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WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Student Opportunities and Student News

Ed.D. Student Profile: Sameon West

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Sameon West has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s in liberal studies from UNCW.  After also earning a master's in English multicultural and transnational literature from ECU, he planned to continue his academic journey at ECU with a Ph.D. in rhetoric, writing and professional communication, but chose to enroll in WCE’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership with a specialization in curriculum and instruction instead. He began the Ed.D. program in fall 2019.

“At UNCW, I knew I would receive the skills and professional development to make a difference in the world,” he said.

West has served as the community and court liaison for Onslow County child support services for the past four years, an office that manages more than 8,800 cases each year. In this role, he connects to stakeholders in Onslow County and promotes programs that help to support children and families. West said the Ed.D. program has helped stretch his cognitive abilities and learn new skills already put into practice in his career.

“The program has provided me with the skills to develop a new curriculum using narratives and statistical data to help non-custodial parents understand the importance of their role in the lives of their children,” he said. “I have been able to use my educational leadership skills to conduct speeches before community stakeholders and support work on a reentry program that helps connect parents with criminal records to educational resources needed to begin a career that provides a living wage.”

West is a passionate advocate for higher education, and he enjoys mentoring others as he works toward his doctoral degree. This summer he participated in a virtual orientation for students in cohort 13 of WCE’s doctoral program.

“When I went to my orientation, I was excited and afraid at the same time because I did not know what to expect, but a panel of doctoral students talked about their experience and it eased my anxiety,” he said. “After that moment, it was my goal to be a part of an orientation to help new doctoral students. So, to have the opportunity to pay it forward to other students was what I liked best about the experience.”

West told the students that the academic journey they are embarking on would change their lives. “There will be moments where they will feel joy and moments when they feel stressed, but as long as they depend on each other, they will make it,” he said. “I told them about the ways my cohort has helped me, and how my professors are helping me grow both personally and professionally.”

West’s long-term career goal is to become a college professor.

“Everything about being a college professor appeals to me,” he said. “I love the idea of engaging with students and helping them chart a course for a better future. Although I am a distant student, I love the campus environment. It feels as if it breathes new life as the seasons change. And, I enjoy researching equity and learning from the mistakes of the past to better our future. I want to teach Educational Leadership because it teaches students about becoming leaders and equitable practices that they can use in their community and society.”

When he’s not attending class, studying, conducting research, working or being a dad, West’s interests are health and fitness.

“I love running and doing strength and conditioning,” he said. “I am amazed at how the body will grow muscle when you push it past its limits. When you go to the point of failure with your muscles, you get stronger. It is joyful and painful at the same time.”

West’s advice to others considering pursuing a doctoral degree: “Listen to your advisor and write down your goals so you don’t forget them because as you grow, so will your goals. My professors are helping me to realize that anything is possible.”

For more information on Watson’s doctorate in Educational Leadership, visit the Ed.D. website.