Coming to the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, I knew that I would be receiving a high quality educational experience with some of the most brilliant faculty in the business. This is what led me to Penn; knowing I would have an opportunity to work with Marybeth Gasman, Matt Harley, and Laura Perna solidified my decision when applying to Higher Education graduate-level programs. I was accepted to one other peer institution and did not even give the third an opportunity to send a decision notice because I knew once I received the “yes” from Penn; I would be good to go.

After doing more research as an accepted student, I began to unveil the multilayered opportunities Penn had to offer while I complete this one-and-done degree. The first notice I had was from the program manager for the Higher Education division, Dr. Ross Aikins, telling the cohort about summer classes and what we can do to setup our schedule to begin taking classes in either late May (Summer I) or early July (Summer II). I jumped on this opportunity right away and picked up two courses, Ethics and Leadership in Higher Education and Administration of Student Life. They were both great classes to acclimate myself back into academic life as a student, seeing that I had not been in this capacity in almost four years. I am proud of the work I did in my summer courses and believe it added a boost of confidence I needed to persevere until May 2018 graduation.


  • Ethics and Leadership in Higher Education (Penn GSE, Higher Education)
  • Administration of Student Life (Penn GSE, Higher Education)

After choosing to complete two courses in the Summer, I knew this Fall I would have some flexibility towards how heavy or light my schedule would be, considering I only had eight credit units left to complete. For this reason, I decided the heavier route would be my chosen path, meaning I would take on five classes in the Fall and three in the Spring of 2018. I wanted to be in the trenches with my cohort and press through the trials of being in five classes with them, simply for the experience. Additionally, my focus on minority serving institutions led me to merge this discipline with Penn’s Department of Africana Studies’ graduate certificate program which requires me to pass five independent electives or cross-listed courses in the Graduate School of Education. Attaching Africana Studies has tested my understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of higher education as it has been deposited within the African diaspora; having this cognitive lens fosters a practical bridge to closing the multicultural educational access gap.


  • Faculty and Academic Governance (Penn GSE, Higher Education)
  • Professional Development in Higher Education (Penn GSE, Higher Education)
  • Proseminar in Africana Studies (Penn School of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies)
  • Colorism and African-Americans (Penn GSE, Human Development and Quantitative Methods)
  • Psychoeducational Interactions with Black Males (Penn GSE, Human Development and Quantitative Methods)

For the Spring 2018 semester, I have decided to scale back, but dive deeper in practice to finish out my last three classes. I will be completing my Africana Studies certificate program requirements by instituting two independent study courses in addition to the mandated year-long course, Proseminar in Africana Studies. The two independent studies will be housed through the Higher Education Division at Penn GSE, but will cross-listed with the School of Arts and Sciences. For my two independent studies courses, I plan to study Cheyney University,our nation’s first Historically Black College, by assisting and advising their college president, Dr. Aaron Walton, on financial retrenchment, enrollment management practices, and organizational/cultural change. While advising, I will be learning under the expertise of Penn GSE Minority Serving Institutions expert, Marybeth Gasman. This is a milestone opportunity for my academic and professional career. I plan to learn a ton this year!


  • Proseminar in Africana Studies (Penn School of Arts and Sciences, Africana Studies)
  • Independent Study I –Cheyney University [Internal] (Penn GSE, Higher Education)
  • Independent Study II –Cheyney University [External] (Penn GSE, Higher Education)