Going back to school to receive her doctorate was a promise made freshmen year of college for DeLois Lindsey.
After working at the University of Hartford for 20 years, Lindsey has accomplished just that with receiving her Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.
“This is for me,” Lindsey, Assistant Vice President for Student Development, said. “I wanted it for personal gratification. It may open doors when I retire, but it’s not the goal.”
Lindsey’s program at Johnson & Wales called for weekend classes from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
“I would be driving for five to six hours a day,” Lindsey said. “I’m glad I finished the program in three years and not the six they allow.”
Topics that she covered included a class on student affairs leadership taught by the University’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Lee Peters. Other topics were higher education finance, teaching and learning theory, research, methods, statistics, future trends in higher education and a dissertation seminar.
Lindsey’s dissertation was “College-Ready Urban Black, Hispanic and Biracial Students: Why are they not applying to college?” Lindsey has had this idea for 30 plus years.
“I knew when I stepped into the door that this is what it would be on,” Lindsey said. “I went to school with a lot of bright people. I always wondered why they didn’t go to college.”
Through her dissertation, Lindsey learned that first generation college students are less likely to apply to college because of lack of resources and experience. Parents do not have the necessary experience with admissions and financial aid.
The first generation students are the information gatherers. They have to search everything out.
Students who are lucky enough to get into college prep programs are much more highly likely to apply to college because of the advantages of college visits, workshops, having mentors and resources for getting in and finances.
With the dissertation and other work, Lindsey became known for spending late nights at the University in her office in Gengras.
“I would stay here until ten or eleven o’clock at night because it was quiet,” Lindsey said. “Sometimes I got home and was too damn tired to eat dinner. Then, I would get up and do it all over again.”
Even though the program was tough, Lindsey didn’t mind. She loves school.
“I’m glad it’s over, but I’ll miss the rigor of continuous study at that level of intensity,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey’s plan since finishing her schooling is to revisit Latin and take lots of weekend naps.
“It keeps me mentally focused and sharp,” Lindsey said.