News & Announcements

Student of Distinction: My'Jia Brown

My'Jia Brown
Cleveland State University celebrates graduating students who have overcome obstacles, made significant achievements or are fulfilling CSU's mission in or outside the classroom.

Today, we celebrate My'Jia Brown.

Brown is graduating with a degree in Health Sciences and a Bioethics certificate. She has been a regular on the Dean's List, appearing in Fall 2020, 2021 and 2023, while also serving as the student speaker at the annual TRIO First Generation Dinner.?

CSU: Have you had any significant Internships/Co-ops/Careers while at CSU?

MB: In the spring of 2022, I was accepted into the McNair Scholars Program, marking a significant milestone in my academic journey. During that summer, I seized the opportunity to conduct a systematic review examining health disparities among African Americans, specifically focusing on type two diabetes. Over a few months, I meticulously analyzed nearly 30 articles, synthesizing their findings to produce a comprehensive systematic review that delved into the social determinants of health affecting people of color.

Subsequently, I had the privilege of presenting my findings at CSU's annual Research Day. I'm proud to share that my poster was selected for display at the presidential inauguration, underscoring the significance of my research within our university community. Additionally, I am thrilled to announce that I presented my research recently at the annual McNair Scholars Conference in April, which took place at the University of Maryland. This opportunity further underscores the impact of my work and represents a culmination of my dedication to scholarly inquiry and academic excellence.

CSU: How would you describe the connections you have made with the faculty and staff at CSU?

My experience connecting with the faculty and staff at CSU has been incredibly rewarding. The university cultivates a supportive environment that encourages students to engage with professors and staff beyond the confines of the classroom. I consider myself fortunate to have crossed paths with such remarkable faculty and staff members, and I deeply value the relationships I've built. It all began with Shannon D. Tate, my Graduation Success Coach, during my first year at CSU. Coach Shannon played a pivotal role in my journey, from recommending me for a scholarship I've been fortunate to receive annually to helping me access resources on campus during a particularly challenging time following a traumatic loss in my family during my sophomore year.

The staff at TRIO exceeded my expectations, and I now consider many of them family. Individuals like Cullin, Hannah, and Jewel have provided invaluable support, which inspired me to become a Success Coach, eager to share my story and encourage fellow students, especially first-generation students. Throughout my time at CSU, I've forged various other connections, including with Dr. Gracyk, who has become my mentor and has guided me closely. Dr. Reyes, the director of the McNair Scholars program, has been instrumental in helping me pursue my post-graduation plans of attending graduate school.

I'm grateful to Dr. Banks and Mr. Petty for their guidance and advice as I navigate CSU and the broader world as a young African American woman with a strong sense of purpose. I'd also like to express my appreciation to everyone in the Africana Studies department for fostering a safe space for communication and mutual upliftment among students and faculty.

My connections with the faculty and staff at CSU have significantly contributed to my academic and personal growth. Their unwavering support and encouragement have empowered me to seize new opportunities, navigate challenges, and fully embrace my college experience.

CSU: How has Cleveland State inspired you for your future?

Cleveland State University has been a beacon of hope for my future journey. Attending college was a dream and a hope I held dear, and CSU has been where I've encountered challenges, shared laughter, shed tears, and discovered my passions. As I prepare to walk across the stage in a few months, the realization that I will be the first college graduate in my family fills me with gratitude and disbelief. What once seemed impossible has become a reality, thanks to CSU. It has instilled in me a sense of hope and faith that I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

CSU: How do you think you have fulfilled the CSU mission (empowering others, creating knowledge, engaging our community and shaping our world)?

I have made significant strides in fulfilling CSU's mission on and off campus. As a first-generation college student, I've encountered and overcome numerous challenges in pursuit of my academic goals. Each day, I strive to inspire and empower fellow first-generation students by sharing my journey and experiences. Serving in leadership roles within student organizations and mentorship programs, I actively support and uplift my peers, fostering a sense of empowerment within our community.

In addition to empowering others, I've also contributed to creating knowledge through my involvement in research projects and academic pursuits at Cleveland State University. Whether conducting research or connecting students with resources to further their knowledge in the field of medicine, I've played a role in advancing our collective understanding and insights.

Furthermore, my commitment to engaging with our community has been unwavering. Through active participation in community engagement initiatives, volunteer projects, and outreach programs, I've sought to positively impact and contribute to the well-being of those around us. Whether organizing events, providing mentorship, or dedicating my time to volunteering, I've remained dedicated to fostering meaningful connections and addressing community needs.

In conclusion, my journey at CSU has been marked by a steadfast commitment to empowering others, creating knowledge, and engaging with our community. I am proud to have contributed to these endeavors, and I look forward to continuing to make a positive impact as I embark on new challenges and opportunities in the future.

Congratulations, My’Jia!