Navigating Those Dissertation Seas... An Update

Cover of Empathy by Design: Empathy-Driven Marketing for Libraries written by Sabine Jean Dantus

In the midst of juggling my roles as a faculty librarian, mom, wife, and doctoral student, I am thrilled to share the latest developments in my Ed.D. journey and 🥁 🥁 🥁 the completion of my first book, "Empathy by Design: Empathy-Driven Marketing for Libraries" to be published for the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Publications to be available on February 2024. Also, I am excited to share with you the latest developments in my Ed.D. journey, particularly the progress made in crafting the first three chapters of my dissertation.

Dissertation Focus: Exploring Preferred Communication Methods and Experiences

My dissertation, "Exploring Preferred Communication Methods and Experiences: Reducing Psychological Distance for First-Generation College Students and Librarians in Online and In-Person Learning Environments - An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis," is progressing well. As a first-generation college student, I've faced and overcome various challenges on my academic journey. Being a first-generation student has given me a unique perspective and a profound empathy for others in a similar position. I comprehend the challenges and barriers that first-generation college students encounter and the resilience needed to achieve their goals.

Purpose of the Study: Bridging Gaps for First-Generation College Students

My qualitative interpretative phenomenological analysis study aims to delve into the perceptions of first-generation college students at a large Florida university. Focusing on preferred communication methods, the study seeks to diminish the psychological distance between librarians and these students across various learning environments.

Key Objectives: Understanding, Identifying, and Considering

  • Understanding Perceptions: Explore how first-generation college students perceive communication methods with librarians in different learning environments.

  • Identifying Challenges: Examine their experiences to pinpoint the challenges and barriers they face when seeking assistance.

  • Cultural Considerations: Gather suggestions from students, considering their cultural backgrounds and prior experiences, for improved communication strategies among librarians.

Significance of the Study: Enhancing Support for First-Generation College Students

I am excited to share that my research aims to significantly enhance the support and services librarians provide to first-generation college students in academic libraries. The ultimate goal of my research is to cultivate a more inclusive environment for these students where they can feel supported and empowered to succeed. As I dive deep into the unique challenges and barriers faced by first-generation students in academic libraries about communication, I hope to provide practical recommendations for librarians to better serve this group and create equitable learning opportunities. 

My study has the potential to bridge the gap between first-generation college students and academic libraries and create a more welcoming environment for all students. I am passionate about creating a more inclusive and supportive academic community that values inclusion and promotes equity. My research will positively impact the academic lives of first-generation college students at my institution.

Moving Forward: Excitement for Upcoming Phases

As I progress into Chapters 4 and 5 of my dissertation this semester, I am eager for the upcoming phases, including data collection, analysis, and synthesizing findings. Each step brings me closer to unraveling insights that contribute to academic discourse and hold practical implications for librarians and libraries, creating outreach initiatives for first-generation college students.

I look forward to sharing more about the writing journey, discussing pitfalls, and celebrating successes in the coming weeks. Your engagement and comments are welcome as I explore this Ed.D. journey!


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