Dr. Lori Patton

A continuous learning process – I do get excited about learning. As you listen to me, take it as one perspective. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I need to do a lot more to be an expert. I consider myself someone who does genuine and authentic work. These are great questions. The way I would answer these from 2003 to now is very different. I talk to more colleagues for feedback. I can answer some of these and if there are particular ones.

Critical race theory as a framework for this study?
I hadn’t heard about it, and was speaking to my dissertation adviser — Mary Howard-Hamilton — looking for a way to frame the study. She said, “have you thought about critical race theory…?” and I said, I didn’t know what it is…” My literature review halted, and I learned more about CRT. CRT provided a vocabulary to talk about race and racism. Given the history of higher education, and all of that… CRT was helpful. Interest convergence, and students who want to have a comfortable place, but there is an also a benefit at the PWI — budgets, resources, and more do not have anything. Externally, it looks like the campus is okay…

History of CRT and role of students involved — and pushing CRT forward — it complimented and it related to the student movements of the 60’s. The standpoint of people of color, recognizing the lived experiences…

Process question: when you brought in CRT — was it in the design phase — or after you collected the data?
It was the design phase. (How did it impact the questions?) The questions were still there — and in my dissertation I looked at three BCCs. From the materials from archives — I could shape the history on the campus and how students saw it. I asked open ended questions — they were not guided by CRT — but how the institute of black culture…

How do you choose the theories?
A lot of people would say you don’t need a framework. I prefer to use a theory to contextualize it. How do I go about it? ahh… there are tons to use — and you can determine what is relevent – if it isn’t substantial — i wouldn’t write about it.

How do you use CRT in an analysis phase?
Prescribed process for phenomenological data process — one thing is… (I talk about in the role of a researcher)… you let your passions comprimise the experiences of the people. In thinking about CRT and lived experiences of participants — create a balance of the assumptions/biases — keeping a journal keeping notes — as I am interpreting — I am looking at what the student is saying, and not how I feel about what they are feeling… I am hoping I am interpreting their story, and not having it be mine… i work really hard that it is their story, and not mine.

Naming ones reality is another important aspect — telling a story — one that more accurately depicts how people are experiencing a phenomenon — when you look at qoutes and looking at all the different alternatives of what the statement could mean — and then looking at those and determining that is the one that captures the process. Racism is normal… is one of the tenets… Because I am a researcher — because I am going to this campus… it was important to ask the questions, and “how have you experienced it…” It wasn’t until a student told me about homecoming — that I was able to ask more questions about homecoming… what homecoming meant to the students — and the event — and how the event dealt with racism on campus — it is more about keeping in mind what CRT is about… my findings support the theoretical framework.