Inside SPEA’s offices, the staff work hard to advise students on the best ways to accomplish their academic goals. At least one member of the team is taking his own advice when it comes to furthering his education. Now, he’s earning a top honor for that commitment: IUPUI’s Elite 50 award.
Eugene Pride III is SPEA’s associate director of enrollment and diversity initiatives, providing guidance in student recruitment, strategic planning, and even teaching an undergraduate first-year seminar course. Individually, these positions alone are enough to keep anyone busy. Yet Pride has added on a personal challenge: obtaining his Ph.D. in urban education studies.
“I wanted to tackle multiple issues that affect young adults,” Pride says. “My field draws from multiple disciplines such as higher education and administration, psychology, and criminal justice. I am currently interested in research around social and emotional learning, emotional intelligence, and critical theory.”
While his degree will help him work toward his long-term goals, Pride says his journey to further his education actually began with family.
“I wanted to make my father proud of me. I have looked up to him my entire life,” he says.
Pride has given his father even more reason to be proud. Not only will he earn his Ph.D., but he has been named among IUPUI’s Elite 50. The award recognizes student achievements in scholarship and service beyond the classroom. Honorees represent the best of the more than 8,000 graduate and professional students at IUPUI.
“I was thrilled to learn I had been selected,” he says. “I work hard at balancing my career and education, so to learn that my balancing act has been working made me smile. I’ve had support from my SPEA colleagues when it comes to finding that balance. I couldn’t have received the Elite 50 award, much less balanced my personal life and career, without Nicole Amonette being such an amazing and flexible supervisor.”
Not only has his SPEA family supported him through the process, but his Master of Public Affairs with a major in public management from SPEA served as a stepping stone for his doctoral degree.
“My SPEA master’s degree prepared me to effectively lead, think strategically, and base my opinions on evidence,” he says.
Ever the advisor, Pride has advice for current SPEA students.
“If you want to broaden your skill set and have the credentials to move into key roles, take some time to learn about the various degrees we offer!”
Pride’s balancing act isn’t over. Pride is working to determine where his career and his Ph.D. will take him, but his goal is to be in university administration or to become a professor.
Regardless of which direction he chooses, there is no doubt his education will continue. Pride says he’s a lifelong learner, committed to improving the world around him for generations of future students.