Doctoral Scholars Program


SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program

Increasing Faculty Diversity

More than one-third of America’s college students are people of color. But racial and ethnic minorities make up only small fractions of college faculty. Nationwide, about 5 percent of faculty are African-American, about 3 percent are Hispanic and about 1 percent are Native American. The SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program is working to change that.

The goal: more minority Ph.D. students who seek
careers as faculty on college campuses 

The Doctoral Scholars Program provides multiple layers of support — not only financial assistance and research funding, but also career counseling, job postings and a scholar directory for networking and recruiting. Mentoring and advocacy for scholars is crucial, and support continues into early careers as graduates become faculty members. And each fall, a thousand scholars and young faculty members convene to learn and support one another at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring.

5-minute version of this video

Almost 1,000 Graduates and Counting

The goal of the Doctoral Scholars Program is to increase the number of minority students who earn doctorates and choose to become faculty at colleges and universities. Since its founding in 1993, the program has supported more than 1,660 scholars who have attended 107 institutions in more than 30 states.

Blog post Dr. Ansley Abraham, DirectorSREB State-Doctoral Scholars Program

Fixing the Pipeline of Possibility

A recent Atlantic article, “The Disciplines Where No Black People Earn Ph.D.s,” is eye-opening for its title alone. “In 2017,” author Adam Harris says, “there were more than a dozen fields” — largely within STEM — “in which not a single doctoral degree was awarded to a black person anywhere in the United States.”

Post Veronica Johnson
Dr. Amy Ansong

Tips from Women of Color on Succeeding in Academia
Finishing the Ph.D. and Advancing in Higher Education

Women represent a majority of Ph.D. students nationally, but overcoming hurdles relating to both gender and race can make life in academia especially challenging for women scholars.

That was a major theme among scholars and experts at the 2018 annual Institute on Teaching and Learning, hosted by the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program and its partner programs.

Post Veronica Johnson
Dr. Brian Walton

‘I almost wasn’t’: Ph.D. graduates, experts urge self-care

A critical topic that often gets overlooked in the drive to earn a Ph.D.: taking care of yourself.

The issue was on full, courageous display at the most recent Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, the nation’s largest gathering of underrepresented Ph.D. students and graduates of color. At the banquet celebrating the previous year’s newly minted graduates, many spoke of their emotional and health struggles during their long journey to the doctorate.

News SREB News Release Veronica Johnson

Sloan Foundation’s Elizabeth Boylan Honored with Frank Abbott Award

Dr. Elizabeth S. Boylan receives Frank Abbott Award.

Elizabeth S. Boylan, director of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s programs on STEM higher education, was honored with the 2018 Frank Abbott Award at the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in October in Arlington, Virginia.

Since joining Sloan in 2011, Dr. Boylan has been responsible for the attendance of more than 1,000 Sloan scholars at the Institute and leads the design of a number of sessions at the event.

News SREB News Release Veronica Johnson

University of Arkansas Faculty Member Wins National Mentor of the Year Award

Dr. Ana Julia Bridges (center) wins  Faculty Mentor of the Year award. Ana Julia Bridges, an associate professor in the University of Arkansas department of psychological science, was awarded one of two national Faculty Mentor of the Year awards at the 25th annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring in October in Arlington, Virginia. The Institute is the nation’s largest annual gathering of underrepresented Ph.D. students and college faculty members of color.

Blog post Dr. Robert (Bob) Belle, Associate Director, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program Veronica Johnson
Dr. Robert (Bob) Belle poses for a photo behind a microphone.

Reflecting on 25 years
of the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring

As one of only three people who have attended every Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, Dr. Robert (Bob) Belle, the longtime associate director of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, reflects on the Institute’s growth and importance, marking the 25th year of the conference.


Shortages and Support
SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program graduates paying it forward

A photo of Dr. Lorrie Frasure-Yokley with the quote, "Fundamentally, all these achievements came from someone investing in me."


For Dr. Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, a graduate from the University of Maryland, College Park, the SREB program “paid for my tuition and fees, allowing me the freedom to join several research projects” rather than to work as a teaching assistant. She is the first woman of color to attain a tenure-track position and to earn tenure in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.


Giving Back
SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program graduates paying it forward

Photo of Dr. Fashaad Crawford, with quote, "I’m trying to communicate the value of going back  into the local, rural schools. That’s the full circle.”


