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Doctoral Student Jayla Moody Marshall Wins Chancellor’s Creating Community Outstanding Student Award

Jayla Moody

When Jayla Moody Marshall — a student in the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development higher education opportunity, equity, and justice concentration — chose the NC State College of Education for her doctoral degree, she knew the program would help her achieve her goal of designing higher education environments where everyone knows they belong and matter. 

A commitment to creating more equitable environments for students in higher education has been a passion of Marshall’s throughout her educational career. Now that commitment has been recognized with the NC State Chancellor’s Creating Community Outstanding Student Award. 

“I am deeply grateful for the honor of receiving the Outstanding Student Award. Community is one of the cornerstones of my work, and I have found joy in cultivating, fostering and uplifting communities here at NC State and beyond,” Marshall said. “I have found my purpose in ensuring students feel seen, heard and supported. It is why I chose higher education, and it is why I will continue to choose and prioritize the experiences of the students I am privileged to work with and serve.”

In nominating her for the award, Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professors of Higher Education Alyssa Rockenbach and Joy Gaston Gayles cited Marshall’s ability to draw on her scholarship to design opportunities for students in the Higher Education Administration master’s degree program and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development higher education opportunity, equity, and justice concentration and support prospective students by facilitating recruitment events, helping them find graduate assistantships and fellowships, and planning orientation and social events for admitted students. 

“Our master’s and doctoral students alike know they can turn to Jayla for mentorship and guidance along their graduate journeys,” the nomination letter said. “She anticipates what we need to do to maintain a program culture that reflects deep investment in and care for students; because of Jayla’s myriad contributions, we are becoming a humanizing graduate community defined by a commitment to educational equity and human thriving.”

The nomination letter also cited Marshall’s work as a graduate student representative for the Council on Ethnic Participation for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) as well as her experience in student success and teaching

As she helps fellow students, Marshall said her time in the College of Education has enabled her to learn, teach, give presentations, host student events and recruit future students and, as a result, prepare to take on the next step in her career. 
“I have gained skills that will set me up to thrive regardless of the ventures I take on throughout my career, and it is something I hope my future work inspires others to do. The beautiful thing about purpose-filled work is that it matters even on hard and frustrating days, and someone needs it,” she said. “I also want to thank my faculty tribe — Dr. Joy Gaston Gayles, my dissertation chair and champion; Dr. Krispin Barr, who has modeled servant-leadership for me in the most intentional ways; Dr. Alyssa Rockenbach, who makes room for me to show up authentically as myself and do work that matters to me, and Dr. Keon McGuire who has served as a true mentor and supporter since joining our team last year.”

This post was originally published in College of Education News.

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