Courtney’s road to U-M was supported by a strong network of research faculty. As an undergraduate, Courtney participated in the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program, which is designed to prepare undergraduate students (especially underrepresented students) for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. There, she found mentors critical to furthering her education and received a one-to-one connection with faculty. “This gave me the confidence to apply to grad school and opened new doors for me.”
Courtney is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Personality and Social Contexts area of the Psychology department. Her research focuses on organizational diversity and inclusion and how the experiences of people on the margins of organizational life can inform traditional organizational theories. “I'm broadly interested in diversity and inclusion, discrimination and harassment, ethical behavior, and leadership. My master's thesis explored individual explanations for experiences of subtle rudeness (or incivility) at work. Some of my other projects investigate whether organizations use economic or business 'language' to advocate for diversity issues versus moral or ethical arguments, and how this may affect the employees' perceptions of diversity as an organizational priority. I have also explored workplace stress and engagement among nurse leaders, and psycho-social factors that affect retirement decisions among older workers.”
Courtney serves as the president of Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR), a Rackham student group. “I’m involved in SCOR because I believe that our academic community can only thrive when we acknowledge our different perspectives and backgrounds that we bring to our research, our classrooms, and our social settings. As a member of a marginalized group, I want to advocate for the inclusion of our diverse voices in decisions made by our university's administration.” She’s also served as SCOR’s Rackham Liaison last year to make sure that all of the Rackham student groups were working together and in sync with each other.
Courtney also founded Rackham’s Multicultural Leadership Council, which consists of student leaders from various graduate organizations that support students of color. “This is a great place to practice my facilitation skills and theories of leadership from my academic research. Working together, we collectively have a voice to faculty, department chairs and Rackham. We have a space to share information, issues, and challenges together.”
Currently, Courtney is actively involved in planning the Diversity and Social Justice Symposium which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The program, scheduled for March 27 and 28, 2015, is open to students and alumni alike. The two day event will include an academic panel, performances, networking opportunities, and a formal gala at a very special location. She is still working on securing a keynote speaker, and will have that information very soon!
“I am thrilled that we are reconnecting with our alums this year, and look forward to celebrating 25 years of our student-led conference/symposium!”
For more information, please visit SCOR's website.
Now that she’s advancing in graduate school, Courtney sees different paths than she’d seen before. “There are role models for me working in key administrative roles of the university, which I never thought was possible. I want to continue doing research, but I’m thinking bigger than I did before.”