Dr. Deniece Dortch

Dr. Deniece Dortch

Dr. Deniece Dortch

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

School: Graduate School of Education and Human Development

Department: Educational Leadership


Office Phone: (202) 994-6853

Dr. Deniece Dortch’s research and teaching grapples with systemic oppression across multiple axes. She uses critical phenomenological approaches to understanding how African American undergraduate and graduate students experience and respond to race and racism at predominantly white institutions of higher education. Dr. Dortch studies the socialization of undergraduate and graduate students of color. She is especially interested in how psychological violence and fear is experienced, manifested and reproduced in the academy. Her most recent projects explore intra-racial relationships, racial agency and their effects on persistence in higher education.

Dr. Dortch’s publications address topics such as the self-efficacy of graduate students and the sense of belonging of undergraduate students of color at predominantly white institutions. Prior to joining the faculty at George Washington University, Dr. Dortch was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Utah where she created the African American Doctoral Scholar’s Initiative, a comprehensive mentoring program focused on graduate student socialization into the academy. A former Program Director at Texas AM University, Dr. Dortch also co-founded Sista to Sista, a co-curricular leadership development program designed to foster a sense of connectedness amongst Black female college athletes. Dr. Dortch is a returned United States Peace Corps Volunteer who served in both Morocco and Jamaica.

She earned her Ph.D. in Higher & Postsecondary Education Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an Ed.M. in Higher & Postsecondary Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a M.A.in Intercultural Service, Leadership & Management from the School for International Training in Vermont and a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison

Ed.M., Teachers College, Columbia University

M.A., School for International Training in Vermont

B.A., Eastern Michigan University

Dortch, D., Delima, D., & White, D. (2023). The foundations of racial agency: one African American woman resisting racial tropes in the academy. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-20.

Dortch, D. (2020). Revolutionary acts: African American doctoral students exercising racial agency at a predominantly white institution of higher education in the United States. International Journal for Cross-Disciplinary Subjects in Education11(1), 4236-4244.

Campbell, C. M., Dortch, D., & Burt, B. A. (2018). Reframing rigor: A modern look at challenge and support in higher education. New Directions for Higher Education2018(181), 11-23.

Campbell, C. M., & Dortch, D. (2018). Reconsidering academic rigor: Posing and supporting rigorous course practices at two research institutions. Teachers College Record120(5), 1-42.

Dortch, D., & Patel, C. (2017). Black undergraduate women and their sense of belonging in STEM at predominantly white institutions. NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 1-14.

Carter-Francique, Dortch, D., & Carter-Phiri, K. (2017). Black female college athletes’ perception of power in sport and society. Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education, 11(1), 1-25.

Dortch, D. (2016). The strength from within: A phenomenological study examining the academic self-efficacy of African American women in doctoral studies. The Journal of Negro Education, 85(3), 350-364.

  • Dr. Deniece Dortch presented, "Navigating Fear: Understanding African American Doctoral Students in Higher Education," at the International Conference on Education and New Developments in Lisbon Portugal. June 24-26, 2023.
  • Dr. Dortch will serve as a Conference Keynote Speaker at the 5th Annual Conference on Education and Teaching in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2023. Her speech will be titled, "Black Excellence at a Price: African American Doctoral Students Experiencing Tokenism at Predominantly White Institutions in the United States."
  • Dr. Dortch served as a speaker at the Conference on Education and Teaching in Paris, France in December 2022.
  • Dr. Dortch provided the second annual MLK Lecture, sponsored by the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development (GSEHD). The lecture was titled, "Examining the Master's House: African American Students Experiencing Psychological Violence at Predominantly White Institutions.” Read more about the event on GW Today >
  • Dr. Dortch received the 2021 AERA Carlos J Vallejo Award for Emerging Scholarship.