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Moving the Work Forward: Ahoba Arthur, L&T'15

Ahoba ArthurAhoba Arthur hopes to make an impact. Not only in becoming part of the larger conversations about education and research, but also more specifically in regard to narrowing the achievement gap for African American male students.

She enrolled in the Learning and Teaching (L&T) Program with this goal in mind and, now at the conclusion of her year at HGSE, she remains steadfast.

“I plan to enter a doctoral degree program where I can continue to build on the skills and information I have gained this year in efforts to move the work forward,” Arthur says.  “Eventually I plan to work in a job that allows me to support teachers in creating instructional practices that help this particular group of students and also have the ability to develop curriculum that creates equity through excellence.”

Calling her “thoughtful” and “extraordinary,” Senior Lecturer Kitty Boles, program director of L&T, says Arthur’s passion and drive has been an inspiration to all in L&T and the Instructional Leadership strand.

“Ahoba Arthur has balanced a full-course load, worked at the Office of Student Affairs, played an important role in the Alumni of Color Conference, and cared full-time to her son Jahcir, whom everyone came to love for his kindness, sweetness, love of good fun, and his adoration of his mother,” Boles says. “Ahoba literally does it all — and with a great smile and wonderful sense of humor. She has a wealth of knowledge which she shares willingly, and she listens carefully to other people’s opinions. … She will surely make an important mark on education as she progresses in her career. Ahoba is a woman to be admired and honored. She has a very bright future.”

Upon learning that she had been honored with the Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award for L&T, Arthur answered some questions about her time at the Ed School and beyond.

What is something that you learned at HGSE that you will take with you throughout your career in education? Wow … there is so MUCH! One of the main things is that knowledge is everywhere. It is not contained in a specific book, building, it doesn’t have a face, or particular skin color. But we should be open to any avenue that where we have the chance to build on the knowledge we already have and always be lifelong learners. 

Is there any professor or class that significantly shaped your experience at the Ed School? All of them! I was able to take something away from each course and from each professor I had. I was very careful in selecting the courses I believed would be applicable in the field and area I want to work in. I learned most from my classmates. The conversations we had regarding issues raised and being in a space where I could hear a variety of perspectives and experiences was invaluable. The professors used their knowledge and expertise to create environments that allowed for this to happen and I thank each one of them for this opportunity. 

What will you change in education and why? I plan to change the current conversations regarding strategies on narrowing the achievement gap and create more opportunities for the academic and social advancement of black male students. It all begins with a mindset change. I plan to be a part of that process and conversation.  

How did you stay inspired throughout the year? My son.

Any special study spots on campus? “The Situation Room”… (phrase coined by myself and Aysha Upchurch. We’ve trademarked it. Lol). But it’s the silent study room on second floor of Gutman Library. 

What advice do you have for next year’s students going through your program? Take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, as they will all ultimately help you in whatever it is you choose to do. And most importantly, don’t doubt or second guess yourself. You know what is best for you and where your heart is. Follow it.

Read about the other recipients of this year's Intellectual Contribution/Faculty Tribute Award.