(Re)Visioning Equity on College Campuses
Edited By T. Elon Dancy II
Foreword: What Music Can Teach Us about Managing Diversity in Higher Education
FOREWORD What Music Can Teach Us about Managing Diversity in Higher Education Jerlando F.L. Jackson An interesting fact about me that most of my colleagues do not know is that I was a musician prior to my journey in the field of higher edu- cation. For approximately 15 years, my role as a musician guided my decision making. Unlike many of my high school classmates, I se- lected my undergraduate institution purely based on my major. I needed an institution that was a university and not a music conserva- tory, with both a strong performing arts school and percussion pro- gram in the southeastern part of the United States. Among the handful of institutions that met these criteria (interestingly all were non-flagship universities) was the University of Southern Mississippi, which was ultimately my choice. Being a percussionist demanded the development of organization and time-management skills. Unlike other instrumentalists, percus- sionists have to master a family of instruments instead of just one. One has to be equally proficient on the marimba and jazz vibes as well as the snare drum or drum set. Without organization and time- management, it would be very difficult to maintain a practice sched- ule that cultivated such proficiency. Likewise, the time commitments were extremely demanding if one planned to graduate in a reason- able timeframe. In reviewing my undergraduate transcript after all of these years, it was interesting to observe that I completed 176 hours as an undergraduate. With the average undergraduate degree requiring between 124...
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