Shani Shillingford graduated with a PhD in Educational Psychology and a minor in Applied Statistics and Research Methods from the University of Northern Colorado December 9, 2011.
Dr. Shilingford is the daughter of Bellot and Euella Shillingford of Morne Rachette and attributes her success to her parents for being forward thinkers and advocating education throughout her childhood.
Dr. Shillingford attended the Coulibistrie Primary School and the St Joseph Secondary School, now the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School, where the foundation for her success was established. In August 2001, Dr. Shillingford enrolled at Midwestern State University (MSU) to pursue a degree in Psychology.
She graduated in May 2004 with a Bachelors’ of Science degree in Psychology and English, and continued at MSU to obtain a Master of Arts in Clinical and Counseling Psychology in December 2006.
After working for a year at a mental health care facility in the U.S, she returned to the Caribbean and took up a position as a Child Psychologist before returning to the US to continue her studies. Dr. Shillingford was awarded a two-year scholarship from the OAS to pursue a doctoral degree, which normally takes three to four years to complete. Filled with determination to utilize her scholarship, she completed her degree within that time frame.
During her studies, Dr. Shillingford made significant contributions to her field of study, presenting her research at conferences and has an article in press; while two others are currently under review. Her dissertation focused on teachers’ knowledge of emotional and behavioral disorders.
Dr. Shillingford is thankful to her parents, family, friends and community, who have supported her through the years. She hopes that the youth will be encouraged by her success and that they will believe that it doesn’t matter where you come from, but with hard work, determination, faith, and a strong support system, you can fulfill your dreams.
Dr. Shillingford is looking forward to utilize her skills and experience to make a positive contribution to her beloved Dominica.