Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Drury University student values UTSA African-American Literature and Cultures Institute

Mykesha Jackson
Mykesha Jackson

Mykesha Jackson

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(Aug. 27, 2013) -- This past June, I was a fellow in the African-American Literature and Cultures Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where I covered black studies materials, participated in graduate school preparation workshops, and interacted with scholars and students from across the country.

The program also afforded me a scholarly excursion to visit New York City. The program encourages students to become professors.

The selection process was intense and entailed writing two short essays about my commitment to diversity and my interest in working with African-American literature, providing two reference letters, and selecting and working with a dedicated mentor through the graduate school application process and the completion of a mentor-directed research project. Out of over 50 applications, I was fortunate to be one of six fellowship recipients. Three of us came from PWIs, or predominantly white institutions, the other three hailing from HBCUs, or historically black colleges or universities.

Initially, I found class discussions to be overwhelming. Not because I'm unaccustomed to challenging coursework and material, but because I was unsure of how to present my creative domain of communication studies to the group. I would constantly think back to my time in classes such as Foundation of Communication Theory, Rhetorical Criticism or Intercultural Communication at Drury and reflect on how to critically analyze artifacts and convey the results of that analysis.

After a while, class discussions became more interesting and fluidly interactive. UTSA professors were impressed by my oral presentation skills, knack for persuasion and knowledge of 20th-century philosopher Kenneth Burke, especially at the undergraduate level. My Drury education had prepared me to engage with some of the best African-American students in the country.

While I am a communication studies major, Drury has nourished my love for learning for the sake of learning and has encouraged me to explore many facets of psychology, religion and history in depths that only a liberal arts institution can offer. While my fellowship has given me a scholarly toolbox, I feel it is my liberal arts education that has given me the true diverse education that will allow me to thrive in an ever-changing environment in the 21st century.

Confidence and intellectualism in the academic and professional essence sum up my fellowship experience.

After Drury, I plan to attend graduate school to eventually earn a Ph.D. in communication, which I will use to teach at the college level -- just like my Drury professors who have given me so much.

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This story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader on Aug. 26, 2013.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.

Sept. 15, 5:30 - 7 p.m.

Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus


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