Hawkins approach to teaching at the post-secondary level involves an integration of academic theory with an extensive background as a practitioner.Her doctoral research focused on the impact of family structure on the educational attainment of African American males. Her research interests include cultural diversity, leadership, school climate, discipline and its impact on teaching and learning, and professional development to improve the educational outcomes for African American males and other minority students.

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