From Liberia to California, Dr. Juterh Nmah | LSU School of Education


picture of Dr. Juterh NmahBaton Rouge - Juterh Nmah graduated from LSU in August 2012 with a master's degree in school counseling . After several years of work as a counselor, she returned to LSU to pursue her PhD in educational leadership and research  with the encouragement of now CHSE Dean Roland Mitchell, PhD.

Nmah is originally from Monrovia, Liberia, but she grew up in the United States and currently lives in Bakersfield, California.

She took some time to discuss a little bit about her career, talk about her time at LSU and give some advice below.

About Nmah’s Career

Nmah says she really began her career after completing her master’s degree in school counseling from LSU in August 2012. She immediately became a school counselor for several years at a K-8 school in New Orleans, Louisiana and eventually became a high school counselor in Zachary, Louisiana.

In September 2015, she transitioned to work for the state of Louisiana with the Office of Student Financial Assistance as a regional coordinator providing college access to students across the state of Louisiana. During her second year as regional coordinator in August 2016, Nmah decided to return to LSU to pursue a PhD in educational leadership and research with the encouragement of now CHSE Dean Roland Mitchell, PhD. After receiving her PhD in May 2020, she became a tenure-track assistant professor and co-director of the Educational Counseling graduate program at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) in August 2020.

“As an African-American alumna of LSU CHSE, I am happy to see the progress made with their efforts of intentionally recruiting and discussing ways to support students of color."

Memories from LSU

Nmah made many memories during her master’s program at LSU: studying and hanging out with friends around Baton Rouge and LSU football games. During her doctoral program, she would practice dissertation writing sessions with her friend Danielle and remembers successfully defending her dissertation in December 2019 in front of friends in family. She also notes her time spent with Jennifer Curry, PhD at LSU.

“I can’t forget the times that I spent with Dr. Curry co-teaching, traveling to conferences and meetings and spending time with her and her family.”

Career Preparation

In February 2010, Nmah said she decided to take a leap of faith after a phone call interview with Dr. Curry for the school counseling master's degree program at LSU. She left her family in Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Baton Rouge. She had no idea it would be one of the best decisions she has made, and it is where Nmah spent most of her career to date.

During her time at LSU, Nmah learned a lot about herself and her capabilities. She said she was so blessed to work alongside Dr. Curry, who was instrumental in where she is in her career today. Nmah learned different ways to teach and engage students from different backgrounds. In one of her favorite classes, a Saturday class with Mary-Margaret Sulentic Dowell, PhD, she remembers developing the discipline to complete her dissertation. Nmah credits that course with providing the support and encouragement she needed to finish her dissertation while working full-time.

“The classes that I currently teach were two of my favorite classes that I took while I was LSU. My teaching philosophy is based on my favorite professors at LSU. In short, in addition to God and the support of my family and friends, a significant reason for my success in my career thus far is due to my time at LSU.”

Advice to Current Students

Nmah encourages current students to identify a professor that you connect with or that shares similar research interests. Once you identify that professor, she said to share your dreams and interests with them--they're never too big!

“By sharing my interests and dreams with Dr. Curry, she sought out opportunities for me that allowed me to make connections with other individuals and catapult my career beyond my imagination! I know that I would not be where I am in my career if I did not connect with Dr. Curry almost 11 years ago and share my dreams and interests with her.”

Closing Thoughts

“I am forever grateful for the time I spent completing my degrees at LSU. Geaux Tigers and Forever LSU!”