Scholars of NoteYoung educators bring their passion and excitement for teaching, research and training to the forefront of the academyThe road toward academic success is more often than not a rugged one, particularly for people of color, and the size of certain obstacles may sometimes seem insurmountable. But as the cadre of young scholars featured here from a wide variety of disciplines attests, there are elements of great joy intrinsic in the pursuit of scholastic enterprise. The opportunity to formulate additional perspectives that create significant paradigm shifts, to implement scientific research that propels the culture forward in its mission to eradicate deadly disease, or to reveal the complexity of a history and presence that has often been overlooked and, at best, undervalued, are some of the factors that compel these and other scholars across the country to do what they do. Academia for many proves to be a most effective pathway for the expression of personal passion, including the quest for social justice; functions as a powerful venue to right cultural wrongs; and serves as a medium through which to simply delight in the rigors of intellectual exploration.
As the exceptional scholars presented here note, in addition to their attraction to intellectual matters, the academy affords them the opportunity to teach, which some describe as their calling, their mission and their life’s work. In concert with the value of their research, publications, awards, fellowships and civic service, these scholars emphasize the significance of their very presence in the academic arena. Some were the only person of color in their graduate programs and some the first person of color ever to earn tenure in their departments. Some are first-generation scholars and some the offspring of scholars and educators themselves. All of the academicians featured in Black Issues In Higher Education’s third annual edition highlighting outstanding young scholars seem to appreciate that, as people of color at work in universities and colleges across the country — be they historically Black, predominantly White or any other institutional configuration — they can challenge students’ perceptions in general, and inspire a new generation of scholars of African descent in particular.
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