Term of Award

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Education

Committee Chair

Elise Cain

Committee Member 1

Peggy Shannon-Baker

Committee Member 2

Kip Sorgen

Committee Member 3

Marla Bruner

Committee Member 3 Email



This study utilized narrative inquiry to examine the experiences of Black Queer Doctoral Students (BQDS) with campus services and their ability to ameliorate minority stress and establish community with other students minoritized by their sexual or gender identity. I used the minority stress model and intersectionality as frameworks to understand how students minoritized by their race and sexual identities experienced campus services. The minority stress model provided an explanation of the stress BQDS may experience due their minority identity (Meyer, 2003, 2013). Connecting to community is also an ameliorating factor in reducing minority stress. In addition, structural intersectionality addressed the systemic structures that may have prevented BQDS from utilizing campus services as a means to cope with minority stress and establish community (Crenshaw, 1991). The literature review included discussion on the current state of graduate student mental health (Bekkouche et al., 2022; Myers et al., 2012), Queer and Trans* Student of Color’s use of campus services (Waight & Giordano, 2018, McCallum et al., 2022), and the racism and homophobia they may experience while completing their degrees (Dunbar et al., 2017; Johnson & Javier, 2017; Volpe et al., 2020). Participant selection resulted in the constructed narratives of four BQDS. Their stories were collected over two-video recorded interviews. Narratives from the four participants were then constructed using Bildungsroman, a genre of narrative inquiry, to focus on stories of personal growth and identity development (Kim, 2016). A subsequent cross-case analysis identified four common themes, 1) community as an ameliorating factor, 2) mixed perspectives on campus services, 3) role of the faculty as advisor, not mentor, and 4) separating identities for support. Thus, minority stress may affect BQDS’s ability to connect to campus services as they may be reluctant to disclose their queer identity. This stress is magnified since BQDS may also contend with social structures that may prevent them from connecting to campus services. This study concludes with recommendations to practice and future research, including enhancing the faculty-student relationship and exploring the role campus organizations might play in helping BQDS cope with minority stress and connect to community.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material