FlashPitch Competition Third Place Award: CJ Venable

Meet CJ Venable, the Third Place FlashPitch Competition Award recipient. CJ is a Foundations, Leadership and Administration Ph.D. student majoring in Cultural Foundations.

Please give a short overview of your research:

I use qualitative and humanities-oriented methods to explore white emotionality in higher education/student affairs through a decolonial lens. I am also interested in the aims of academic advising and the experiences of trans people in higher education.

What made you choose to pursue your graduate degree here at Kent State?

I chose Cultural Foundations because the program allowed me to explore critical, interpretive, and normative perspectives on education, including higher education/student affairs. I began my doctoral studies while working at Kent State, but feel very lucky to have found Cultural Foundations (which I didn't know existed as a field of study beforehand).

What do you enjoy most about attending Kent State for graduate school?

I have appreciated the resources to support graduate students, especially the Dissertation Boot Camps, as well as the community of scholars within my department. Cultural Foundations students have an exceedingly wide variety of backgrounds and academic training, but we are brought together to examine intractable problems in education today. This makes the classroom a very dynamic and engaging space, especially under the guidance of incredible faculty members like Dr. Natasha Levinson, Dr. Tricia Niesz, and Dr. Amy Damrow.

What are your future goals?

After completing my dissertation, I plan to continue to explore foundational questions about higher education, either through a faculty role or as an independent scholar-practitioner while I continue my administrative career.

What does this award mean to you and how will it aid you?

The FlashPitch award is a reminder that my work is important and needs champions to share the aims and methods of racial justice and decolonization in ways that are engaging and easy to understand. This is also a great push for me to continue forward as I begin to approach the end of my dissertation process, an encouragement to keep going and finish so that my work can be shared with a wider audience.

POSTED: Monday, May 2, 2022 10:27 AM
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2024 03:27 PM