“I’m a role model as soon as I walk into the classroom,” says Professor Laquita Blockson. “When I enter the room and say ‘I’m Professor Blockson,’ I can hear them say, ‘Whoa!’”
Dr. Blockson first began contemplating a career as an educator when she was an undergraduate at Florida A&M University. It was there she realized that academics came in all colors. “I had never seen so many Black faculty before.”
But a corporate career beckoned, and she became a real estate manager for Taco Bell. The dream of teaching simmered on a back burner, and eventually, she attended a PhD Project conference. There, her life changed in an instant. “It all hit home. I realized you were chosen. This is your profession.”
“As an undergraduate, you memorize concepts. As a graduate student, you apply them. And as a doctoral student, you get to question the concepts and come up with new ones. Now, I want to be able to give back to others what my faculty once gave to me.”
One student who encountered Dr. Blockson was struggling to balance a full time job, uphold family responsibilities, complete her studies, and pursue admission to graduate school.
“She was Jamaican, and she was very happy to see a Black woman teaching, so she sought me out. I mentored her far beyond professional development. We worked on how to apply, how to interview, and which programs fit her best. She was able to graduate and get accepted by one of her choice schools.”
The dream continues…
Dr. Blockson is now the Director of Social Innovation, associate professor of business Management at Agnes Scott College, where she continues to be a role model and mentor for African-American undergraduates. She was previously on faculty at Rutgers Business School and at Saint Leo University where she created and introduced a course on minority entrepreneurship and collaborated with two other PhD Project professors – Dr. Jeffrey Robinson and Dr. Sammie Robinson — on a Kauffman Foundation-funded study of African American women entrepreneurs. She is the co- recipient (along with fellow PhD Project professor Dr. Ian Williamson) of the 2005 Academy of Management’s Mentoring Best Practices Award, for her leadership in forming the Management Faculty of Color Association. In addition to her research, teaching and mentoring, Dr. Blockson finds time to coach nonprofit and development organizations within underserved communities. For her work, she was noted in 2009 by Diverse Magazine as one of its “Emerging Scholars.”