Zeba KT

Academic Area:
African American and African Diaspora Studies, College of Arts and Sciences

Miami, Florida

Undergraduate Institution:
Florida State University

What degree are you working toward?
I am currently working to earn the PhD in African American and African Diaspora Studies. My degree and major concentration utilizes interdisciplinary methods to study the lived and constructed experiences of African-descendants in North America and the African diaspora as subjects and not objects of our world history. This degree also considers the intersections that race, class, and politics contribute to the shared experiences of oppression and liberation concerning people of color within their respective geographies. My subfield is literature with concentrations in African/Caribbean/African American works. I love my major degree field, and all of the potential world and self-discovery it offers.

Why did you choose graduate school at IU Bloomington?
I chose to attend IU Bloomington because it had all of my “must-haves” as far as my desired professional and graduate degree preferences. Prior to arriving at IU Bloomington, I researched my program online, and also spoke with my department several times on the phone. Everyone that I spoke with was quite friendly, and supportive of my research interests. I was also able to attend The University Graduate School’s recruitment program, Getting You Into IU (GU2IU) to visit the campus prior to attending. During my visit with GU2IU, I got a chance to walk around campus, and also meet and greet other prospective students, admitted students, and current faculty at IU Bloomington. Another perk to my visit was that I got to sit in on a class lecture with one of the professors in AAADS, which was awesome! Based on my experience with GU2IU, and the reception I received while reaching out to the department initially, I was thrilled to apply. I also learned, perhaps more importantly, about my funding opportunities within my department program and The University Graduate School, which was the “icing on the cake” for me.

What’s been your favorite academic accomplishment since you’ve been here?
As I look back in hindsight as an approaching second-year PhD, reflecting on my first year, I am most pleased that I was able to win my department’s William Wiggins Outstanding Instructor of Record Award this past spring semester. I came into IU Bloomington with a significant teaching background from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, an HBCU. I was concerned that as a non-traditional PhD student I was not going to be able to connect my subject matter with the student body as well, due to the drastic change in demographic and age difference. However, what I found is that students were just as engaged, and that my classrooms were more diverse than I anticipated. Receiving this award at our spring departmental ceremony reassured me that I made the right decision professionally and academically.

What do you enjoy most about life in Bloomington?
I enjoy Bloomington’s quaint charm. As a city girl who has lived in many country or rural places, I tend to like the contrast of town’s with a bit of a slower pace, especially if I’m trying to accomplish a goal. I find that there are many activities and places to go to remain active (mostly outdoors) like the B-line. I also appreciate all of the events that you can attend on campus, those that are non-academic, like the African American Arts Institute’s Soul Revue each semester, which showcases

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Recent Posts

Planning with Flexibility: Some tips for Grads at all levels

The fall 2016 semester is now in full swing, and aside from trying to get back into “the groove” of college working after a busy summer, continuing to plan with flexibility is something that I’ve decided to be more intentional about as a second-year Ph.D. student. There are a few specific academic, professional, and wellness practices that I try to maintain throughout the semester to remain accountable for my goals and matriculation progress:

  • Maintain a physical academic planner.

Although this may seem a bit “old school,” I still find any kind of personal planner to be important for life success. Usually, academic planners are used to maintain important assignment deadlines, campus events, and my daily check-list of things to complete by the end of the day, which typically ends somewhere around 9pm during the week. I also pencil in any meetings that I need to attend, their locations, and times as well. My planners are the 8 x 10 size that I usually buy from Target, but a free one, or smaller version can be just as good to maintain a routine and schedule.

  • Go to see some of your current and past professors/instructors during their office hours.

As a professional level graduate student, it is important that I maintain positive and productive relationships with faculty members at IU. I consider going to visit a professor during their office hours as a way to continue intellectual conversations about topics discussed in class, and also as a way to establish a working relationship for potential academic research opportunities. You could connect with a professor on a pre-dissertation proposal topic to get into an area-specific conference, or even Continue reading