Student Spotlight May 2017

    Elester Bostick-Latham




    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.



    1. What brought you to the University of Louisville?

    The excellent reputation of the Kent School and the vibrant culture of Louisville brought me here.

    2. Specific areas of research (how you chose this research, why it interested you):

    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. 

    3. How would you describe your area of study/ specific research to your grandmother?

    Healthcare is the ship, patients are the captains, and social workers are your navigators.

    4. What made you go into this field of study?

    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.

    5. Awards, honors, publications:

    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

    6. How do you think this advanced degree will change your role in society?

    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.

    7. Long term goals/ aspirations:

    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.

    8. What accomplishment, academic or otherwise, are you most proud of?

    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. 

    9. What has been your favorite part of the graduate school experience at UofL?

    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.

    10. What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

    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.

    11. Family life:

    I am on this journey with my amazing wife and a collective of family and friends.

    Fun Facts
    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
    Role Model: Dr. Martin Luther King
    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.