Calandra Tate, Ph.D.


Dr. Tate on SisterMentors:

There is a saying that some things may not happen when you want them to but that they
come right on time. As contradictory as this may seem, it happens to be true much more
often than not. That was certainly the case for my happenstance introduction to
SisterMentors.

In the fall of 2006, I was fortunate enough to be recommended to this wonderful program.
As a scientist, I was at first hesitant to join such a general “support group.” However, I was
also a seven year Ph.D. student and I was ready to try ANYTHING that could assist me in
just getting my graduate experience over with! SisterMentors far exceeded anything I
could have imagined.

The cohort of women that surrounded me and their support and sharing proved to be
critical to my success in completing my Ph.D. I remember that it wasn’t until I went on my
first SisterMentors retreat in the spring of 2007 that I really started to make progress. The
serene atmosphere in the secluded woods, hearing nothing but intellectual discussions and
positive thoughts, certainly gave my stalled (but, what seemed to be going dead)
dissertation battery a much-needed jolt of energy. From then on, my work sessions
became much more focused and productive. I actually started to see positive change in my
progress and felt a genuine sense of readiness as the dissertation submission and defense
dates got closer and closer.

And finally, the time I’d only day-dreamed about had arrived and was no longer a glimmer
of light hiding behind a long and dark tunnel. I successfully defended my dissertation in
Applied Mathematics at the University of Maryland College Park on November 19, 2007—
with some SisterMentors women present! So although I feel I cannot possibly express all of
the things—intrinsic and extrinsic—that SisterMentors provided during my dissertation
process, I can surely say that it did come right on time.
Hence, I would be remiss if I did not thank my talented sisters of SisterMentors and
especially my accountability partner—the soon-to-be Dr. Tisha Lewis—for all that they
have done and continue to do.