Rochelle Davidson Mhonde
Describe your dissertation, thesis, or capstone (if you completed one):
My dissertation utilizes a mixed methods intersectionality approach to explore the beliefs, perceptions, and communicative behaviors of Black parents about sexual health and trauma.
How did you choose your specific area of study?
After working in the nongovernmental sector, mainly focusing on gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS, I wanted to further examine the silencing and stigmatization of intersecting public health concerns, particularly to translate research findings for social and behavioral change in under-researched communities.
How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?
My academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have paved the way for me to continue to make an impact with my teaching and research as a scholar that seeks social change and justice.
Of which accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud?
My dissertation defense was a deeply affirming experience for me. I was in full-blown tears after hearing the excitement of my committee members; they knew my journey, and I felt like I made them proud. I am also grateful for the experiences of teaching Mason students and opportunities to support and mentor 1st gen and minoritized students beyond the classroom.
Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?
I am so grateful for Dr. Richard T. Craig, who was a pillar of support as my dissertation chair! In addition, Dr. Kreps, Dr. Nicotera, and Dr. Hattery, my committee members, have become mentors who consistently encourage me. Special mention to the faculty and staff members of the Communication department, including Dr. Broeckelman-Post, Dr. Wright, Dr. Maibach, Dr. Zhao, Brittany Sanders, and Maria Carabelli, who all made an impact during my doctoral studies.
What advice would you give to an incoming cohort of graduate students?
I encourage the incoming cohort to be reflective on why they are continuing their education and what they seek to accomplish. Seek community and be supportive of fellow students.
What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?
I recently accepted an offer from the Department of Global and Community Health as an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. I am excited to continue teaching Mason students and working with amazing colleagues.