You can do this (Linder, 2014).  This is a direct quote from Dr. Chris Linder to students in her class, but it will not be found in any journal article.  CSAA students have this humorous nature of taking statements from community members said in class and verbalizing a reference after they say it.  I encourage you to give it a try. In addition, practice referring to yourself as Scholar (insert last name).  Being called Scholar Grimes seems to make the “do this” a bit more manageable based on being centered with a distinguish title that carries great responsibility.  What exactly does it mean to be a scholar and insert an APA in text citation in this program?  Finding ways to embrace the broadening of perspective and giving credit to the source whose words have impacted you (Grimes, 2017).

Scholars must engage in the process of making sacrifices, increasing resiliency, and managing a host of responsibilities.  Scholars in CSAA learn to manage classroom, work, personal, and community priorities daily.  It may sound cliché to say that our program is comprised of scholars from various backgrounds with a variety of experiences.  Even so, the difference each student brings to the classroom helps to enrich the work done in our program and field.  I consider it a great privilege to learn from other scholars about a multitude of challenges and triumphs, while sharing some of my own.

Let me expound on my thoughts on resiliency in CSAA. Resiliency is not just about reaching the end goal, but the process you follow to reach the end.  The doctoral degree is consumed with taking charge of your own learning.  I found myself early in this process fighting to prove my academic self-worth and ability to meet a completion goal.  Moreover, I had to remind myself that “I can do this”.  Assignments in our program have helped me to improve my confidence in my ability to live out the title “scholar practitioner”.  Furthermore, the complexity of course content and assignments is meant to add to a scholar’s competence of a myriad of information about students, policies, learning, and development.  Complexity is messy and necessary for success in this program. Reality for me is sometimes you know the stuff and sometimes you go on YouTube to teach you what you don’t know. Regardless, the process is still fun.


Justin Grimes is a fourth year doctoral candidate, born and raised in Little Rock, AR.  He is currently a graduate assistant at the University of Georgia Graduate School Business office. Justin’s research interests include the coping strategies Black doctoral students use to combat racism, the depiction of faculty/staff on college campuses in film, mentorship within student affairs for Black Student Affairs professionals, motivation of Black men in doctoral programs, and the experiences of multi-generational students of color at Historically White Institutions.  In his spare time, Justin enjoys bowling, working out, watching movies, and working his way through recorded shows on his DVR. Justin is currently working on his dissertation looking at motivates Black men to pursue doctorates in education.  He is also preparing to marry Tameka Oliphant, who is also dissertating in the School Counseling doctoral program at the UGA Gwinnett campus, in Spring 2018. 

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