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Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award Recipient: Myosha McAfee, EPM'08

Myosha McAfeeMyosha McAfee came to the Ed School from Texas with hopes of working on equity among all students.

"Myosha is passionate about her convictions and very eloquent in her rhetoric. In classes as well in discussions outside of classes, Myosha engages in thoughtful and provocative dialogue delivered with grace, humor, and an open invitation for engagement," says Education Policy and Management (EPM) Program Director and Senior Lecturer Paul Reville. "She never announces her position so much as invites others into a safe conversation on sensitive, difficult issues. Myosha is a student who responds eagerly to challenges, has an open mind, seeks help, crosses cultural boundaries easily, and stimulates others around her to be more thoughtful."

Upon being honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for the EPM Program, McAfee answered some questions about her time at the Ed School so far.

Did you have a favorite class?
I have learned a great wealth of information from all of my classes. Some of the best "classes" took place in office hours, after-class, and hallway conversations with [Associate] Professor John Diamond, [Senior Lecturer] Paul Reville, [Lectureu] Karen Mapp, and [Lecturer] Janice Jackson in the Ed school, Professor William Julius Wilson in the African and African American Studies Department, and [Lecturers] Ron Ferguson and Dean Williams at the Kennedy School.

What is something that you learned at HGSE that you will take with you throughout your career in education?
From [Associate] Professor Diamond: "No, you go ahead." and "Where is this theory accurate, inaccurate, and in what context is it useful?"

From [Senior Lecturer] Reville: "What are the underlying assumptions here? What will the opposition say? How much will it cost? Where will the money come from?"

From [Lecturer] Mapp: "When you speak your words are transformative. Use it for light and not darkness."

From [HKS Lecturer] Williams: "What values do people hold that they consider more important than progress? Is your sense of purpose no more than your cultural paradigm? We are still fighting wars of the past. The past is something that continues to shape our role and relationship to the problem. What needs to be said today to bring things to completion? What do you listen for? Who do you listen to? Where do you listen from?"

How did you stay inspired throughout the year?
I am always navigating Appian Way with my ipod and headphones. Musicians Lauryn Hill, India.Arie, Jill Scott, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, and Billie Holiday helped me to remember the struggles of those who came before me, their wills to overcome, and my embodiment of a formerly enslaved woman/man's dream.

What are your plans for life after HGSE?
Next fall, I will be returning to HGSE for doctoral studies in the Culture, Communities, and Education concentration.

What advice do you have for next year's EPM students?
Build your sense of purpose for coming here and make a plan to: 1) identify who/what can help you accomplish that purpose; 2) make connections to meet them, take classes from them, work for them; 3) stay connected and remember those who you left to learn how to advocate on their behalf; and 4) Shine your light while you're here, you never know who's paying attention!