Social Work



Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Type of Paper/Work

Banded Dissertation


Catherine Marrs Fuschel


This banded dissertation explores the relationship between identity and role experience for faculty of color in social work education. The purpose of this three-product dissertation is to investigate phenomena, which subjugates these faculty and impedes their relational connections. The study of relational health, that is, the condition of relationships and its psychosocial and professional impact for faculty of color exposes external factors which compromise relational confidence and impact role performance. Relational-Cultural theory (RCT) and intersectionality theory are combined as an integrated theoretical framework to understand interactions within the context of relationships. The first product of this banded dissertation is a conceptual paper titled, “When Your Faculty Member is a Person of Color: Relational Cultural Considerations for Social Work Programs.” Through a comprehensive literature review, this paper explores personal, historical, and professional experiences uniquely faced by people of color in the United States. Relational cultural considerations are presented for social work programs.

The second product is a qualitative research study titled, “Exploring the relationship between racial and ethnic identity and role experience for faculty of color in social work education.” The purpose of the study was to explore the relational cultural concepts of connection and disconnection for these faculty and the impact on role experience. Faculty of color at CSWE schools of social work recalled relational experiences with students, colleagues and within institutions. Data were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings suggest there are residual effects of disconnection that are historical, psychological, and relational. Bias, white supremacy, mistrust and communication are significant contributors to relational reality for faculty of color.

The third product of this banded dissertation is a workshop titled, "Identity Matters: Exploring Relational Health with Faculty of Color." The objectives of the workshop were to discuss relational health as a concept of well-being, identify growth fostering and oppressive relational factors, and explore the potential impact on self and perceived identity as contributors to well-being. This workshop was presented at the National Association of Social Workers PA chapter Annual conference on October 26, 2020

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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Social Work Commons