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Success Strategies

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

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I always say:

“Every student should have a fair chance to achieve their educational goals without unnecessary institutional burdens or struggle because of where they came from.”

I know first-hand …

Like many African-American males who are the first in their family to attend college, my quest for a higher education wasn’t the easiest.

My mother died when I was only 11, and my father struggled with drug and alcohol addiction after many tours in the Army. This left my 23-year-old sister as my sole support. We struggled, often moving from apartment to apartment after being evicted and not having money for food, electricity, or extras that many of my peers had. Thankfully, she put me in a great public school where I excelled.

Fortunately, my high school principal facilitated my entry into the Educational Opportunity Program at Rutgers, The State University, which offered the academic and social support that assisted my retention.

Unfortunately, I succumbed to poor peer influences that almost led to incarceration, but again mentors, family, and my “fictive kin” or “like family” -- a cornerstone of my research -- supported me.

Today, because of my fictive kin experiences and values, I am a three-time graduate with a Doctorate in Education. My research examines family, community, and institutional supports that help lower-income and first-generation students aspire to and complete college.

I continuously work to ensure that students have a fighting chance to persevere, regardless of their adversities or life circumstances.

My values are reflected in my life’s journey, and they are rooted in perseverance over adversity.

My values also help me to support the next generation of students who need assistance preparing for, accessing, and navigating higher education.

I continuously work to help other leaders to develop professionally and embrace change.

“It is essential that faculty and staff develop an “equity mindset” toward student success -- This is what unifies the university community, and it supports the achievements of those we are responsible for educating.”

How I can help you ...

Through The Whitney Factor, which has equity as its cornerstone, I deliver executive and leadership coaching, advising and plans that facilitate student’s academic success, organizational change, and the enhancement of executive leadership. I can also provide assessments, organizational reviews, workshops and training as well as assist with grant writing and or technical assistance for funding and grant opportunities.

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