African American Studies Student Ambassador
An involved and caring student, Je’Von – a transfer student from East Mississippi Community College – is a natural leader who received the Emerging Leader Award from the UM Black Student Union and attended the Men of Color National Summit last Spring. He serves as the UM ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation, a national organization that supports leadership development and social justice initiatives on campuses across the country. Je’Von works part-time at the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement as a peer coach and mentor. In his “free time,” you can find him at the UM Athletics Department, creating social media content to spread the word about UM teams.
Why did you decide to major in African American Studies?
I wanted to learn more about my heritage and the struggles that African American people have faced. By studying AAS, I feel that I’ll be better equipped to educate children of color on issues that our ancestors faced. This will allow me the opportunity to expose my students to parts of history that I wasn’t aware of growing up.
Why should someone decide to study AAS at the University of Mississippi?
UM has a great department with dedicated professors. They have helped me gain knowledge and an understanding of the past and present situation of African-descended people in the United States. This major will prepare you to critically examine, explore, and analyze the unique experiences of African-descended people. Post-graduation, people with a degree in AAS go on to become teachers, lawyers, and doctors just to name jobs a few you can obtain with a degree in this major.
What’s a memorable school-related activity you’ve done?
I loved traveling with the Luckyday Residential College to Memphis to catch a Grizzlies game. It was a great mid-semester getaway, where I could bond with administrators and other residents of the college.
After providing students with a quality education as a teacher and then a principal of a school for several years, I plan to pursue my ultimate career goal of becoming a transformational school superintendent.
Have you had an experience at UM that made you feel empowered or gave you a leadership opportunity?
UM has provided me with leadership skills that I will be able to apply to my career after I graduate. I’m the UM ambassador for a national organization, the Andrew Goodman Foundation; president of the Luckday Residential College Community Council; director of intercampus relations for the Black Student Union; and I’m a community assistant in UM student housing. I spend a lot of time speaking with students because I always make time for them when they need to talk.
Any particular support or encouragement you have received from a professor?
My AAS professor, Dr. Owen Hyman, has been a great mentor. Through his effective leadership and guidance in an introductory AAS class, I have a great foundation as an AAS major that will aid me in all of the classes to follow. He’s also been there to encourage me and support me.
What do you enjoy doing outside of academic pursuits at UM?
I enjoy serving as a student volunteer manager for Ole Miss Women’s Basketball. When the opportunity comes my way, I’ll be ready to coach!
What is your go-to meal in Oxford?
My go-to meal in Oxford is Moe’s BBQ on the Square. They have the best BBQ in Oxford.
What are you binge watching?
I am currently binge watching How to Get Away with Murder.