First Advisor

Lahman, Maria K. E.

First Committee Member

Guzman, Tobias

Second Committee Member

Ortis, LD

Third Committee Member

Pendleton-Helm, Heather

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Document Type


Date Created



College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Leadership Policy and Development: Higher Education and P-12 Education, LPD Student Work


The purpose of this narrative inquiry was to understand Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) practitioners’ experiences of compassion fatigue and how their own identities impacted those experiences. The following research questions guided the study in order to understand better why this was occurring. Q1 What are the experiences of diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners with compassion fatigue? Q2 How do diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners’ identities influence their interpretations and experiences of compassion fatigue? Participants were selected from DEI practitioners at predominately White public institutions. Seven participants were interviewed to create 14 hours of narrative data collectively. Findings from the data generated the following themes. • Compassion fatigue exists for DEI Practitioners. • Compassion fatigue that is uniquely identity-based. • Mental and physical health impacts. • Hope (The power of the Helper’s Heart). The implications of these themes are directly applicable to university presidents, higher education and student affairs leadership graduate programs, and DEI practitioners.

Abstract Format



108 pages

Local Identifiers


Rights Statement

Copyright is held by the author.