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Our Counter-Life Herstories: The Experiences of African American Women Faculty in U.S. Computing Education
Graduate Theses and Dissertations
  • Shetay Nicole Ashford, University of South Florida
Date Approved
Graduation Year
Document Type
Degree Name
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Degree Granting Department
Adult, Career and Higher Education
Major Professor
Edward C. Fletcher, Jr., Ph.D.
Committee Member
Victor M. Hernandez-Gantes, Ph.D.
Committee Member
Janet C. Richards, Ph.D.
Committee Member
Liliana Rodrìguez-Campos, Ph.D.
  • Afrocentric feminist epistemology,
  • Black feminist thought,
  • career,
  • and technical education,
  • Computing Education,
  • critical race theory,
  • life history
The purpose of this life history qualitative study was to explore the Counter-Life Herstories of African American women faculty in U.S. Computing Education. Counter-Life Herstories are derived from Counterstories, life histories, and herstories as powerful social justice tools to uncover hidden truths about marginalized groups’ experiences. Through the collection of timelines, counter-life story interviews, and reflective journal writings, I co-constructed and interpreted the Counter-Life Herstories of five participants using an integrative conceptual framework that included critical race theory and Black feminist thought as interpretive frameworks, and Afrocentric feminist epistemology to govern my knowledge validation process. As an emerging African American woman scholar, with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, I have a “unique angle of vision” to situate African American women’s distinctive educational experiences in the social-political context of U.S. Computing Education. In this study, I build upon limited knowledge about African American women’s experiences throughout U.S. Computing Education. My discoveries indicated unequivocally that my participants’ persistence in U.S. Computing Education was not solely based on their early positive reinforcements or strong academic preparation, but their resilience and ability to bounce back from insurmountable barriers, such as negative stereotypes and biases. This inquiry directly supports the U.S.’ national interest to diversify the Computing workforce, while revealing hidden truths about African American women’s experiences in U.S. Computing Education.
Citation Information
Shetay Nicole Ashford. "Our Counter-Life Herstories: The Experiences of African American Women Faculty in U.S. Computing Education" (2016)
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