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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Kesha Jackson

Decatur, IL

Major in Political Science, Minor in Peace and Justice Studies

Kesha is a Knox student-athete and McNair scholar who plans on attending graduate school after Knox.

Jackson sits on the basketball court with a basketball in one hand and a book in the other.

What's your major? Why did you choose that?

My major is political science and my minor is peace and justice studies. I initially thought I might go to law school and I thought political science would be my best path. I also always enjoyed learning about theories of political science and the way that people interact politically.

Why did you apply to be a McNair Scholar? What led you to your research path?

I was recommended for McNair. I didn't know much about the program. Being a first-generation student, I didn't see myself as a researcher. When I was going into my junior year, I reached out to see what the program was about, and I realized that I was able to put myself in a position to break down what research is and pick my own topic. That stood out to me and that's why I chose to do this. I've always been interested in the policy side of criminal justice. My research looks at communities of color, the criminal justice system, and the prison industrial complex and how the institution brings about a lot of injustice. I've been interested in that topic since I was in high school. 

What brought you to Knox

The small campus and the atmosphere. I knew that I wanted to go to a smaller school, and when I came to Knox, it reminded me of my hometown. I've also visited a variety of institutions, and the dynamic that students have with the faculty here is definitely different from any other college that I visited. I think that is what initially drew me here. I was also able to pursue basketball and track and field here. 

Is there anything from your experience at Knox that stands out as particularly influential for you?

The ability for students to rally behind each other if they feel like they have an issue. I've seen different groups across campus band together for a single cause. I think it's important for people to be able to speak out on things that they feel need to be spoken about, especially if it's an injustice or grievance for a specific group of people. 

What activities are you involved in?

I am on the women's basketball team and I also do track. I’m a McNair Scholar. I’m in Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society, and I'm on the Honor Board

What are your plans for after Knox?

I'm planning on going to grad school either for a master’s or Ph.D. in public policy. Initially, I came in with the idea of going to law school, but I shifted my path after doing a lot of research and working with my mentor, Leanne Trapedo Sims, Daniel J. Logan Professor of Peace and Justice. I still want to be in the same realm of politics, but focused on public policy. I want to go to graduate school for public policy so that I am not always working in and under the law. I want to examine policies that already exist and help communities of color from a different perspective. 

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Knox College

Printed on Friday, July 19, 2024