Christopher T. James, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Christopher T. James at his Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Jon Wergin, Committee Chair, Dr. Lemuel Watson, Committee Member, Dr. Joshua Aronson, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Jon Wergin, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Lemuel Watson, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Joshua Aronson, Ph.D., Committee Member


Black male collegians, Latinx male collegians, academic success, narrative-driven educational practice, anti-deficit framework, narrative inquiry, reflexive thematic analysis, high-academic performance, leadership, metaverse

Document Type


Publication Date



On the heels of America grappling with various racial and ethnic inequities, this dissertation explored the experiences of Black and Latinx males who graduated with bachelor’s degrees from 4-year institutions. Participants navigated through different environments, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCUs], Hispanic Serving Institutions [HSI], and Predominately White Institutions [PWIs]. The study inquired about topics concerning their unique experiences and how they informed their collegiate academic success. Narrative Inquiry was the basis for 20 qualitative interviews (10 Black and 10 Latinx; interviewed for 60–90 minutes). Participants identified as U.S. citizens and graduated with a cumulative grade point average [GPA] of 3.0 and above. Reflexive Thematic Analysis [RTA] was performed to analyze the data. RTA is a distinguishing element of this study as it integrates the researcher’s positionality, qualitative findings, and feedback from code reviewers (Braun & Clarke, 2021). This study constructed five main themes for Black and Latinx male collegians', ranging from Salient Identities to identifying Catalysts for Academic Success. Key findings of the study unearthed factors contributing to academic success that included factors such as: parental involvement, academic rigor, mentorship, and creating and engaging in spaces of fellowship and belonging. Findings also revealed cultural distinctions between groups are vital to understanding the appropriate academic resources. These distinctions between groups were factors such as: parental citizenship, cultural group sub-cultures (e.g., traditions, food, dance), and language and vernacular. Participants’ salient identities (identities that they are closely associated with—for example, being a scholar or community leader) were at the center of their high achievement. The dissertation concludes with guiding principles meant to assist educators in producing and implementing culturally responsive approaches to support Black and Latinx collegians academically. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA,, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


Christopher T. James

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0001-7708-0553

Dr. Christopher James is currently leading his leadership and performance coaching business which inspires and guides individuals to achieve success. He leverages his prior professional experiences at postsecondary institutions to instruct those how to fully embrace their educational experiences by maintaining high GPAs and taking advantage of internships, study abroad, and extracurricular activities. His passion focuses on aiding minoritized populations in realizing their potential and executing their purpose. Dr. James holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from East Stroudsburg University and a master’s degree from New York University in Applied Psychology and Antioch University in Leadership and Change. He constantly pursues personal and professional development through books, conferences, and podcasts. As a first-generation college student, he has been shown support throughout his doctoral journey by those closest to him. Dr. James is excited to take on the next chapter of his life by growing the number of lives he impacts through his business and community outreach.