Small Steps, Big Impact Episode 5 – Black Student Experiences

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Our guests today are Dr. Jesse Ford, Assistant Professor of Higher Education within the Department of Teacher Education & Higher Education and Dr. Coretta Walker, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Parent Programs for UNCG’s Division of Student Affairs.  Our conversation today focuses on the importance of understanding the experiences of our Black and African American students as they navigate Higher Education environments.  

Link to full transcript here.

Music, A Short Walk, from

Quotes from the Episode

“Some of our students walk into our classrooms thinking, I respect you because of the educational space, but you haven’t earned my trust yet.”

Dr. Jesse Ford

“Over time, that lack of self-reflection on our part as a faculty member can breed distrust.”

Dr. Coretta Walker

About our Guests

Dr. Corretta Walker

A native of Whiteville, NC, Dr. Coretta Roseboro Walker is currently in her fourteenth year of professional practice in the Student Affairs field.  In her current role, she serves as the Director for Strategic Initiatives & Parent Programs providing key direction for a variety of Division initiatives including Spartan Family Engagement, marketing and brand management, donor stewardship, divisional committees, student organization advising, strategic planning, and other innovative approaches to sharing our Division’s impact with larger audiences. Before this role, Walker served as the Assistant Director for Residence Life at UNC Greensboro, Area Director at Coastal Carolina, and Residence Coordinator at Florida State University. Walker also hosts adjunct faculty appointments at Appalachian State University and Elon University. She is highly visible in the Greater Greensboro community due to her service to Mount Zion Baptist Church, the Junior League of Greensboro, and Guilford County Schools. Walker has earned a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from UNC Greensboro, a Master of Education in Higher Education from NC State, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill. Walker is the proud wife to DJ and an enthusiastic mother to Carmen, 8; Cara, 3; and her dog Jeff who is 16.

Dr. Jesse Ford

Dr. Jesse Ford is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In his role, Dr. Ford uses a theory to practice approach to educate and support students interested in serving as student affairs administrators across higher education and non-profit sectors. Dr. Ford’s research uses culturally responsive frameworks to explore the social and political influences of race and gender to tackle inequality in education, particularly within the socialization experiences of underrepresented students and faculty, across the P-20 pipeline.  HIs scholarship has been featured in About Campus, the Journal of Appreciative Education, Journal of First-Generation Student Success, Education, the Journal for Research and Practice in College Teaching, and Urban Society, and a host of other mediums. For more information on Dr. Ford, please visit:

Resources from the Episode