Student and Academic Life

UK Doctoral Student Selected for Jackson Scholars Network

photo of Rasheed Flowers, a University of Kentucky College of Education doctoral student who has been selected to participate in the University Council for Education Administration’s Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network.
Rasheed Flowers, a University of Kentucky College of Education doctoral student, has been selected to participate in the University Council for Education Administration’s Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 15, 2020) — Rasheed Flowers, a University of Kentucky College of Education doctoral student, has been selected to participate in the University Council for Education Administration’s (UCEA) Barbara L. Jackson Scholars Network.  

The Jackson Scholars program was created to provide a support system for graduate students of color and to help increase the number of students of color poised to serve as faculty at higher education institutions that prepare educational leaders for the nation’s schools and children. 

“Rasheed is an incredibly talented and focused scholar,” said Kelly Bradley, chair of the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation at the UK College of Education. “As his advisor, I am continually impressed by his character, ambition and commitment to making contributions in the field and community.” 

The Jackson Scholars program will pair Flowers with a faculty member from one of UCEA’s participating institutions to mentor him in publishing, teaching and navigating higher education. 

“Through my relationship with my Jackson Scholars mentor, I hope to get an insight into what it is like to be a faculty member in higher education,” Flowers said. “I desire to see what mentorship looks like in action and apply the leadership skills I learn with my future students.” 

A native of Illinois, just 30 minutes south of Chicago, Flowers completed his undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University. As a Division I wrestler, he was involved in college athletics programs, as well as campus ministries. For his doctoral research in the UK College of Education Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation, Flowers is investigating spirituality in collegiate athletics.   

Flowers is passionate about pursuing a career working with college students. 

“College is a time where young women and men begin to discover their identity and their purpose,” Flowers said. “I want to positively contribute to helping mold them to be the person they aspire to be.” 

Flowers earned his master’s degree in sport leadership from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the UK College of Education, where he was mentored by Justin Nichols, an assistant professor, and Steve Parker, a professor and associate dean in the college.  

“They have had a considerable influence on me,” Flowers said. “They encouraged me to pursue a doctorate degree. They helped me get involved in various parts of the university and community. Through them, I was able to meet Dr. Kelly Bradley, who helped me from the very beginning with the process of applying for a Ph.D., all the way until now as my advisor.” 

Flowers hopes to become a college professor, teaching sport management, and also hopes to work in athletic administration. He expects the Jackson Scholars Network to boost his ability to reach his goals. 

“Being a Jackson Scholar is an incredible honor because a few years ago, I never thought that I would be pursuing my Ph.D.,” Flowers said. “Now, I have the tremendous privilege of being part of a group that supports minority students from all across the country.” 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.