Pedestal Professionals is a weekly spotlight series on our blog that highlights Black women entrepreneurs who are forging new paths in their respective fields.
Meet this week’s Pedestal Professional (and one of my absolute favorite people in the world), LeAnn Alexander
, Director of Student Affairs at Mississippi School for Math and Science (MSMS), newly ranked as the #6 Best Public High School in the nation. LeAnn is a proud native of Starkville, MS and has had a meteoric rise in the Higher Education arena since 2013. She has perfected the art of engaging students in a way that gives them a meaningful and impactful educational experience while never losing the heart of who she is. We had a chance to chat with LeAnn to learn more about her passion!
My love for Student Affairs started through my student involvement in college. I was able to focus more on my passion through graduate school. My first professional Student Affairs position was Assistant Director for Campus Recreation at my alma mater: Mississippi University for Women. This is where it all truly started for me.
I am a 2011 graduate of Mississippi University for Women. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Family Studies. I continued my education at Mississippi State University, earning a Master of Science in Counselor Education with an emphasis in Student Affairs. Along the way, I’ve presented at a number of regional and local conferences within various professional associations and really worked to keep my name out there.
The most rewarding part of my current position is being able to instill in high-school juniors and seniors those important transferable skills that will prepare them for college (i.e. working through conflict, effective leadership skills, etc.). It’s been impactful to see how working in the college setting for so long has helped me articulate those skills in a language they can truly grasp.
My biggest challenge so far has been finding confidence in my ability. I worked extremely hard to give my best efforts and, in my mind, that still wasn’t enough. I combatted that issue by changing my thoughts. I have a thing with words. Words mean very specific things to me. I wear t-shirts with affirmations as well as various jewelry pieces with words that have special meaning. I constantly have post-it notes up around my house and office with affirmations. It’s a daily reminder that I am enough. My best is the greatest gift God granted me. I’m content in that.
The ability to adapt to ANY environment we are placed in. It’s our superpower: Adaptability.
Be diligent in your pursuit of success. At some point, your journey will change lives. Stick to it.
Be bold, be unapologetically YOU. Don’t stop. Get it, get it.
Follow me on Instagram @so_cerebral!
What a time to be alive! So excited to share my experiences on such an awesome platform such as this! Tekita, you’re amazing.