When searching for an educational psychology doctoral program, I was very intentional on finding a program that captured the ideas that I value. FSU’s Learning and Cognition Program focuses on social justice and offers a unique program that prepares you to become a college professor and competent researcher.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
Prior to returning to graduate school, I taught second and fifth grade in Title I Schools in Hillsborough and Leon Counties in the State of Florida. My experience as a teacher showed me the many systematic inequalities that plague our school system. As a result, I attended Florida A & M University and received a master’s in Community Psychology to further understand the role of community in educating our youth. My motivation to pursue a doctoral degree stems from my desire to make systemic and policy changes that positively impact the education of our youth.
Importance and impact of research
My research focuses on the impact of cultural worldview on school curriculum and assessments. This topic is important because U.S. public schools are becoming more diverse and it is imperative to student success that what and how diverse populations are learning reflects these groups and their cultures.
Advice for prospective graduate students
Take the time to decide what you are interested in researching because you will be reading and writing about that topic A LOT! I also encourage anyone to get work and research experience prior to applying to graduate school to ensure you are a competitive applicant.
Accomplishments during graduate career
I have accomplished several things that I am proud of throughout my matriculation in graduate school. The main two are being a PURPOSE Fellow and McKnight Doctoral Fellow.
My long-term career goals are to teach at the collegiate level and conduct research that is influential in changing policy within our school systems. I want my career to embody the Ubuntu philosophy “I am because we are” and inspire and support the next generation of social justice researchers.