Editor’s Note: This is adapted from a profile originally published by The Graduate School.
Each week, the Graduate School features a graduate student or postdoc who exemplifies exceptional leadership and communication skills both inside and outside of the classroom.
Womble’s dissertation Investigating Black Male Intersectionality: Counternarratives of High-Achieving Black Male Engineering Undergraduates at a Predominantly White Institution earned her the 2018 Higher Education Dissertation of the Year Award. She currently works at the NC Department of Commerce as a commission research specialist.
Can you tell us about your research/teaching experience?
I have served as a co-instructor and guest lecturer of undergraduate and graduate courses. I taught courses on student success strategies, student development theory, and the college environment. I also guest lectured on critical race theory and research methods. My research agenda focuses on equity in higher education. The purpose of my dissertation was to understand how being both Black and male (i.e., Black male intersectionality) shaped the lived experiences and academic success of high-achieving Black male undergraduates in engineering majors at a predominantly White institution (PWI).
What do you like the most about NC State?
I love the breadth of opportunity NC State provides. There are so many great opportunities to enrich your graduate experience at your fingertips. I participated in several programs, including the Thesis and Dissertation Institute, Preparing the Professoriate, and the Equal Opportunity Institute. These programs truly enhanced my doctoral experience.
What is something that you have learned from The Graduate School’s professional development programs that you’re applying to your work or teaching?
In the Dissertation Institute and Summer Writing Group, I learned the value of writing accountability. Holding yourself accountable to SMART goals helps writing projects become more manageable and enjoyable. Writing accountability is a skill that I apply in my professional work as a Research Specialist as I often write research briefs and reports.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I am a first-generation college student. I have benefited from student support programs like the Gates Millennium Scholarship, and I enjoy “giving back” and “paying it forward.” During my time as a doctoral student, I developed two community-based organizations to support students and professionals of color: The Life Of A Scholar, LLC and The Scholar Academy, LLC.