EdD Graduate Perspectives: Uplifting Our Own Voices

  • Staci B. Martin Portland State University
  • Kara Gournaris Western Oregon University
  • Zafreen Jaffery Behavioral Science Research Institute
  • Lisa Hatfield Oregon Health Sciences University
  • Su-Jin Jung Portland State University
  • Li Xiang Western Michigan University
  • Ingrid Anderson Portland State University
  • Micki M. Caskey Portland State University
Keywords: activism, EdD graduates, underrepresented, experiences, interactions


The purpose of this essay is to share the voices of EdD graduates who are often underrepresented or missing in the literature. To begin, we invited EdD graduates to co-author this article about the connection among their EdD program experiences and interactions and their activism. We included our definition of activism and posed three open-ended questions. Six program graduates and one professor agreed to organize the graduates’ responses by the question topics and salient themes. We asked about our experiences in the EdD program and how these influence—positively and negatively—what we are doing now (post-program). We found (a) relationships with faculty and cohort mattered; (b) instructional scaffolding was vital; and (c) faculty and cohorts reflected how lived experiences cultivated a sense of belonging and collectiveness. We also asked about our interactions with peers, cohort, advisor(s), instructors, or mentors, as well as, in what ways did these interactions affect—positively and negatively—what we are doing now (post-program). Lastly, we asked, in what ways, did the EdD program affect—positively or negatively—our activism in the classroom, community, or place of employment. We found examples of how we are shifting the landscape of academia to honor more voices in research and publication, more culturally responsive to impacted communities, and challenging the status quo. We focused on our experiences and interactions in an EdD program and how these experiences and interactions prompted activism in our current practice so that having a diversity of voices not only challenge other students, regardless of their background, to think differently about who creates, produces, and defines knowledge, as well as, support faculty that say they want to expand their curriculum and instruction, yet rely on what they know or what was taught to them in their courses.


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How to Cite
Martin, S. B., Gournaris, K., Jaffery, Z., Hatfield, L., Jung, S.-J., Xiang, L., Anderson, I., & Caskey, M. M. (2021). EdD Graduate Perspectives: Uplifting Our Own Voices. Impacting Education: Journal on Transforming Professional Practice, 6(1), 45–52. https://doi.org/10.5195/ie.2021.124