First-Gen Docs

Personal, Political, and Intellectual Perspectives from the First-Generation Doctoral Experience


This collection is an inspiring compilation of personal narratives that delve into the remarkable journeys of first-generation doctoral graduates in education. It unveils their struggles, triumphs, and transformations as they navigate academia, driven by passion and a commitment to breaking barriers. Their stories depict resilience, resistance, and the pursuit of excellence as they confront the challenges of being the first in their families to embark on the rigorous, intellectually demanding path of obtaining a doctoral degree. From diverse backgrounds, cultures, and disciplines, some of these first-gen docs now serve as advisers to the next generation of doctoral students.

Readers will be captivated by narratives of sacrifice, courage, and academic identity formation, shedding light on the transformative impact on families and communities. First-Gen Docs: Personal, Political, and Intellectual Perspectives from the First-Generation Doctoral Experience underscores the role of mentors, allies, and inclusivity, inspiring future generations in academia and beyond.

Contributors are: Nur Diyanah Anwar, Miguel Baique, Nina Bascia, Kathy Bickmore, Jinny Menon, Elizabeth Montaño, Newton Asakhulu Mukolwe, R. Nanre Nafziger, Yecid Ortega, Crystena A. H. Parker-Shandal, Rosaisela Rodriguez, Janel Janiczek Smith and Zora Wolfe.

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Crystena A. H. Parker-Shandal, PhD (2012), University of Toronto, is Associate Professor of Social Development Studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo. She is the author of Restorative Justice in the Classroom: Liberating Students' Voices through Relational Pedagogy (2022), Peacebuilding, Citizenship, and Identity: Empowering Conflict and Dialogue in Multicultural Classrooms (2016), and co-editor of Finding Refuge in Canada: Narratives of Dislocation (2021).
Series Editor’s Foreword: The Doctoral Journey in Education
Brent Bradford
About the Cover
Lorrie Gallant
List of Figures
Contributors’ Quotes
Notes on Contributors

1 Navigating the Scholarly Path as a First-Generation Doctoral Student: Personal, Political, and Intellectual Perspectives
Crystena A. H. Parker-Shandal

PART 1: Building Resilience and Grit for Academic Growth: Voices of First-Generation Doctoral Graduates

2 The Crooked Path: Storied Moments in My Doctoral Journey
Jinny Menon

3 The End of the Climbing Lane: Completing a PhD in Education in Kenya
Newton Asakhulu Mukolwe

4 Identities, Experiences, and the Looking-Glass: Reflections on Navigating the Doctoral Journey
Nur Diyanah Anwar

5 Sparking the Flame Within: From the Slums to the Academic World
Yecid Ortega

6 “Coming Home”: A Juxtaposition of Returning “Home” as a First- Generation Doctoral Student
&esmp;Miguel Baique

7 Looking Backward to Move Forward: One First-Generation Doctoral Student’s Journey
&esmp;Janel Janiczek Smith

8 The Journey Within: Inner Resonances of Doctoral Soundings
&esmp;R. Nanre Nafziger

PART 2: Culminating Success and Beyond: Adviser Perspectives

9 (Almost) Every Doctoral Student Is a First-Generation Doctoral Student
&esmp;Nina Bascia

10 First-Generation Chicanas with Doctorates Advocating for the Next Generation of Educational Leaders
&esmp;Elizabeth Montaño and Rosaisela Rodriguez

11 Program Supports for First-Generation Education Doctoral Students: A Faculty Perspective
&esmp;Zora Wolfe

Final Thoughts
&esmp;Kathy Bickmore
This book will be of value to first-generation students as well as general faculty, students, and teachers.
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