The Power of Prairie View
THE BEAUTY AND IMPORTANCE OF PRAIRIE VIEW A&M UNIVERSITY (PVAMU) IS THE INSTITUTION’S ABILITY TO MEET STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE AND HELP THEM GO PLACES THEY HAVE NEVER DREAMED. MY LIFE AND CAREER ARE A TESTIMONY TO ITS POWER.
Nearly 30 years ago, I arrived on Prairie View’s campus as a curious student with good high school grades but a limited imagination about what I could be. I grew up in southeast Houston, the youngest of six kids to a single mother who worked very hard to make sure that we would get college degrees.
Professors and administrators at PVAMU saw my raw talent, and through coursework and positive mentorship, I learned new ways of thinking, developed critical thinking and life skills, and expanded my landscape of possibilities. In the past three decades, I have gone on to achieve many more things, but the foundation I received on this campus has been integral to my success.
This year, I returned to PVAMU as an endowed professor of Political Science to work with students who remind me of myself all those years ago and work alongside faculty who are charged with educating them. After I left PVAMU, I received a doctorate in Political Science at The Ohio State University and most recently was an associate professor of Africana Studies and Political Science at Rutgers University.
As a part of my new position, I will also be developing an African American Studies program. This program will infuse African American Studies content into the general curriculum, create a course of study for students interested in the major, and develop and expand our existing archives so that PVAMU will be a destination for scholars researching the black experience in Texas and the South and Southwest. This will increase our students’ awareness of African American history and culture as an academic discipline to be rigorously studied and a source of affirmation and encouragement as they make their way after graduation.
Students with fewer financial hardships and who are less encumbered by debt are freer to pursue their dreams after graduation. They can take on jobs and pursue graduate careers that engage their passion and purpose and not merely pay off loans. Each year, scholarships, fees and the cost of books increase, but so does the level of demand from our students.
With your assistance, we can help more of our students turn their talents and aspirations into brighter futures.
Thank you for your help and support.