Passionate Mentorship by Professors Helped Me Navigate the World
By: Davina Jones, Class of '94
I reflect back on my time at BCC as one of the most amazing experiences of my life. My first year at Bethune was comprised of remedial classes that did not count towards graduation, as I had spent most of my K-12 years in special education classes and assistance programs.
From day one, however, Bethune-Cookman was not about where I started, but about from where I would launch. Passionate mentorship from Dr. Claudette McFadden and global exposure from Dr. Rebecca Steele's "From Bach to Gospel" tours were fundamental platforms that cultivated my ability to navigate the world!
Among my career highlights, I earned my PhD at age of 28 and am a 25-year veteran professor of communication studies with emphasis in social movements, civic engagement and interpersonal development. I formerly served as program director of the Master in Arts in media and communications for Adler University, Chicago. On the travel front, I completed a Dialogue Tour sponsored by the Atlantic Institute in Cappadocia, Izmir, Ephesus, Nevshir and Istanbul, Turkey.
As senior pastor of a progressive and positive spiritual center called Greater, and a self-described "Climate Shifter," I help people to wake up, get their "shift" together, embrace their divine DNA and touch the world before they exit, just as Dr. Bethune touched the world and made sure her touch was felt before she left in natural form.
Some of my proudest work has been in the creation of initiatives like the GREAT Camp for preteens, exposing them to the magic of their brains in defiance of dropout rates and at-risk statistics. Ultimately, I believe that service to humanity is the sum total of our individual purposes.
And like Dr. Bethune, I also wish to leave a continued legacy of hope. Too many people have yet to recognize their power to creatively redefine or "shift" their presence in the earth and harness their ability to be the light that expels darkness. We are powerful creatures.
Editor's note: Dr. Davina A. Jones is a class of 1994 speech communication major. While at Bethune-Cookman College, Jones was a member of The Concert Chorale, Thurgood Marshall Speech and Debate Society, BCC Players Club (Theatre) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She currently resides in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. Jones earned a Master in Arts and PhD in interpersonal and rhetorical communication studies. Most recently, she secured funding for the 2018 B-CU McLaney School of Performing Arts & Communication and Adler University Social Justice Practitioners: The Role of Communication in the Age of Trump Conference.
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About Bethune Cookman University:
Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000. For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.