Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Tatyana Ramirez, Lenny Jennings


The purpose of the present study was to examine lived experiences of this researcher who will be a future psychologist, a first-generation student, and a Tibetan immigrant, and to explore how her multiple identities impacted her journey through graduate psychology program. Autoethnography is an approach that allows to systematically describe personal experience as cultural experience (Ellis et al., 2011). It gives voices to those who are oppressed, honors their stories, and empowers the researcher to understand self and others (Chang, 2008). An autoethnographic narrative was composed and analyzed using Narrative Oriented Inquiry (NOI) approach (Hiles et al., 2017). Narrative Oriented Inquiry entails two levels of analyses: analysis of content of what is written (fabula) and analysis of process of how it is written (sjuzet) (Hiles et al., 2017). The following thematic categories emerged: historical trauma as inseparable part of Tibetan experience, personal and cultural values as a Tibetan American, awareness of self as an ethnic and cultural being, navigating first generation student and immigrant experiences, and surviving White institutions as an ethnic minority graduate student. The current study provides transparent and emotional understanding of the constant internal battle of learning to embrace the intersectionality of the researcher’s identities as an ethnic minority, a first-generation college student, and a Tibetan immigrant. The hope is that this dissertation will bring to light the issues affecting ethnic minority individuals and graduate students and validate the experiences of those struggling and suffering in isolation.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.