LSU PhD Student, Raeshan D. Davis, Selected as SEC Emerging Scholar
November 10, 2021
BATON ROUGE, LA - Raeshan D. Davis, an LSU PhD Educational Leadership & Research student from Nassau, Bahamas, was recently
selected as an SEC Emerging Scholar. The SEC Emerging Scholars Program is meant to
encourage top scholars from historically underrepresented groups and provide them
with the opportunity to seek employment and mentorship within the SEC.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in forensic science from Albany State University in Albany, GA, Davis decided LSU was the perfect place to fuse her passions of holistic student development and STEM education. She knew she would be able to serve a population near and dear to her heart since LSU’s strong commitment to research draws in students pursuing careers in STEM. After serving as residence life coordinator for the science residential college, Davis knew she wanted to pursue a PhD in Higher Education Administration to advocate for equitable experiences for the historically underrepresented students and women in STEM programs.
When asked how she felt about being selected as an SEC Emerging Scholar, Davis said, “I was at a loss for words. While I have never doubted my potential or abilities, it is genuinely an affirming feeling to be selected for this highly competitive program. The first person I told about my acceptance was my advisor, Dr. Ashley Clayton. Throughout this entire application process and my doctoral journey, she has been in my corner cheering me along and continues to help me realize my potential. Moments like this one continue to affirm my path in higher education and the community of scholars and educators supporting me along this journey. It was an honor to be selected as one of 10 scholars and the only scholar from my program to represent LSU.”
Once selected, Davis attended the SEC Emerging Scholars program two-day virtual conference that provided scholars with the tools and knowledge necessary to prepare for entrance into academia as faculty and researchers. Davis stated that her favorite part of the program was the intentional time in the breakout rooms after each session because they allowed for more personal discussions and connections across institutions. Davis was reminded of why she decided to pursue her PhD in the first place when LSU President Tate said, “We must seek truth, demonstrate courage in presenting that truth, and do it all with empathy.” Davis hopes to uncover truth and present it in a way that creates substantive change.
Davis has a message for aspiring graduate students: “You have no idea what your ‘yes’ can lead you to. Two years ago, I had an impactful conversation that shifted my career trajectory to become a higher education scholar-practitioner. I had no idea what I was saying yes to pursuing the faculty route, but I trusted the guidance of my faculty advisors and mentors. Although it may not appear to be much initially, your ‘yes’ is building the knowledge, skills, and resources that will take you to new heights that you could’ve only imagined. Fast forward to this moment, and I can attribute my ‘yes’ to being the launchpad for so many doors of opportunity opening in my doctoral journey.”