Student Spotlight May 2017
Elester graduated with a Bachelor of Science at Clayton State University, where he majored in Healthcare Management. Elester came to the University of Louisville for a Master’s degree in Social Work, specializing in Psychosocial Oncology. He currently holds a position as a Graduate Assistant in the Graduate School office.
The excellent reputation of the Kent School and the vibrant culture of Louisville brought me here.
My specialty in Social Work is in Psychosocial Oncology. I chose this field because my educational background is in Healthcare Management and I find advocacy work especially important. Understanding the effects of cancer on a person's psychological health as well as the social and behavioral factors that may affect the disease process of cancer are paramount in extending and preserving life.
Healthcare is the ship, patients are the captains, and social workers are your navigators.
My first healthcare job gave me an opportunity to work with an amazing group of professionals, clinical staff members, and executives. This environment helped me hone my skills by working with Social Workers often. I found the work intriguing.
Graduate Assistantship at Graduate School: 2016-2017
Kent Scholarship Recipient 2016-2017
Building University Students Technology Skills to Address Global Healthcare Issues: Co-Author 2006, Academy of International Business US Southeast Chapter
This advanced degree will provide me with the knowledge to work in Social Justice, find resources to assist patients who need help and provide a professional avenue for me to grow my career.
My long terms goals are to develop and establish a career and mentor students who come from historically disadvantaged backgrounds as myself, encourage them to pursue higher education, and achieve their goals.
I am most proud of the opportunity to have been accepted as a Graduate Assistant during my first year of Graduate School. This position has allowed me to be a support resource for Graduate Students and Staff. My favorite accomplishments have been my integration of Photography and Graphic design within the department. I have shot, edited and/or organized biographies/media for SIGS Graduate Student Ambassadors, Minority Association of Graduate Students, Diversity Fellows, SIGS Staff, and Graduate Visitation Day and helped create “Professional Headshot Week” for SIGS Graduate Student Appreciation week.
My favorite part of the graduate school experience includes the various opportunities of community involvement. For example, I have volunteered at book readings for children at the Scholar House, Advocated at the Capitol for Children’s Advocate Day 2017, participated in several different Social Justice Initiatives, including documenting Black Lives Matter protests, tracking bills and writing letters to Legislators.
Financial slavery and the pursuit of higher education is one of the biggest challenges facing most students, especially communities of color. I consider being self-aware the first step, as many people simply disregard such conversations. Budgeting and having a financial plan has worked for my household.
I am on this journey with my amazing wife and a collective of family and friends.
A talent you have always wanted: Acting
Favorite book: Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington
Favorite quote: “There are still many causes worth sacrificing for, so much history yet to be made.” - Michelle Obama
Favorite Vacation Destination: Brighton Beach, UK.
If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? I would be a full-time musician.