A newly minted Ph.D. credits her West Philly mother for her success

Philadelphia Inquirer profiles faculty member Debonair Oates-Primus --Debonair Oates-Primus always knew she was expected to succeed. She was born to a teenage single mother and grew up in a tough West Philadelphia neighborhood, but those things were motivators, not hindrances. Oates-Primus had a sharp mind and a willingness to work hard — and that single mother behind her, demanding A’s and providing the kind of support that made everything possible. So when Oates-Primus crossed a stage at Indiana University of Pennsylvania this month, earning her doctorate in English literature and criticism and delivering a graduation speech to thunderous applause.