Surviving as a Full-time Working Doctorate Student Parent: A Panel Discussion
Recorded On: 10/31/2023
Qua’Aisa Williams, Ph.D.
Director for Instructional Design
First-generation Student Success Center
Qua’Aisa Williams (she/her/hers) serves as associate director for instructional design with the First Scholars Initiatives® at the Center for First-generation Student Success and joined in March 2020. A proud first-generation college graduate and TRIO Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services alum. Qua’Aisa’s career in higher education began at Florida State University’s Center for Academic Retention & Enhance (CARE), working with the summer bridge program for first-generation and economically disadvantaged students.
Qua’Aisa holds a M.S. in higher education administration and a B.S. in family & child sciences from Florida State University. She completed her Ph.D. in college student affairs administration at the University of Georgia.
Ke’Ana Bradley, Ph.D.
Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Early Career Initiatives
Ke’Ana Bradley is the Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Early Career Initiatives for NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Ke’Ana’s role with NASPA involves contributing to ongoing association efforts related to equity and social justice through programming and research as well as coordination of programming for early career students and professionals such as Careers in Student Affairs Month, the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows and Graduate Associate Programs, and the New Professionals and Graduate Student Steering Committee. Ke'Ana brings 17 years of varied experience in higher education. Prior to joining the NASPA staff, Ke'Ana's roles included Director of Student Life at Mountain View College, International Student Advisor at Lynn University, Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services and Programs at the University of Notre Dame, and Coordinator of Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs at both Southern Methodist University and Texas Woman's University. Ke'Ana holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, a master's degree in Communications from The University of the Incarnate Word, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Ke'Ana is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (TX). Ke'Ana lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two kiddos.
Shannon Niedzwicki, Ph.D.
Director of Virtual Learning
Shannon serves as the director of virtual learning at NASPA, overseeing all of the virtual learning and engagement for the Association. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, including campus recreation, advising, Title IX, career education, and workforce development. Before joining NASPA, Shannon was the assistant director of employer relations and oversaw on-campus student employment, marketing, employer relations, experiential learning, and community engagement for the Department of Career Services at the University of Toledo. Shannon also worked nine years in the community college sector, where she was director of Career Services and worked closely with workforce development and institutional research.
Shannon’s research interests focus on the career readiness of college students, specifically student-athletes. Her dissertation titled, From Court to Career: Exploring the Career Readiness of Men’s and Women’s Basketball Players, completed her doctor of philosophy at The University of Toledo. Shannon has a B.A. from Kent State University in Recreation Management and an M.A. in Sports Administration from Western Michigan University. Shannon is a faculty member for the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University and serves on the Board of Directors for the Eberly Center for Women at The University of Toledo.
Ashlee Young, M.Ed.
Associate Director of First Scholars Initiatives
NASPA|Center for First Generation Student Success
Ashlee Kocina Young serves as associate director for Expert Guidance with the First Scholars Initiatives® in the Center for First-generation Student Success, NASPA. Prior to joining NASPA, Ashlee held a dual appointment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As the Assistant Director of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, a large, comprehensive college transition program for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship recipients, Ashlee was responsible for community engagement programming and assessment. In her role as the Coordinator for First Generation Nebraska, Ashlee co-managed university-wide first-generation initiatives and served as the primary contact with Nebraska’s involvement as an inaugural First-gen Forward Institution, and in an advisory capacity.
A first-generation college graduate, Ashlee holds an M.Ed. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is currently working on completing a Ph.D. in leadership studies, with a focus on multicultural leadership perspectives and first-generation leadership development beyond college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Are you thinking about or currently in a doctoral program while being a full-time working parent? Work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning when you are parenting while in a doctoral program and writing a dissertation. Join this discussion as we share our experiences through our doctoral programs and dissertation writing, the honest truths about balance, and navigating the dissertation journey. Current doctoral students or graduated doctoral working parents are welcome to join and share perspectives.