Work-Life Management Challenges for Graduate Students of Color at an HBCU During a Pandemic


  • Sharlene Allen- Milton Morgan State University, USA
  • Nia Caldwell Morgan State University, USA
  • Deval Popat Morgan State University, USA
  • Tavril Prout Morgan State University, USA
  • Cherése Godwin Temple University, USA



Work life balance; Work life management; graduate students; mental health; higher education


This article expands the student work-life discussion to include nontraditional graduate students of color. The Afrocentric theory is used as a conceptual framework. A collaborative inquiry approach was used to capture the reflections and experiences of three urban graduate students of color matriculating at a historically Black university during a pandemic. Six themes emerged: COVID-19, ties that bind, financial responsibility, linked fate, mental and physical well-being, and student work-life management. The article concludes with implications for education, research, and policy.



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Author Biographies

Sharlene Allen- Milton, Morgan State University, USA

SHARLENE ALLEN-MILTON, EdD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work with research interests in health and well-being, specifically work-life management for professional women and students of color as well as remote social work. Email: 

Nia Caldwell, Morgan State University, USA

NIA CALDWELLl, MSW, is a Licensed Master Level Social Worker that is a passionate advocate for mental health and community empowerment. Email: 

Deval Popat, Morgan State University, USA

DEVAL POPAT, M.S., is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences, and a Master's level student in the School of Social Work at Morgan State University. Email:

Tavril Prout, Morgan State University, USA

TAVRIL PROUT, BSW, is a Master's level student in the School of Social Work at Morgan State University. Email: 

Cherése Godwin, Temple University, USA

CHERESE GODWIN, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Temple University with research interests in social entrepreneurship and social policy. Email: 


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