Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Educational Leadership, Administration, and Research


College of Education


MaryBeth Walpole, Ph.D.

Committee Member 1

Cecile H. Sam, Ph.D.

Committee Member 2

Susan Browne, Ed.D


Minority college administrators; Women college administrators


Higher Education | Higher Education Administration


The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of senior level RAEMW administrators who work at 4-year PWIs in the U.S. and analyze the impact of institutional environments on their success. The theories that guided this study were: Crenshaw’s (1994; 1989; 2015) intersectionality framework and four tenets of CRT which include counter-storytelling, the permanence of racism, interest convergence, and intersectionality (Hiraldo, 2010, 2019). This study was guided by the three research questions: 1) How do RAEMW senior level administrators describe their experiences navigating higher education, 2) How do senior level RAEMW administrators describe the impact of institutional environments on their career advancement in higher education, and 3) How can intersectionality, counter-storytelling, the permanence of racism, and interest convergence inform research on RAEMW’s experiences as senior level administrators? Seven senior level RAEMW administrators participated in the study. Data was collected through virtual interviews and the data analysis procedures were conducted using Moustakas’ (1994) modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method. Three themes emerged that captured their lived experiences as RAEMW senior level administrators: 1) The Power of Identity, 2) Daily Indignities as Barrier to Advancement, and 3) Communities of support and Success Strategies that promote Boundary Setting.