Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, 2012
I found an academic home in the Cultural Studies in Education program of the department of C&I at UT. The faculty offered outstanding support and helped to craft a fitting plan of study that assisted me in developing knowledge of content and research methodology that supported my interests. I found a wealth of human resources with regard to the range of faculty perspectives and experiences throughout the department and college. Although I had designated chair/advisor, I truly felt that I had several positive faculty mentors that took an interest in my success. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my doctoral studies was that I was often encouraged to ask questions about any and everything. I truly appreciated that such a well-respected program at such an elite-level university with tremendous scholars was committed to buildings the personal relationships that led to success.
I was initially attracted to the department of Curriculum & Instruction at UT Austin because I shared similar research interests with some the faculty. Before entering my doctoral program at UT-Austin, I was working to complete a master’s thesis project while working as a graduate assistant coach for the athletic department of Purdue University. Through that project I was drawn to an interesting body of work of one of the faculty members, Dr. Louis Harrison, in UT’s department of C&I. It was quite evident to me through our correspondence that Dr. Harrison was not only interested in the direction for which I wanted to pursue research, but equally interested in nurturing me to become a competent and productive scholar. I also wanted to be connected to the world-class reputation of UT. The UT atmosphere is energizing and positively infectious. UT just felt like a place that inspires success. And I wanted to be apart of it all!
Life After UT
After completing my doctoral degree, I accepted a tenure-track position as an Assistant Professor of Student Affairs in the College of Education at Kansas State University. I soon left Kansas State for a great opportunity at Colorado State University where I currently serve in a dual role as senior associate athletic director in the Department of Athletics and as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at CSU. As an athletic administrator, I’m involved as a member of the senior leadership of the athletics department and I have oversight responsibility of all diversity and inclusion efforts within athletics. As a faculty member, my pedagogical and research interests focus on the intersections of race, sport culture and education.
Advice for Students
The graduate school process can be challenging. I believe that it can be easy to retreat to our individual silos with an illusion that one can dodge particular challenges and just get through the process on their own. But you will miss out on the rich experience that graduate school has to offer by not engaging the many resources that will surround you at The University of Texas at Austin. So my advice to all current students and any prospective students is – Be brave, ask a lot of questions, and engage the faculty at every step along the way. Always keep faculty abreast of your research interests so that they can help to thoughtfully develop your interests and courses in meaningful ways that are productive to your goals.