Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Education/Higher Education PhD

First Advisor

Dwight Giles, Jr.

Second Advisor

Katalin Szelényi

Third Advisor

Samuel Museus


This dissertation addresses the formation of scholar identity as informed by an identity-conscious approach to doctoral student socialization, doctoral student development, and racial identity as expressed through the critical narratives of Asian American and Pacific Islander doctoral students in the field of higher education. The study explored the intersections of race, doctoral student socialization, and doctoral student development – three areas that have been approached as separate entities in existing literature. By using life history methodology and narrative inquiry, this study contributed to a more thorough understanding of racialized experiences in doctoral studies. Critical narrative was used as a methodological approach concerned with power and language in society where individuals can concretely question their own realities and identify the socio-ideological influence of systems on their practices and beliefs (Souto-Manning, 2012). Rather than use terminology of counter-narrative, which positions a narrative as counter to an existing dominant narrative, the use of critical narrative is highlighted as a way to position the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as their own central story. This inquiry advances our understanding of ways to create and sustain more inclusive and engaging learning environments that support racial diversity in higher education and to better understand the barriers that have socially and historically marginalized Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both in general and in doctoral education. Recommendations for practice include developing identity-conscious approaches to scholar formation, including but not limited to inclusive pedagogy and curriculum; mentoring and advising; culturally affirming networks; program and organizational orientation; and doctoral student support. A model of identity-conscious scholar formation is presented in which socialization, development, and racial identity must be operationalized as bidirectional and interactional processes.