Group of 8 African-American women to earn Ph.d’s simultaneously at Indiana University

Their names are Jada Phelps-Moultrie, Shannon McCullough, Johari Shuck, Nadrea Njoku, Juhanna Rogers, Demetrees Hutchins, Jasmine Haywood, and Tiffany Kyser.

They didn’t all start together but their all finishing their doctorates in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. To give greater perspective on what a feat s, interim Robin Hughes, Executive Associate Dean states: “For a school that generally graduates between three and five doctoral students each year, to have eight students graduate with a Ph.D. from the School of Education is “pretty phenomenal…And typically, there might be one or two people of color in all disciplines earning a Ph.D.”

The group of women (majority mothers, married, or newly married during their matriculation) cite their strong sister-like bond as the key to their success. “My hope is that our individual and collective stories of sisterhood, perseverance and community commitment will inspire those who come behind us to persist in the face of challenging circumstances and remain committed to social justice through education” says Johari Shuck in an interview with IndyStar.

The sense from the faculty is that beyond earning their degrees, these women are destined to change the course of public education. Described as “social justice educators,” the women of the Great 8 are expected to keep those in their realms accountable for bettering the treatment and overall experience for students of color.

Photos and video courtesy of  Indiana University School of Educuation &

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