Alumni Stories (Friends of DPAS) | Department of Pan-African Studies | Kent State University

Alumni Stories (Friends of DPAS)

Kevin Conwell, Cleveland City Councilman, reflects on his experience at DPAS.

Where are they now?

Victoria Jackson, '12 AmeriCorps, College Now Greater Cleveland

Victoria Jackson

Victoria Jackson graduated from Kent State University in May 2012. She majored in Pan-African Studies and minored in International Business and Political Science. Victoria is currently serving her second year in AmeriCorps with College Now Greater Cleveland, a college access non-profit. In the future, she hopes to earn a Master of Public Administration. Victoria is a proud PAS alumna; she looks forward to working with the department and the exciting academic changes that are taking place within the department.

Robin A. Wright, B.A. in PAS '12

Robin A. Wright

Currently is a Master of Public Administration candidate and Graduate Fellow in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University; Policy Intern for the Ohio Department of Education; Summer Research Assistant at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.

Choosing to obtain a bachelor's degree in Pan-African Studies from Kent State University is one of the best academic and professional decisions I have ever made. Pan-African Studies equipped me with the knowledge and tools necessary for my personal and professional development by challenging me to think critically about the historical and contemporary "systems" and "institutions" that continue to shape our world. Through Pan-African Studies not only did I develop a deeper sense of self and cultural pride, but I also studied the various strategies and frameworks for community engagement and development. Since graduating, I have continued to utilize those skills in my graduate study as well as in my career.

Like all recent graduates, solidifying gainful and meaningful employment was among the difficulties faced after completing my degree; however, my difficulties were mitigated by the strong mentorship and support I received from faculty in the Department of Pan-African Studies who constantly encouraged me to cultivate my professional skills throughout undergrad. They encouraged and supported me as I engaged in internships and opportunities that allowed me to utilize the knowledge and skills accumulated in the classroom. There are a plethora of organizations and institutes doing very important work around issues related to the things I learned in Pan-African studies and the faculty in the department helped to connect me to those opportunities. Furthermore, I received amazing recommendations that enabled me to obtain a full-ride fellowship to graduate school. Needless to say, I owe much of my success to my wonderful experience in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University.