Educational Journey

Born and raised in Sarasota, FL, I attended public schools throughout my P-12 education. In 2009, I graduated from Riverview High School’s IB Program, with honors.

Graduation Day 2009. RHS IB Program.

After graduation, I chose to attend the University of Central Florida (#GoKnights!), where I majored in Psychology and double-minored in Spanish and Leadership Studies. While attedning UCF I became a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, traveling nationally and internationally to present my research. I am also a graduate of the UCF Burnett Honors College, where I published my undergraduate thesis on Black Women, Body Image, and Mentoring Relationships.

UCF Graduation Photo 2013. Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology. Minors in Spanish and Leadership Studies.

After graduating from UCF in 2013, I decided to attend the University of Georgia to pursue a Master’s of Education in Professional Community Counseling. I interned at a college counseling center on campus until I graduated in 2015. It was during this transformative experience that I discovered my passion for helping Black students to seek Black freedom and liberation

UGA Graduation Photo 2015. Master’s of Education in Professional Community Counseling.

I decided to work full-time for one year after receiving my Master’s degree.  I returned home and accepted a position as a College and Career Readiness Advocate at a Title 1 school in my hometown. I enjoyed showing Black and Brown students what a potential college experience could look like, via campus tours and other experiential activities.

I took a group of 8th graders from the College Reach-Out Program to visit Florida PolyTech’s campus in 2016.

In 2016, I returned to UGA and began my journey to PhD. I am currently a first-year student pursuing a doctorate in Counseling and Student Personnel Services. My academic and career goals include transforming the way Black experiences in higher education are perceived and understood. My pedagogy includes disrupting, dismantling, and deconstructing current systemic barriers to equitable education and counseling services for students of Color in higher education.

Future Dr. Cokley coming #May2020!

When I am not reading, writing, or resisting, I enjoy taking long naps and binge-watching episodes of my favorite television show, The Golden Girls.