Catrina Palmer (right) with her advisor Nancy DiTomaso, distinguished professor of management and global business.

Ph.D. student receives $5,000 scholarship to continue research

The academic world always had a special allure for Catrina Palmer, a doctoral student at Rutgers Business School.

Palmer, who is pursuing her degree in organizational management and researching the role of interpersonal relationships and diversity management in academia, was recently awarded a $5,000 graduate merit scholarship from the Executive Women of New Jersey.

The money will be used to pay for her fifth year studies in the doctoral program. “The support provided by the scholarship would enable me to explore ways of communicating my research not only to academicians, but also practitioners, with the hope of positively influencing policies,” Palmer wrote in a personal statement submitted as part of her scholarship application.

A first generation college student, Palmer experienced the critical support mentors provide and later realized the impact of her own mentoring as an academic advisor at Kent State University. “Mentoring is very personal to me,” she said.

At Rutgers, Palmer works closely with Distinguished Professor Nancy DiTomaso, her advisor, and counts Distinguished Professor Jerome Williams as a mentor.

Her dissertation, “The Transformation of Mentoring Relationships in Academe: An Examination of Cross- Sex and Cross-Race Dyads” addresses the issue of racial and gender disparity in academia by examining the development and transformation of diverse mentoring relationships in academic communities.

“I have been deeply committed to advancing the voice of individuals in marginalized communities, specifically the domain of higher education,” Palmer wrote in her personal statement to the Executive Women of New Jersey. “I plan to pursue a career at an institution that allows me to be a change agent for diversity and equity practices.”

Palmer plans to defend her thesis in the fall of 2020 and hopes to secure a job teaching in the southeast U.S. and continue her research.

-Susan Todd


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