Jesse Ford

Jesse Ford - FSU Doctoral Student (Higher Education) - Digital Narratives | English | Digital Narratives | July 1, 2019

Why did you choose to attend FSU to pursue a graduate degree?
Honestly, I was working a full-time job at the University of Miami prior to coming here. I was having a great experience when realized I was ready to do something else. I applied to a number of institutions, but when I met my advisor, Tamara Bertrand Jones, I knew FSU was where I needed to be. Very rarely do you meet someone that is genuinely interested in people.  She is amazing and has been interested in my growth and success since the day I met her. That’s what it really came down to for me. I was looking for an environment where I could learn, grow, and develop; I knew FSU would help me do that.

What motivated you to pursue a graduate degree?
My motivation, passion, and drive for pursuing this PhD. is to strengthen my ability to invest in other people.  My work before starting this program was to help other people see their potential. After completing this process, I want to continue that work and motivate others to pursue education.

Describe the importance of your research and work. Why should anyone care about the work you are doing?
My research primarily explores the experiences of black males in graduate education.  More specifically, I am interested in how these navigate racially primed environments and how these environments impact their perception of self, mental health, and development. Black men in this country are pursing education at lower levels than every other racial and ethnic group in higher education. We need bring more black males in to do this research, teach, and facilitate student growth as we move towards a more global society.

Briefly describe your career aspirations.
My career aspirations are to complete amazing research that allows me to create more opportunities for black males to pursue higher education. I have a strong interest in being a faculty member at a college or university, however, my background is in college administration so I would also be happy exploring that avenue after graduation.

Advice for anyone considering graduate school.
Find and discover your passion. Once you do, graduate school will become something you love.  Think of this as a time to invest in yourself so you can find ways to develop and create sustainable change for our global society.

Accomplishments during your graduate career that you are proud of.
I have presented amazing research on the experience of Black men and women, nationally and internationally. Earlier this year, my peers, classmates, and colleagues nominated me for the Florida State University Hardee Center & Higher Education Program Peer Leadership Award.  I was humbled to receive such an honor.

GradImpact Profile