Call for Participants: Study of Women Faculty Diagnosed with Breast Cancer


Sara Mata is a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University conducting her dissertation research on the experiences of women faculty in tenure track positions who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The research will examine women faculty members’ perceptions and experiences of dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment while balancing personal and professional roles and responsibilities in academia. The insights gained from this study will help to inform institutions of higher education about policies and procedures pertaining to tenure and illness.


You are eligible to participate in this study if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and were in a tenure track position when diagnosed. Participation is completely voluntary and the information provided will be held strictly confidential. Participants may withdraw from the study at any point without penalty.

What Participants Will Do:

Participants will log on to a confidential website to share their thoughts in an on-line journaling exercise. There are four pages in total to complete. Each page gives an open-ended topic to prompt reflection and response. If desired, participants will also have an opportunity to submit a photo or image as a visual expression of their responses.


Participants who sign up for the study will have access to the confidential website for an 8-week period. During this time, they will be able to respond to each topic at a time of their convenience. The researcher hoped to complete data collection by December 2013.


To protect confidentiality, participants will not need to provide their names at any time during the research. Participants will create a unique identification number used only to track submissions throughout the study.

To Enroll in the Study:

If you are willing to share your experience and participate in this research, please email Sara Mata at

Additional Contact Information:

You may contact any of the researchers at the following addresses and phone numbers, should you desire to discuss your participation in the study and/or request information about the results of the study: Sara Mata, M.S., Lucy Bailey, Ph.D., 215 Willard Hall, Educational Studies, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-9194. If you have questions about your rights as a research volunteer, you may contact Dr. Shelia Kennison, IRB Chair, 219 Cordell North, Stillwater, OK 74078, 405-744-3377 or

This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at Ohio State University.

saramataphotoSara Mata currently is a Grant Coordinator in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Her position bridges the university with several Native American tribes in Oklahoma to promote community based health initiatives. Sara holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Juvenile Corrections and Treatment, a Masters in Community Counseling, a Masters in Sociology and is currently completing her PhD in Social Foundations at OSU. Active in several organizations, Ms. Mata holds national and regional leadership positions with NASPA (National Association of Student Personal Administrators) and is a board member for Pawnee/Osage CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate). She previously worked as an outreach counselor in north-central Oklahoma in many capacities with schools, families, and adolescents. Professionally, academically and personally, Sara strives to use her experience and knowledge to promote education at every level, encourage social awareness, and advocate on behalf of the community.

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