Welcome Jacqulyn Dudasko, EdD
Just after the world began lockdown, Jacqulyn Dudasko earned her Doctorate in Education (EdD) in Interdisciplinary Leadership from Creighton University, in Omaha, Nebraska. On April 3rd, with 48 people in virtual attendance, she defended her dissertation via Zoom. Her dissertation is titled: Information Seeking Among Women Who Are Homeless and Pregnant: A Phenomenological Exploration.
Jacqulyn says, “Bringing these aspects of my professional and life work together, I developed dissertation research that explored how women who are homeless and pregnant search for and interact with health and safety information. This research revealed their lived experience and gave voice to the challenges they face and overcome.”
Thanks to the voice of the women she studied, Jacqulyn brings to TLC a commitment to develop a professional training curriculum for leaders and volunteers in organizations seeking to serve women who are homeless and pregnant. Such a program enlightens leaders and individuals serving these women through crisis pregnancy centers and social services. The goal of the program is to move services developed for these women from one based on a perceived understanding to a researched-based model that uses the actual experiences of the women. The women’s voices provide direction for the improvement of services.
Listening to women who were homeless and pregnant raised my awareness and allowed me to eliminate perceptions that could have limited their ability to receive the help they needed. The voice of the women informs leaders and allows them to move away from perceived ideas in developing organizational policy. There has been little research about this demographic and their lived experiences associated with how they search for information.
Jacqulyn is a native of Kentucky, moving to Dallas after accepting a job at Texas Instruments. Not knowing anyone in the area, she began volunteering in the community, mentoring, and creating policy supporting young women experiencing a crisis pregnancy.
Jacqulyn married the man of her dreams, David Dudasko, and swiftly started a family. In a few quick years, our family grew to include three sons, Peter, Andrew, and John. She chose to step away from her high-tech career and be a stay-at-home mom.
While she could not mentor women with young ones in tow, she maintained her volunteer connections, continued as a board member, and volunteered in ways that could include her children. Jacqulyn shared, “We did everything from organizing and straightening clothes closets, delivering diapers and formula, to providing a meal to a mother and her new baby.” Her family also volunteered together at a Catholic maternity shelter in Dallas’ Oak Cliff neighborhood. It was through this shelter and her ongoing volunteer activity that she began her relationship with and love for the women who were homeless and pregnant and gained respect for their journeys through life.
Article excerpted and used with permission by Jacqulyn Dudasko, EdD, originally featured in Hackberry Creek News, a Hackberry Creek resident news magazine.