The Sistah Network Support Group at the University of Denver

NicoleJosephNicole M. Joseph, an assistant professor in the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, has developed the Sistah Network, an organization that acts as a support group for Black women graduate students at the university.

The organization was formed in January 2013 with 15 members. Today there are more than 90 people involved with the program, including students, faculty, and alumni. The group meets two or three times each quarter to talk about academic issues and to discuss members’ personal and professional accomplishments and goals. The network also includes Black professional women from the Denver area who can act as role models and mentors.

Dr. Joseph says that “we try to problem-solve together on how you navigate the system — working with professors, working with committee members, issues in the classroom, not feeling like you have to speak for the whole race,. Or, ‘how do you challenge your peers and/or your professor in a way that doesn’t feel threatening?’ You should be able to say whatever you want to say, but we know the reality is that there can be consequences if you don’t navigate.”

Dr. Joseph is a graduate of Seattle University. She holds a master’s degree from Pacific Oaks College Northwest in Seattle and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Washington. Her current research focuses on the mathematics education of African Americans at historically Black colleges and universities during the period of Jim Crow segregation.


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  1. Dee K. says:

    Man so jealous! Graduated in 2005 from DU Law and wished I had support like this. It all worked out for me, degree, license, good jobs. However had some girlfriends who were not as fortunate and still do not have a license or legal job.

    • I, was lucky to find this webpage. I too have an advanced degree in Law and an undergraduate in Crim Just. Finding a job after graduation was very hard in 1976. I did not sit for the bar, so I, am considered an attorney, but not a lawyer. I, was unable to find employment with either one. I, raised three sons matriculating those degrees. I, am now working on a Master’s in Public Health Administration. Its an online school. I failed my first semester. It has been over 20 years since I was in school. The children are all grown and on their own. I ,wrote a letter to the dean of the school, my academic advisor and the instructor, I wrote to before the ax fell, with my final grade being an F. I was devastated. For the first three weeks of school, I had a letter grade of an A.
      I, must retake the courses, I am told. My downfall was when I had to do a Microsoft Worksheet called Excel. I ,tried tutors, they were unreliable and I had trouble getting one to help me. I, fell further behind, assignments are to be submitted in a timely fashion. My lack of a tutor was my problem. It did me good to read about The Sistah Network, just the same. and the previous reply was also, worth reading. Thanks for letting me contribute and vent.
      signed: Virginia Dale
      I am also, on Facebook. drop by…

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