Women in PhD programs, in particular minority and international women, are especially at risk for drop-out (Castro, Garcia, Cavazos, & Castro, 2011; Haynes et al., 2012). This initial part of a longitudinal trioethnography captures the experiences of three international women in a doctoral program, highlighting the challenges, support systems, and coping mechanisms they engage with in the process of completing their degrees. Discoveries include the identification of “Interpersonal Hardiness” as the potential vehicle which could ensure our success.


Trioethnography, International Students, Minority Students, Interpersonal Hardiness

Author Bio(s)

Eraldine Williams-Shakespeare, B.Ed., M.A., is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction - Instructional Technology. Her research interests include instructional technology in teacher education, collaborative learner interactions in the online environment, online communities of learning, and interactivity in the online environment. She currently works as a Graduate Instructional Assistant with the Florida Centre for Instructional Technology. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Email: ewilliamssha@mail.usf.edu. Contact: 813-215-3760. Address: 18265 Bridle Club Drive, Tampa, FL 33647.

Joyce E. Bronteng, B.Ed., M.Phil., is currently a Ph.D. student in Curriculum and Instruction with emphasis on Early Childhood Education Curriculum and Instruction in the University of South Florida. Her research interests include multivocal studies, bilingual and literacy pedagogies involving young learners, parents and teachers. She is a graduate assistant who teaches language and literacy courses and supervises early childhood preservice teachers at the Early Childhood Department. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Email: jeb7@mail.usf.edu. Contact: 813-362-7137. Address: 14509 Prism Circle, Apt. 306B, Tampa, FL 33613.

Adhwaa Alahmari, Ph.D., is a faculty member at King Khalid University-Abha in the Special Education department. Adhwaa’s interests include learning disability, Response to Intervention (RtI) and evidence-based practices. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to Email: adahmari@kku.edu.sa. Contact: 813-600-7470. Address: 1124 Big Creek Drive, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544.


We acknowledge the support of Dr. Jennifer Wolgemuth, whose guidance helped us tremendously in this effort. We also express eternal gratitude to our families and colleagues who have helped to make the journey thus far, bearable for us.

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