Mitchell Completes PhD in Leadership Studies

Brenda Olivia Everett Mitchell, Department of Allied Health Sciences Associate Chair for Student Services and AHEC Operations, completed her PhD in Leadership Studies through the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A&T) in late 2013.

Mitchell Completes PhD in Leadership Studies click to enlarge Dr. Brenda Everett Mitchell

Dr. Mitchell successfully defended her dissertation, titled “Relationship of Peer Mentoring to Academic Success and Student Engagement During the First Two Years of College for Historically Underserved Students,” on October 16, 2013, and participated in the A&T Commencement on December 14, 2013.

Dr. Mitchell has been affiliated with the Department of Allied Health Sciences (DAHS) since 1996 as faculty member in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. In 2001 she was selected as Associate Chair for Student Services and AHEC Operations. In this position, she works with prospective and matriculating students, as well as with alumni in departmental focus groups and advisory boards. She chairs numerous committees in the department and serves as liaison to other committees on behalf of the department.

Dr. Mitchell’s dissertation research was a correlational explanatory quantitative research design that revealed a number of statistically significant findings about the relationship between peer mentoring and college success. She was invited to present her findings at a conference in New Mexico during the last week of October.

“The knowledge and insights Dr. Mitchell gained through her PhD research and studies will no doubt have a positive impact on the services provided to our students,” said DAHS Associate Dean and Chair Stephen Hooper. “Her determination to complete another advanced degree at this stage in her career also sends a strong message about the importance of continually learning and striving for greater understanding. I look forward to the dividends that our students and the overall department will reap from her efforts in advancing her career.”

Dr. Mitchell said that serving as a strong role model for others was a major motivation in her decision to pursue a PhD.

“As an African American female, who enjoys engaging with young people, it is my duty to walk in such a way that helps them to find their way in life,” she said. “I take great joy in knowing that because I’ve achieved this goal, my sons have completed higher degrees, co-workers have decided to go back to school, and others have been mentored to attain their loftiest goals.”

From an early age, Dr. Mitchell knew she wanted to study speech-language pathology and audiology. She earned her undergraduate degree from her South Carolina State University and her master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. She has presented at numerous national and state conferences on leadership, diversity, and speech-language pathology topics, and she completed the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women program in November 2006.

Dr. Mitchell is happily married to Glenn Javonne Mitchell and they reside in Durham, NC, where they are engaged in numerous teaching and mentoring roles through their church, community, and at home. As a couple, they are committed to reaching back as they climb forward.