Date of Award

May 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership - Higher Education

Committee Member

Robin Phelps-Ward

Committee Member

Carlos N Gomez

Committee Member

Michelle Boettcher


This phenomenological study examined how peers, administrators, faculty, staff, and meaningful involvement influenced the experiences of Black Student Government (SGA) presidents at Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCU). The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of Black SGA presidents at HBCUs. Eight HBCUs are represented in this study. Photo-elicitation interviews were used to collect date from nine former Black SGA presidents (four women and five men). Hermeneutic thematic analysis (van Manen, 1990) was used to make meaning of the data (interview transcripts, research memos, photographs). The emergent themes were separated into three categories: peer influences (support, developing relationships, conflict), adult influences (lack of support, support), and meaningful involvement (sense of accomplishment, inspiration, building relationships). The implications for practice and future research were discussed for advisors and Black SGA presidents.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.