ACT scholar thrives in supportive environment

DaVida Anderson smiles for a picture

Photo by Mei-Ling Shaw Williams
Davida Anderson, of York, Pennsylvania, is working toward a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs

| April 27, 2017

Thanks to ACT and the support of fellow researchers, DaVida Anderson knows she’s right where she wants to be.

Anderson, of York, Pennsylvania, is working toward a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs. From the first day she set foot on campus, Anderson knew the college was the best choice for her as an education researcher.

In 2015, Anderson became part of the ACT Scholar Program, which means her research is supported through scholarship funding. But, it goes beyond that. Anderson also worked in ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning that supports research focusing on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement. She also attended ACT’s Enrollment Planning Conference and presented her research findings in a company-wide presentation, on “how to better make opportunities in higher education avail-able for underserved students.”

“ACT and the University of Iowa got it right,” says Anderson. “ACT not only provides financial support, but they provide continuous development for my education. It’s making sure I have a holistic experience in and out of the classroom.”

In her research, Anderson focuses on diversity-related issues for college students. She recently presented, “Relationships Matter: Perspectives on Black College Women’s Academic Success” alongside fellow student researcher, Laila McCloud, for the 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Research Symposium.

The motivation for her research has its roots in Anderson’s undergraduate days at Purdue University. There, Anderson founded Strong Sister, Silly Sister, Inc.(SSSS), a resource for African-American women on college campuses. 2016 was the twelfth year of presenting the SSSS program. Anderson says this program provides support and mentorship to help young African-American women in predominately white institutions to “navigate and blossom in that environment.”

Read more from the 2017 Alumni Magazine.