Former SREB scholar Dr. Fashaad Crawford is the associate vice provost for assessment and accreditation at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Crawford aids in the planning process for new academic programming and oversees the university’s regional accreditation and assessment of student learning processes. Throughout his career, he has worked to promote greater access and retention for faculty and students from underrepresented origins. 

Publication October 201816 pages18E04 Veronica Johnson

Changing the face of college faculty
25 Years of Increasing Faculty Diversity

SREB’s Doctoral Scholars Program is marking its 25th year of service to the South and the nation, having helped nearly 1,000 underrepresented students of color graduate with a Ph.D. Another 400 doctoral students are now working on a Ph.D. through the program. Nearly three out of four graduates of the program are teaching in college classrooms, in 43 states and counting. Despite this progress, the situation remains dire. Major shortages of faculty members of color persist, as many older professors retire and the nation’s student demographics continue to shift substantially.

DSP Graduate Featured on PBS NewsHour Segment

DSP Graduate Featured on PBS NewsHour Segment

Congratulations to SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program graduate Dr. Lorrie Frasure-Yokley, an associate professor of political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her work as a faculty mentor was highlighted in a PBS NewsHour special series. The interview with Dr. Frasure-Yokley appears in the weekly Making the Grade series segment. ”How faculty mentors can help first-generation students succeed.” 

Blog post Grad | Logic blog

It’s All About Community
An interview with Ansley Abraham

What’s the best advice to propel a doctoral candidate toward a successful completion of their Ph.D. goal? According to Dr. Ansley Abraham, director of the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program, it boils down to connecting with “people who are vested in your success.” 

Dr. Abraham has been doling out that advice to doctoral students for over 25 years. In the article below, originally published on the blog – Grad | Logic: Navigating the Ups and Downs of Graduate School, Dr. Abraham shared some of his wisdom in an interview with Dr. Chris Golde.

Blog post Ansley Abraham, Director, SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program
Group photo: attendees of the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring

Why supporting doctoral students of color is more important than ever

Twenty-five years ago, the South was graduating so few Ph.D. students of color that, in some fields, the annual number of graduates could fit into the same car.

Fortunately that has changed, but not enough to graduate all the scholars of color we need.


Science and Engineering for Social Good

Dr. Bob Belle, associate director of the Doctoral Scholars Program, will present during the Science and Engineering for Social Good conference, hosted by the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) February 9-11, 2018 at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The conference, presented in partnership with Georgia Tech, Stony Brook University and The SUNY Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), will feature content of interest to faculty, future faculty, staff and administrators.

For more information please contact Kyle Simmons, NCSCE’s faculty development events manager, at 202-276-2343 or or visit the NCSCE conference site.

My Mother Proved It Was Possible

My Mother Proved It Was Possible
The daughter of a DSP grad shares how her mother inspired her

In summer 2016, six pairs of SREB Doctoral Scholars entered the StoryCorps Atlanta booth to talk about their experiences as minority Ph.D. scholars and graduates in higher education. One pair discussed their struggles with isolationism and impostor syndrome; another spoke of the impact their research has had on their development not just as students, but as individuals who care deeply about the people they are serving. Nanette, a DSP graduate, sat down with her daughter Alyssa to share their experiences with mentorship. Dr.


Fewer than 1 in 10 professors are someone of color
The SREB DSP addresses the issue of faculty diversity in new video

Today, a third of students entering American universities are minorities, yet among the faculty fewer than 1 in 10 is someone of color. Who stands at the front of the room matters.

The SREB DSP looks to address the issue of faculty diversity on college campuses by increasing graduates, supporting public service projects of graduates and acknowledging the research interest of DSP scholars.

See how the SREB DSP is helping states meet this need. 

Fewer than 1 in 10 professors are someone of color

Publication June 20171 page

SREB Goal for College Attainment
Helping States Meet Their Needs

This handout shows the impact the SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program has on states in the areas of increasing graduates, public service and research. It also addresses the ways the SREB DSP leverages state and higher education institutional partnerships to increase faculty diversity in the region’s college and universities. 


Blog post Chanell Turner
Charlie Reed and Dave Spence

“He Always Said What Needed to Be Said…”

Chanell Turner, Publications and Programming Assistant for the Doctoral Scholars Program, talks with former SREB President Mark Musick as he remembers former SREB Vice Chair Charlie Reed’s impact on the Doctoral Scholars Program and his passion for education.