iSchool Ph.D. Candidate Awarded McKnight Doctoral and Dissertation Fellowship

Christy_Headshot_McKnightIn August of this year, Ph.D. candidate in FSU’s School of Information, Christy Chatmon, was named a McKnight Doctoral and Dissertation Fellowship Recipient.

Since the Florida Education Fund (FEF) McKnight Doctoral and Dissertation Fellowship was established in 1984, more than 1200 African American and Hispanic students pursuing doctoral degrees in crucial disciplines have received fellowships. The program is designed to address the underrepresentation of African American and Hispanic faculty at colleges and universities in Florida by increasing the pool of candidates qualified with Ph.D. degrees.

To do this, the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship provides up to five years of support, with an annual stipend of $12,000 plus tuition waivers and support for other fees. Fellows also receive an annual health insurance subsidy.

Chatmon learned about this opportunity through the FSU McKnight Fellowship Program Liaison and Assistant Dean of The Graduate School, Dr. Adrienne Stephenson. Dr. Stephenson was a fellow while pursuing her Ph.D. at FAMU and is now an exceptional advocate for the program.

“[Dr. Stephenson] works tirelessly to support the program’s goal and is the reason I decided to pursue the fellowship.  Over the years, I’ve seen how the program has had such an impact on the lives of so many students pursuing doctoral degrees,” Chatmon said.

She is excited to be a recipient of this fellowship. “It is a great honor and privilege to have been selected as a McKnight Doctoral Fellow.  I am confident that this opportunity will prove invaluable in developing me towards my career goal of becoming a leader in academia and further my contributions to the field of information science,” Chatmon said.

She intends to use this fellowship to further her research regarding the representation of women of color in STEM fields. “With the support and resources the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program provides, I will be able to focus on the unique educational experiences and career trajectories of black women in Computing Education,” she explained. “I intend to contribute by using the lens of intersectionality of black women in computing and their social, academic, and intellectual identities to promote meaningful intervention strategies that support their educational and career goals.”

Chatmon’s next goal is to finalize her dissertation topic with the support and guidance of her advisor, Dr. Marcia Mardis.

“Christy Chatmon is a force,” says Dr. Mardis. “The McKnight fellowship is not only an honor, but is also providing Christy critical support for her efforts to generate new knowledge about how we can educate a new generation of IT professionals.”