Portia N. Newman, Ph.D., is the recipient of the VCU School of Education Distinguished Dissertation Award for the 2020-21 academic year.
Newman’s dissertation was entitled “Leading in Crooked Rooms: Race, Gender, Culture and Black Women’s Leadership Skills and Practices.” She will be recognized during the school’s graduation ceremony this December.
The SOE Distinguished Dissertation Award is awarded each academic year to a Ph.D. in Education student who has exhibited excellence in their dissertation research and dissertation defense for that academic year. Faculty within the school nominate students from the various concentrations in the Ph.D. in Education program, and an award committee selects the recipient based on the substantive quality of their work and the significance to their discipline.
Newman's research interests include Black women leaders, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, leadership theory, strategy and culture. She is founder and education consultant with PN Consulting, LLC, which is committed to engaging with leaders who are challenged by and energized to address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and opportunity.
Newman completed her Ph.D. in Education, Concentration in Educational Leadership, Policy and Justice this spring. Charol Shakeshaft, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, was her dissertation advisor.