Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leadership, School Counseling & Sport Management

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Leadership, School Counseling & Sports Management

First Advisor

Dr. Amanda B. Pascale

Second Advisor

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder

Third Advisor

Dr. Matthew A. Ohlson

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Shinwoo Choi

Department Chair

Dr. Elizabeth A Gregg

College Dean

Dr. Diane Yendol-Hoppey


This study investigates the experiences of Asian American and immigrant Asian faculty members and administrators in the U.S. higher education. The motivation of this study was, in spite of the rising presence and educational attainment, Asian American and immigrant Asian women are notably underrepresented in academic leadership roles. Asian American women fall far behind White females in leadership positions in higher education. Grounded in a theoretical framework guided by Mohanty’s Post Colonialist Feminist Criticism, a qualitative research has been conducted where 15 female participants (faculty members and/or administrators in the U.S. higher education), who identified themselves as Asian Americans or immigrant Asians, were interviewed. Data analysis focused on the interview transcripts while coding categories and finding themes. Based on each research question, categories and themes have been described based on patterns. This study focuses on three primary areas, which include the experiences of the participants, their way of combatting challenges, and the role of support system and mentors in their journeys. Findings show that almost all of these 15 participants experienced gender and racial discrimination at varied levels both inside and outside classrooms. Sometimes it was easy for them to decipher whether the discrimination was based on race or gender, sometimes it became difficult. They felt women of color lived in the intersection of multiple jeopardy. Along with racial and gender discrimination, these women talked about discriminations based on their short height and dressing. As a result, most of them expressed disinterest in pursuing or continuing with leadership roles in academia. All participants unanimously admitted the importance of mentoring in shaping their careers. Implications for policy, practice, theoretical framework, recommendations, and future research are discussed.