"Black woman representation in academia matters"
Degree Program: Education Policy and Evaluation
Award: McKnight Doctoral Fellowship (2021)
Video Credit: Nia Alexander
I completed my master's degree at FSU and was able to build a great support system during that time. Since I am comfortable with the faculty and staff in the College of Education Department of Education Leadership and Policy Studies, I felt FSU would be the right fit for me as I pursue my doctoral degree.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
Earning my doctoral degree has always been a personal goal--I will be the first person in my family to receive a PhD. I would like to serve as a faculty member in academia in the future and as a representation for Black students pursuing advanced degrees. My former professors recognized my potential and also encouraged me to pursue a PhD program.
Importance and impact of research
My research focuses on the Black student experience, specifically Black women and Black queer students. Their experiences are often overlooked or clumped together with other groups. My work aims to spotlight these experiences to create a more equitable, comfortable, and safe environment in academia for these scholars.
Advice for prospective graduate students
My advice to anyone considering graduate school is to do your research and ask questions. Visit the school's social media sites, see what the students are saying, look at your potential programs' course offerings. Don't just choose an institution because it is highly rated, choose a school (and city) that fits you, your needs, and your interests. I would also encourage students to reach out to faculty members and current students to ask them about their experiences.
Accomplishments during graduate career
I am honored to have the opportunity to be a fellow during both stages of my graduate school career. Most recently as a doctoral student, I was awarded the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, and during my master's program, I was an inaugural PURPOSE Fellow. Additionally, I participated in the College of Education Student Leadership Council as president and presented at the 2019 Federal Educational Research Association Conference.
I am open to exploring my options both in and outside of academia. I am learning more about what it means to be a faculty member at a university as I progress in my doctoral program, but I am also interested in education consulting in K-20 and creating organizational equity training curriculum. No matter where my career leads me, my goal will always be to create more equitable opportunities and environments for minoritized populations.