Edinboro University names 2018-19 Frederick Douglass Institute Scholar

Category:  News
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 5:27 PM

In June, Kevon Bruce, a man with a burning passion to help those set at a disadvantage, was named the 2018-2019 Frederick Douglass Scholar at Edinboro University. 

Bruce, a Brooklyn native, found himself with the wrong crowd in his later years of high school. It was a move to Maryland and a furthering of his education that set him on the right path. Eventually, this would all lead him to his desire to help those in need, specifically minorities who are found at a disadvantage in the educational system. 

After getting his bachelor’s degree at Purchase University and his master’s from California University, he found his way to Argosy University, where he is currently working towards his doctorate of education in counselor education and supervision. 

Bruce was encouraged by former Edinboro student, Dr. Courtney Conley, to apply for the Frederick Douglass Institute (FDI) program, a project by Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

The institute is a program that allows candidates to gain field experience and opportunities, designed for those who are looking into the possibility of working for a university and are towards the end of their doctoral degree or terminal degree. Each of the 14 state schools in Pennsylvania offer the FDI program. 

Each person who goes into the FDI program has a different goal and a different outcome. Bruce — who is working closely with Dr. Rhonda Matthews and Dr. Andre Smith of the history, politics, languages and cultures department, and Dr. Adrienne Dixon of the school of psychology and special education — is looking to see how he can leave an impact at the university by

building a research design that’ll allow him to find what it is students of color at EU need, and how he can best assist them in that. 

“I’m just trying to figure out what they (students of color) need, and make sure their needs are met,” said Bruce. However, even if he finds out he can’t meet exact needs, he’s going to be there for them the best way he can. “Something I can do is advocate on behalf of them,” he continued. “Be a mentor, a friend, a shoulder to cry on.”

When discussing his overall goal from this experience at Edinboro University, Bruce said, “I want to help children of color who have lost their footing.” His first priority is to help people who have faced troubling times and remind them that even when set at a disadvantage, they can do great things. He wants them to know that they’re not alone. 

“I want people to know that there are people there who look like them,” he continued.

While Bruce’s office is in Butterfield, he says he’ll be around campus trying to get to know students. He hopes that his presence among students will spark a trust. 

“You have to produce something that they can put their trust into,” Bruce stated, and that is exactly what he hopes to accomplish by being a figure on campus students can relate to. 

Anisa Venner-Johnston can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com

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