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I want to acknowledge all the Black males and females pursuing their doctoral degrees in all disciplines, but specifically counselor education. You are placed in situations that are not always favorable, but yet with resiliency you all find a way to shine in a room with little to no light. I know there are times when you feel like giving up, but you continue to push forward, creating a path for younger Black males and females to follow. I want to also thank the participants Jason, Steve, and Jamal (pseudonyms), for your willingness to share your experiences with the world.
Because of your contributions, the field of Counselor Education at Predominately White Institutions can become a more inclusive space for minorities, specifically Black males, and females. My ability to become a scholar in the realm of counselor education has been enriched by the faculty at the University of South Carolina. To the Counselor Education faculty, thank you for taking a chance on me and allowing me to grow and make mistakes over the past three years. My upmost gratitude to my dissertation committee-Dr. Ryan Carlson (dissertation chair), Dr. Daniella Cook, Dr. Dorothy Limberg, and Dr. Johnathan Ohrt.
Dr. Ohrt and Dr. Limberg, thank you for being there throughout this process. Answering any questions that had me stuck, while also encouraging me to look deeper for meaning in my research. Dr. Limberg thank you for introducing me to research and letting me know that I was competent enough to become a scholar. Dr. Ohrt thank you for v always being laid back, keeping me level headed at all times. Your energy in the room always allowing me to remain calm was essential in completing this process.
Dr. Cook, you encouraged me to never give up on my research, always promoting my “Blackness”, and never apologizing for who I am. Because of you, I know that I have a space to be successful in academia as a proud Black man, never hiding my cultural or racial heritage. I appreciate you for being there teaching me, encouraging me, and mentoring me. Offering me the support I needed to complete my dissertation. To my chair, Dr. Ryan Carlson. Words cannot explain the relationship we have developed.
The ups and downs, the transparent conversations, your push for me to always produce exceptional work has guided me to this point. You have been a constant motivation to get better at perfecting my craft, while maintaining I never lost sight of the bigger picture. Every conversation about improving as a scholar pushed me to work tirelessly on my writing and though not always ideal, I felt I grew with every “red mark” and “track change”.
Your mentorship, aided me in learning what a true mentor is, someone who is not always in agreeance with you but someone who challenges you to be better. A person who motivates you to accomplish what can sometimes seem impossible. I thank you for believing in my abilities and my resiliency as a man. I sincerely thank you for everything. Dr. Douglas Bates, you know you my man 100 grand. All the conversation about what we wanted to accomplish have been accomplished. Now we get to create a lane for more Black males to follow.