Black Doctoral Conference

Attention: IUPUI Graduate Students

Join the Center for Africana Studies and Culture
at the Inaugural Black Doctoral Conference
March 10, 2022 at 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Held virtually on Zoom

Students are encouraged register by March 7, 2022.

Contact CASC if you have any questions about the conference.


Conference Schedule
Time Session Facilitator(s) Attendees Zoom
9:00-9:30 am Opening Ceremony Desmond L. Kemp/Dr. Leslie Etienne ALL Registrants
9:30-9:50 am Student Introduction Groups

Brief Networking Session

Open ALL Registrants
9:50 am – 10 am Break
10 am – 11 am Finding Your Academic Voice

In this session, we will address the myriad ways that Black academics have been trained and disciplined into not trusting and often abandoning their authentic voice.  This seminar will help you recover your voice and use that voice and vision to transform your scholarship, your service to the public, and your broader relationship to the university.  Using Willie Jennings’ category of “After Whiteness,” you will learn theoretical and practical strategies to design and maintain a “soul-ful” and intentional scholarly journey.

Dr. Joseph Tucker Edmonds

ALL Registrants
10 am – 11 am Mental Health Care for Graduate Students Dynetta Clark, CAPS All Registrants
11 am – 11:30 am Dealing with Imposter Syndrome Sydney Rucker Half Group
11:30 am- 12:00 pm Your Voice Matters: Engaging in Activism in Graduate and Professional School

The Underrepresented Professional and Graduate Student Organization (UPnGO) IUPUI serves to create an open community of diversity and equity through academic support, collaboration, events, and networks. UPnGO embraces and empowers underrepresented students to become top scholars, researchers, and professionals in the world. UPnGO has hosted the “Your Voice Matters: Engaging in Activism in Graduate and Professional School” sessions to promote candid conversation surrounding making an impact in our on- and off- campus communities. UPnGO recognizes the challenges students face from being minoritized and systemically marginalized and navigating graduate and professional school. Racial and ethnic demographics on campus often leave students feeling isolated and at a disadvantage from using their collective voice. This discussion hopes to revitalize students’ individual voices, identify their mission statements, reflect on roadblocks, and discuss how they can engage in a daily practice of activism.
Facilitated by

UPnGO President, Daenique Jengelley and UPnGO Vice President, Maribel Hernández Half Group
11 am – 12 pm Community Work

This session will highlight the benefits of lasting connections to communities beyond your interactions with them during research.

Dr. Leslie Etienne Half Group
12 pm – 12:45 pm Lunch
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm Research Lightning Talks

Graduate students will present their research within 5 minutes and receive peer feedback.

Desmond L. Kemp ALL Registrants
01:00 pm – 02:00 pm Finding a Mentor and Appointing Your Research Committee

This session will discuss the importance and development of advisory and dissertation committees.

Dr. Patricia Turley
2 pm – 3 pm Real Talk with Adult Students Transitioning Doctoral Programs.

This session is a dare to tell AND listen to the stories of adults discussing ways they care for their social, emotional, and spiritual selves transitioning toxic environments while pursuing a doctorate. As testimonies are heard, others encourage or challenge us with restorative practices that support authoritative voice, knowledge, and experiences in the academy. The implications extend beyond supporting individual and collective growth to hopeful expectations of building relationships with other like-minded Black students.

Dr. M. Cannon Small Group
2 pm – 3 pm Identifying your research topic

This is a working strategy session that will help early doctoral students define research topics and crafting research questions that work.

Desmond L. Kemp Small Group (1st year – 2nd year doc)
2 pm – 3 pm Money Matters: Getting Your Research Funded

Attendees will engage in a conversation on the process of turning academic research into a grant funded project. This will be a working session for doctoral students with interests to position their research toward community engaged projects.

Dr. T Jackson/Dr. Crystal Morton Small Group (Professional/4th year students)
3 pm – 3:30 pm IUPUI Campus Resources and Opportunities Dr. Tabitha Hardy IUPUI Students
3 pm – 3:30 pm CV vs. Resume Anneka Scott Select Group
3 pm – 3: 30 pm E- Portfolio Dr. Patricia J. Turley Select Group
3 pm – 3:30 pm Collect Your Coin: Navigating the Academic Job Search

This session will explore the process of locating an academic career as a Black applicant. Participants will receive pointers on identifying careers, organizational fit, identifying and combating imposter syndrome, and more.

Elise Smith Select Group
3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Closing Remarks Dr. Leslie Etienne All Registrants
Notes May need to rearrange the Finding Your Voice in Research and Traveling Through Graduate School sessions
Anneka Scott Anneka graduated from IUPUI School of Liberal Arts in May 2020, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. She demonstrates strong student advocacy through a positive attitude of approachability, adaptability, and desire to identify and support student success. As a first generation, 21st Century Scholar, she is passionate about creating change in the world through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion.push
Tabitha Hardy Tabitha M. Hardy, Ph. D. is the assistant vice chancellor for graduate education and assistant dean for student development and academic affairs within the University Graduate School and IUPUI Graduate Office. In current her roles, Hardy builds and sustains campus and community academics, research, and career partnerships; prepares grants; and teaches contemporary biology and career and professional development courses. Dr. Hardy has widespread experience in professional programming, mentoring and guiding students to discover and pursue their educational path. She is particularly focused on developing programs fostering graduate and professional student success, academic affairs related to graduate and professional programs, and the recruitment and retention of diverse students.
Patricia Turley Patricia Turley is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Indiana University’s School of Liberal Arts (IUPUI) and the Associate Director of the Olaniyan Scholars. She earned PhD in Urban Education from IUPUI. Her research interests are Afrocentric, justice-involved reentry, intersectional identities among Black women. Dr. Turley also serves as a Research Faculty Fellow for the Institute for Engaged Learning and Board Member for the Center for Research and Learning.
Mercedes Cannon Mercedes Adell Cannon, Ph.D., is an associate director in the Office of Adaptive Educational Services (AES) on the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis campus. She also is an adjunct faculty in the school of education with a deep interest in understanding oppression at the intersection of Black women’s race, gender, and dis/ability. Inspired by her experiences with an invisible dis/Ability label, Speech and Language Impediment (SLI), she privileges Black women’s pushback against systemic systems of oppression. Cannon uses a concept called “Subverted Truths” to describe how students with dis/abilities can reinterpret socially constructed identities and replace them through transformative radical self-love. She is a recipient of the 2019 AERA Disability Studies in Education Special Interest Group Outstanding Dissertation Award.