Joshua Burns

Joshua Burns headshot

”Continued learning, growth, and holistic development.”

College: Education, Health, and Human Sciences
Degree Program: Higher Education
Degree: Master's

Why FSU?

I chose FSU to pursue a graduate degree due to the University's strong and committed support for graduate student experience. I knew there would be ways to engage with transformative educational research, given FSU's status as an R1 institution. With the Higher Education program specifically, there is a long history of scholarship, faculty support, dedication to professional development, and practitioner preparation.

Motivation to pursue a graduate degree

My motivation for pursuing a graduate degree was continued learning and engagement in higher education. As an undergraduate student, I had only begun to understand what this field entailed, so my goals were to get a graduate assistantship and get involved in research. As a first-generation student, I was and continue to be intrinsically motivated to continue making myself and my family proud.

Importance and/or impact of research and work

The research I am engaging with is vital due to the growing scholarship on first-generation and lower-income student experiences in higher education. At the institutional level, FSU continues to expand its services for these student populations, so hearing from current students will inform areas of challenges and successes. In my graduate assistantship at the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement (CRE), I impact the engagement of FSU's undergraduate students with research. As a result, these students understand how research connects to their career and academic aspirations.

Career aspirations

I want to serve as a scholar-practitioner in higher education and student affairs. I want to be an administrator, teacher, facilitator, and researcher in higher education spaces and functional areas.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school

Choose a program and institution that aligns with and promotes your goals, values, identities, and background. Also, do your research on the program by looking at the website, having conversations with current students, and exploring what program alumni have been doing post-graduation.

Accomplishments during graduate career

The accomplishments I am most proud of include Scholar in the Partners United for Research Pathways Oriented to Social Justice in Education (PURPOSE) Program (2023); Poster presenter at the 2023 SACSA conference and 2023 PURPOSE poster presentation conference; 2024 CEHHS Research Showcase Accepted for publication in the New Directions for Student Leadership, 182 Issue Deputy Speaker for Finance in the Congress of Graduate Students (COGS). Additionally, I am a finalist for the 2024 FSU Master's in Four Competition! I am also a recipient of the Mark DeGraff & Lula Hamilton DeGraff Research Loan Scholarship Fund Recipient and the Southern Association for College Student Affairs (SACSA) Research Grant. 

Hobbies and interests outside of school

My hobbies include listening to and collecting music, reading, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.