20, 2002 (Lexington, Ky.) --
- The University of Kentucky had more graduates last
year in the Southern Regional Education Board's Doctoral
Scholars program than any other university within
the southern states participating in the program.
And with nine students working toward their doctorates
this year in the program designed to increase the
number of minority professors, UK may repeat its success.
Regional Education Board's (SREB) Doctoral Scholars
Program was started in 1993 with funds from The Pew
Charitable Trusts and the Ford Foundation. It is part
of a nationwide initiative, the Compact for Faculty
Diversity, to increase the number of minority persons
with doctorates and to encourage them to seek faculty
UK students who completed their doctorates in 2001
were: Alice Johnson, business and economics, now an
assistant professor in the Belk College of Business
at the University of North Carolina; Rana Johnson,
communication, an employee of the Kentucky Council
on Postsecondary Education in Frankfort; Shawn Long,
communication, now an assistant professor of the University
of North Carolina at Charlotte; and Kelly Ellis, English,
now a faculty member at the University of Chicago.
doctoral students and their majors are A. Bethany
White, English; Angela F. Cooke-Jackson, communications;
Melanie Mabins, pharmacology; Joy Myree, English;
Urania Pack, English; Cynthia Shelton, history; Benjamin
Washington, public administration; Dominique Talbert,
pharmacology, and John Youngblood, communications.
graduates were among the 100 persons earning doctorates
since the program began.
200 scholars are currently supported by the program.
They attend 67 institutions in 23 states. The program
has a student retention rate of more than 90 percent.
Doctoral Scholars Program is coordinated by Deneese
Jones, associate dean of the Graduate School and an
associate professor in the Department of Curriculum
and Instruction in UK's College of Education.
who was recently named an American Council on Education
(ACE) Fellow, said the SREB program takes a lot of
the financial pressure off doctoral candidates and
greatly enhances their potential to pursue a successful
the program also has a way of making minority doctoral
students feel less like outsiders because their numbers
are so small in doctoral programs, a feeling she experienced
while a doctoral student at Texas A&M.
program offers minority doctoral students the opportunity
to work with others who understand this," she said.
UK participants in the Doctoral Scholars Program who
are eager to sing the program's praises is Rana Johnson,
who earned a doctorate in communication in August
who is responsible for several of CPE's Equal Employment
Opportunity initiatives, said, "Without the SREB's
help, I wouldn't have been able to complete my doctorate."
who earned a bachelor of science degree from Spalding
University and a master's degree from Eastern New
Mexico University, added that major conferences conducted
by SREB to get the doctoral scholars together are
was just so much energy in those rooms and it created
a wonderful learning and support environment," she
said of a conference she attended in New Orleans,
Doctoral Scholars Program empowers minority students
and encourages them to endure," she said.
had similar sentiments about the SREB Doctoral Scholars
afforded me the opportunity to concentrate on my doctoral
work," Long said. He pointed out that SREB generally
does not condone its scholars teaching or working
while they're completing their doctoral work, but
an exception was made in his case "because I love
teaching so much."
it happen," said Long of the exception that allowed
him to teach halftime while working on his doctorate
fulltime. That teaching paid off in another way, as
he earned a UK Chancellor's Award for Teaching. Long
also was a Lyman T. Johnson Fellow while pursuing
current SREB Doctoral Scholars working on a doctorate
at UK is Angela F. Cooke-Jackson, who is the Knight
Minority Teaching Fellow at Transylvania University
who is studying for a UK communication doctorate,
said the SREB Scholars program enabled her to make
a fulltime commitment to earning a doctorate which
she expects to receive in May 2003.
stipend acts as a foundation to working on an education
fulltime," she said. "It is a blessing to those who
want to go to school."
has a bachelor's degree form Cedarville College, Cedarville,
Ohio. Her communications dissertation work is in health
communications and relates to the messages shared
by mothers and daughters about healthcare issues.
Her mother had Type II diabetes and died in 1998.
important for my mom to talk to her children and grandchildren
about her disease," she said. "You hear a message
and maybe you can use the message as a preventative
process for others."