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College of Education News

Doctoral student spotlight: Courtney Matthews

Courtney Matthews’s path to the Educational and Leadership Policy Studies doctoral program began during her master’s program at the University of Florida. She she completed a summer internship at UTA in Maverick Orientation and Transition Programs and immediately knew she wanted to return in some capacity after working with student leaders and orienting new students.

“The on-campus atmosphere, city of Arlington, and opportunities to build professional networks led me to believe that I could thrive as a doctoral student with the strongest and most supportive community,” she said. “Needless to say, I was not wrong!”

Courtney has identified a number of potential career opportunities that could present themselves as a result of the skill set she’s building through the ELPS program, either as a potential faculty member conducting research or as a student affairs practitioner. Her long-term goal is to eventually become a university president by combining her experiences in student affairs and academic affairs administration. She also hopes to join an institution's division of student affairs exploring functional areas such as multicultural and diversity affairs or orientation and transition programs while also committing time as an adjunct faculty member in an educational leadership program.

“My greatest hope is publishing parts of my dissertation as a journal article to contribute scholarly and impactful literature that may guide future practices for Black women in higher education,” said Courtney. “I also plan to write a book after completing this program that details my educational, professional, and personal journey as a Black female scholar.”

Courtney is currently researching the experiences of women of color, particularly Black women, with careers as administrators in higher education. “I plan to explore the narratives of Black female college chancellors and university presidents by discussing the lived experiences that brought them into postsecondary education,” Courtney said. “The visibility of Black women administrators in highly influential roles, such as the presidency, can impact Black female students’ collegiate, professional, and personal paths as it did mine.”

courtney matthews