Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Awarded to SOLES Student Marianne Waldrop by Marine Corps Heritage Foundation

Each academic year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in Virginia awards a single $10,000 dissertation fellowship to a qualified graduate student working on a doctoral dissertation pertinent to Marine Cops history. This year, Marianne Waldrop, a PhD student in leadership studies at the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES), has been selected to receive the General Lemuel C. Shepherd, Jr. Memorial Dissertation Fellowship in support of her thesis on nine woman Marine Corps general officers.

About her being selected for this award, “I am proud, honored and humbled” says Waldrop, “I am honored to contribute to the body of literature of women in the Corps with the financial support of the MCHF.” She plans to use the award money to secure quality transcriptions of the interviews and cover travel costs associated with meeting with each woman in person for the interviews that will occur all over the country.

Waldrop herself is a retired Marine Corps Colonel, who served from 1987-2011. The purpose of her study is to begin to understand what influences women who have assumed leadership positions in organizations, such as the Marine Corps, where women have not traditionally succeeded. She has completed two studies to date. The first focused on one female general in the Marine Corps, an organization that has had only nine in its 238 year history. The second studied two women colonels, also exceptionally rare in the Marine Corps. Waldrop plans to interview the remaining seven living female Marine Corps Generals and possibly other high ranking women Marine officers in order to identify themes that could impact the development of efforts in the future to promote greater emergence of successful women leaders.


Devon Foster
(619) 260-4283


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