M.S. in Organizational Leadership
Why did you choose graduate school at IUPUI?
I chose graduate school at IUPUI because the university offered a welcoming and supportive environment. The faculty and staff really believe in the students, specifically for me, the members of the Organizational Leadership department within the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. From my first meeting with Elizabeth Wager during undergrad, I knew it was the program for me. Transitioning to my graduate advisor Brandon Sorge, the warm feeling of faith and support transcended
What has been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My favorite academic accomplishment so far is being invited to collaborate on a scholarly article with Dr. Katrenia Hughes, based on my performance in her class. Publishing has been something that I have wanted to do for a very long time, so I am excited for the opportunity to do it with a member of the Organizational Leadership department.
What do you enjoy most about life in Indianapolis?
My favorite part about living in Indianapolis is that it offers me something new every day. This includes but not limited to sports, the arts, culture, and more. I enjoy trying new foods and entertainment options with my friends and family.
Please provide some details about your work/research as a graduate student and/or any activities you are involved in.
I currently work as the graduate assistant for the Norman Brown Diversity and Leadership Scholars Program housed in the Multicultural Center here at IUPUI. I also work as a Leadership Consultant for the non-profit Children’s Defense Fund Indianapolis Freedom School Partnership. As a graduate assistant, I work in conjunction with the Program Director, Danielle McMillian, to recruit, retain, and prepare students who are committed to social justice. We do this by encouraging students to attain academic success, engage in leadership and civic activities, and prepare for a meaningful post-baccalaureate experience. The primary goal is to provide students with opportunities for leadership development and promote diversity and cross-cultural engagement. As a leadership consultant I am responsible for the formulation and implementation of the strategic efforts and direct operation for six full-time staff, forty families, fifty K-12 students, and numerous community partners. In this role I am dedicated to delivering equity by serving and developing underserved communities.
My research is centered on the black male experience in education. My early interest focused mostly on black males attending predominately white collegiate institutions. My work with the Children’s Defense Fund and programs like Upward Bound at IUPUI, has shifted my lens to a more holistic approach, that being K-12 through college. This is a population that has been marginalized, under supported and underrepresented in the education system. My work and research is to combat the narrative and reality of the “school-to-prison-pipeline,” with one that is more fitting like “preschool-to-Ph.D.” Being a part of different committees and organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., help me to achieve these aspirations. Coupled with the support of IUPUI and the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology Organizational Leadership department, I know that I can make a difference and Fulfill the Promise!