At last Saturday’s Commencement, Diamond Jackson’s ’21 four busy years at Hamilton came to an end. She served as the chair of the C. Christine Johnson Voices of Color Lecture Series, co-president of the Black & Latinx Student Union, supervisor at the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), HEOP summer residential assistant, and as a student researcher, completing Emerson, Kirkland, and Levitt Center projects.
Jackson’s wide breadth of experience will be put to use this fall at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she’ll study education policy. Jackson cites her Hamilton experiences and guidance from Lecturer in Sociology Meredith Madden as key factors in her decision to pursue a path in education policy.
“After taking Education and Sociology courses like Issues in Education, Urban Education, and Poverty & Inequality with Professor Madden, who also supervised me on each of my research projects, I became really aware of how different parts of my identity had shaped my experiences with education and continued to do so,” Jackson said.
In her multiple undergraduate research projects, Jackson focused on the mental health of Black students and the narratives of low-income Black women who are athletes at Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs). At Harvard, she plans to continue her focus on how policy shapes student experiences at colleges and universities.
Jackson explained that her experience as a first-generation student influenced her path to graduate school.
“For many first-generation students — particularly those who haven’t been educated in predominantly white and wealthy schools prior to Hamilton — it can be hard to know just what resources exist at Hamilton waiting to be utilized,” she said. “For me, talking to my peers and professors about my interests and goals has been crucial to my success at Hamilton. My support team continues to share opportunities with me to ensure a successful future.”
Diamond Jackson ’21
Hometown: Bronx, N.Y.
High School: Manhattan Hunter Science High School
Jackson said that Harvard’s Education Policy & Analysis program allows for a great deal of intellectual freedom, something that reminds her of Hamilton’s open curriculum. She is looking forward to take advantage of the program’s flexibility to gain a clearer picture of what her future away from College Hill holds.
“I am passionate about continuing with research, and getting into some policy work as well, though I’m not quite sure what that looks like just yet. But that’s a part of what’s so exciting about this,” Jackson explained. “Although I already know I’m zealous about research, I’m looking forward to learning more about other opportunities involving education policy.”