Danté Studamire knows the value of sounding boards in life. In his relatively short time here at Illinois, he can already point to a handful of mentors and faculty who are helping shape his goals, vision, and future academic pursuits. (Not to mention his Ph.D. dissertation!) This year, the Office of Minority Student Affairs has appointed Danté to serve as a mentor to College of Education first-year students who are finding their way. He's part of the College's academic advising team, and is excited to meet Education students and learn about their ideas and passions.
A little bit about Danté:
Q: Where is home for you?
A: I'm from Atlanta, Georgia.
Q: What is your year and major?
A: I am a third-year Ph.D. student in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership.
Q: What do you enjoy about the campus experience, so far?
A: When I started at Illinois, I only was able to experience campus for a semester and a half before courses went virtual. Being in-person now is exciting because you feel the campus buzz, feel the community vibe, and learn from so many diverse people!
Q: How did you know you wanted to go into the field of education?
A: I knew I wanted to go into education once I realized that the understanding of values and norms of institutions are not always congruent with the ways student bodies experience them. So I wanted to look at the different ways university policies are communicated, understood, and enacted.
Q: What do you enjoy about the College of Education?
A: I enjoy the intentional diversity of faculty and student experiences and backgrounds of those in the College of Education. I also enjoy the social justice component of many of the faculty's research agendas.
Q: Do you have a favorite professor or course? Why?
A: It's so hard to pick just one. Drs. Adrienne Dixson (my advisor), Bill Trent, Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, Anne Dyson, Bernice Barnett, Chris Span, and Yoon Pak have all poured into me in ways that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.
Q: What is a fun fact about yourself?
A: I have a bachelors and masters degree in Africana Studies. While in those programs, I participated in three study abroad experiences. I was able to live in Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, and Dubai while being paid to research things that were meaningful to me ranging from race, class, gender, and identity.
Q: Share a piece of wisdom you've received from an adviser or mentor.
A: One of the most impactful pieces of advice that I received from a mentor is that you do not have to have everything figured out while you are here. It's great to plan and work toward that plan, but also know that life happens and things may have to shift. What is important is how you pivot and recover! You are capable, talented, and already have everything you need to succeed within you.
First year students, email the Student Academic Affairs Office to connect with Danté.
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