FSU alumnus, Antonio Jackson, believes that it is "the passion for the field" that has kept him rather busy for the last six years. A sociology instructor at Robeson Community College, Antonio launched his career as a teacher when he entered the classroom at Grey's Creek Middle School, devoting his time to special needs students. He notes that special education teachers are rarities and the turnover rate is high, but the E.E. Smith graduate persevered as a public school educator for four years until opportunity promised him a position in his preferred field.
According to Antonio, sociology is a fascinating field and his degrees from FSU allowed him to explore many career options, but teaching captured his heart. He made a graceful exit from the public school system and took his first job in higher education at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro. While he realized there was a sacrifice in commuting, he found it necessary in order to gain teaching experience on the college level. In addition, he was offered employment as an adjunct instructor for his alma mater.
His present position at Robeson Community College is one he finds fulfilling. He explains, "RCC is a great teaching environment where I can take what I learned at Fayetteville State and apply those skills. I received an outstanding education from Fayetteville State because the instructor to student ratio was excellent. I had the opportunity to interact with my professors one-on-one. Therefore, my undergraduate and graduate experience has contributed to my current career, and I am sure it will help in my future endeavors."
One of those future pursuits includes being admitted into a doctoral program by the fall semester of 2008. Antonio has hopes of attending either North Carolina State University or UNC-Chapel Hill, and wants to further research the educational, healthcare, and economic disparities found in minority communities.
Once he jumps this hurdle, Antonio will continue to work in his favored field. He concludes, "I just want to continue to grow professionally and remain an active participant in the field of sociology through my work and community outreach."